Hello, Guest!

Lesson Plan

Cracking the Code of Life

Course, Subject

Biology/Living Environment, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Commencement, 9th Grade, 10th Grade

Content Provider



This lesson will incorporate some cooperative learning as well as some individual work. Students will research scientists that have contributed to the work done in genetic research. Once they compile some information, the students will take part in a jigsaw and share their information with other students. The students will also answer questions about research being done and how it is going to affect our future.


NOVA - Cracking the Code of Life


2-3 40 minute classes


  • For students to gain a better understanding of the research being done in genetics
  • For students to understand the impact that genetic research may have on their lives in the near future.
  • Procedure

    Day 1:

    1. You can start class by asking the students what they know about genetic engineering. Have them either write what they say in their notes, or you can write it on the board. Then ask them what they want to know, have them write this information down as well.
    2. Handout the worksheet titled: Cracking the Code of Life. Make sure students put their name on the handout.
    3. Assign each student a number (1-11). What ever number they get will match the number of the scientist that they will look up during this assignment. (If they are a 1, they will research Pythagoras)
    4. Give students only 10-15 minutes to complete their research. Then have students form groups, each group should have a student with a number 1-11. Have students share their information they received with the whole group.
    5. Once all students have shared their worksheet should be filled with information on all the scientists.
    6. You may want to create a mini-quiz to check to see if the students did their work.
    Day 2:
    1. Today students will be working alone to gather their information.
    2. Pass out the worksheet that says Cracking the Code: Nature vs. Nurture (this worksheet is 4 pages). Have students put their name on it.
    3. Students are to go to the website for Cracking the Code for Life and follow along with the instructions on the worksheet.
    4. Students will be completing 3 different activities to be turned in.
    5. Students may need more than 1 day to complete this section. You can have them finish it on the third day. This can also leave you time for class discussion on the topic.
    6. Once students have completed their worksheets, ask them what they know now about genetic research. Have them compare the information that they wrote down the first day.

    Extension: For a homework assignment on Day 2, you can have students go home and find a recent article on genetic research to be brought into class and discussed. This will give you a basis for your classroom discussion on Day 3. You can have students write a short summary on their article to be turned in for credit.

  • Day 1: Cracking the Code
  • Day 2: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Nature vs. Nurture Answer Key
  • Assessment

    The worksheets that the students finished will be collected by the teacher to check for their understanding. The grading will be based on the teachers grading scale.


    Jennifer Loretto

    Data is Loading...