Reflection: Backwards Planning She Doesn't See It - Section 5: Student Activity: Reading an X-ray Crystallograph


When I originally wrote this lesson, I started with the product I wanted my students to make in the end.  In this case, the model Watson and Crick made.  Then I reversed engineered the process to design this lesson.  I broke the lessons down into certain steps so that students could see how big DNA was in comparison to their original model.  First I needed to determine what they did know about DNA and where their misconceptions or preconceptions were so we built our original model. (Watch this video that better explains what my students misconceptions and preconceptions were.)

Next, students needed to determine a way to compare their original model with a redesigned model that took Franklin and Wilkins' data into consideration.  This was very hard for my students and they struggled with several unsuccessful ways of comparison. (Watch this video in which I explain one method that finally worked for them.) 

Once students understand the structure and size of DNA, they can better understand the process of DNA replication and where enzymes attach and help form the new strand of DNA.  

Finally, here are some recommendations for scaffolding that teachers may want to follow when having their student complete this lesson.  


  Backwards Planning: Rebuilding Their Model
Loading resource...

She Doesn't See It

Unit 12: Molecular Genetics
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: Students will construct a model of DNA to understand its basic structure.

Big Idea: It's important to have the right tools when making a model.

  Print Lesson
1 teacher likes this lesson
Similar Lessons
The Central Dogma (#1 of 6): Genetic Material
High School Biology » 4) DNA & RNA ("Instructions for Life")
Big Idea: The structure of DNA is a double helix. Its shape explains how hereditary information is stored and passed along to offspring.
Kent, WA
Environment: Suburban
Mitchell  Smith
Simulating Protein Synthesis (Day 1 of 2)
High School Biology » Unit 7: DNA & Protein Synthesis
Big Idea: Get your kids moving and make a complicated process come alive as students take on roles in the three phases of protein synthesis!
Walnut Creek, CA
Environment: Suburban
Maria Laws
Fetal Brain Development Explained!
High School Science » Brain Specialization and Development
Big Idea: Healthy brain development is a product of both genetic and environmental factors!
Charlotte, NC
Environment: Urban
Tamica Stubbs
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload