Science 6-8 Genes

Science 6-8 Genes

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical...
Analyze the author's purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a...
Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Essential and guiding questions: 

Text-Dependent Questions

  • What is the author’s purpose for writing this article?
  • Individual traits have often been attributed to what is in your genes. Describe how the prefix in “epigenetics” conveys the author’s idea that traits are dependent on what’s on your genes as well.
  • According to the author, why might two genetically identical mice display completely different traits?
  • How does the picture of the two genetically identical mice illustrate the effects of the presence or absence of methyl groups on genes?
  • What does the author mean when she states that “the behavior of one animal can sculpt the epigenetic clay of another animal?” Cite evidence in the text that supports the author’s claim.
  • What message does the author convey about the usefulness of epigenetics in the future study and treatment of diseases?
  • What are some other uses of “flipping” the genetic switch that you think could be important to society?

Activity/Task Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 

Scaffolding and support for special education students, English language learners, and struggling readers:

  • Prior knowledge of DNA structure and function is necessary to understand the text.
  • Pre-teach vocabulary.
  • Allow extended time for the reading and writing tasks.
  • Pair up struggling reader with a partner to read and discuss the text.
  • Allow foreign language-English dictionary.
Interdisciplinary opportunities: 

How this task supports the content standards for relevant subject area courses in this grade band:

This task is relevant for grade 7 biology. The task will address standards pertaining to heredity, the structure and function of DNA, and gene technology.