Take the test?



lesson1Genetic tests can be used to determine whether a person is a carrier of a genetic condition – but is having a test always the best thing to do? In this lesson the students are presented with an intriguing dilemma about whether a boy should have a screening test after his fiancée has found out she is a carrier of sickle cell disease. Students use information presented by experts to weigh up the options and come to a reasoned decision.

Learning objectives

  • Use knowledge about inheritance to interpret genetic diagrams, including family trees.
  • Make a decision by identifying issues that need to be considered in choosing to have a genetic test.

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Curriculum link

England National Curriculum KS3:

  • Working Scientifically:  Make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.
  • Biology: Inheritance, chromosomes, DNA and genes: heredity as the process by which genetic information is transmitted from one generation to the next.

GCSE Combined Science subject content:

  • Working Scientifically:  Development of scientific thinking: explain everyday and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.
  • Biology: Inheritance: explain single gene inheritance, predict the results of single gene crosses.

Running the activity

Engage 1 The students are introduced to Matt’s dilemma and find out about sickle cell disease.
Engage 2 Students arrive at a set of questions that they need to find the answers to in order to make an informed decision.
Explore 1 Students start answering the questions with guidance.
Explore 2 Students work independently to find answers to the remaining questions
Explain As a class, discuss their findings
Evaluate Students make their decision
For detailed running notes, download the teachers guide.

Weblinks

Dilemma

The video which introduces the students to Matt’s dilemma.

Life with sickle cell disease

Video clip which shows first-hand the pain associated with the disease

What is a screening test?

Liz Aram discusses what happens during a screening test for sickle cell disease.

 

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8 Comments

  • roxana90 says:

    Boli genetice

    Acest articol este foarte util avand in vedere ca in ziua de astăzi tinerii sunt predispuși la transmiterea unei boli generice.

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  • danmonde says:

    Video problem

    PROBLEM NOW FIXED. Both video downloads do not play past 20 seconds. They seem to download OK. Any ideas? EDITOR’S NOTE: HI – thanks for alerting us to a problem with the videos. They are fixed and working now.

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  • moods says:

    Take the test

    Well thought through and engaging context to apply ethical arguments in terms of genetic testing used with KS4 class

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  • hklaver says:

    Take the test 2

    We thought there was plenty of variety and some engaging visuals within the resource material that could represent a valuable set of teaching tools. Teachers would need to spend the time working through it carefully before lesson planning to get the maximum benefit but has been clearly designed to get pupils thinking about the conditions in a realistic context rather than just dry theory. Awele’s diary appealed particularly to our Year 10s – they felt it drove home the reality of the condition in someone not too distant in age to them. Pupils could see the point of the couple role play but felt it was a little stilted. The explanation of the screening test was good but perhaps some bullet points appearing on screen to highlight key points to help break up the narrative would help to drive the message home. Pedigree charts and punnets can all provide consolidation of the material in an manner which is meaningful for exam preparation too. Worth pointing out that some of the genetic screening/counselling points would be suitable even up to AS level as foundation material. Worksheet style resources all very well laid out and some excellent questions which became gradually more testing meant there was something to keep everyone occupied even in an able GCSE group.

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  • hklaver says:

    Take the test

    We thought there was plenty of variety and some engaging visuals within the resource material that could represent a valuable set of teaching tools. Teachers would need to spend the time working through it carefully before lesson planning to get the maximum benefit but has been clearly designed to get pupils thinking about the conditions in a realistic context rather than just dry theory. Awele’s diary appealed particularly to our Year 10s – they felt it drove home the reality of the condition in someone not too distant in age to them. Pupils could see the point of the couple role play but felt it was a little stilted. The explanation of the screening to keep everyone occupied even in an able GCSE group. Pedigree charts and punnets can all provide consolidation of the material in an manner which is meaningful for exam preparation too. Worth pointing out that some of the genetic screening/counselling points would be suitable even up to AS level as foundation test was good but perhaps some bullet points appearing on screen to highlight key points to help break up the narrative would help to drive the message home. Worksheet style resources all very well laid out and some excellent questions which became gradually more testing meant there was something material.

    0
  • Gemma Young says:

    Take the test

    Thank you very much for the feedback – it’s great to hear that putting genetics into a context like this helped your students to grasp the concepts and that it was accessible to younger students. Please can you clarify what the mistakes were that you spotted so we can amend these.

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  • george zammit says:

    Take the Test

    This resource engaged a class of Year 8 boys – it was well presented, easy to navigate around and some of the slides were useful as worksheets. Setting the science in context helped them to understand the importance of pedigree diagrams and has given them an excellent platform for GCSE Science when they study this for their exams. The issues/dilemmas of taking a test, the ignorance of some and possible prejudice of others gave the series of lessons an extra dimension for the boys to hook their knowledge and understanding of genetic inheritance onto.
    Two errors (one in the pedigree diagram and one in the genetic cross) were spotted.

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  • Take the Test

    I thought the resources were well thought out and displayed in an engaging fashion on the power point. I think it will be a really useful way to enscourage the debate about whether to take a genetic test or not.
    I wished I had found this website earlier .

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