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Activity 7-1: Exploring a Single Gene Disorder

PLAN

Summary Students investigate single gene disorders and how they are responsible for causing genetic conditions in humans. They simulate the expression of dominant and recessive alleles using strips of colored construction paper and clear plastic. Students then select an example of a single gene disorder to investigate in depth.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark show the four possible combinations of genes representing dominant and recessive alleles and describe the variation expressed.

\checkmark explain what is meant by a single gene disorder.

\checkmark list examples of single gene disorders.

\checkmark investigate a single gene disorder.

Student Materials

  • Activity Report
  • 2 strips of colored construction paper
  • 2 strips of clear plastic
  • Computer with Internet connection (optional)

Teacher Materials

  • Activity Report Answer Key
  • Resource materials and Internet Web sites providing information on genetic disorders.

Advance Preparation

Collect resource materials and identify useful Internet Web Sites that provide information on genetic disorders (see Helpful Hints).

Estimated Time One class period plus individual research time

Interdisciplinary Connection

Health Education Students write a medical case history involving an individual with chromosomal or genetic disorders and present findings to the class.

Prerequisites and Background

Students should be aware that there are thousands of single gene disorders in humans. There are also diseases that involve more that a single gene. Computer skills would be helpful.

IMPLEMENT

Steps 1-6 Explain that the clear strip represents a recessive allele and that the colored strip represents a dominant allele.

Steps 7-8 Many single gene disorders could be good research topics for this activity. We advise students to review their choice with the teacher for those not included in the activity.

For one of the single gene disorders listed in the activity, assign students to either

  • complete a written report, based on their research, or
  • prepare an oral or multimedia presentation of the disorder, based on their research.

For each disorder, provide students with evaluation criteria for their presentation or written report that includes the following

  • cause,
  • symptoms,
  • current treatment options,
  • prognosis,
  • new treatments under investigation,
  • availability of prenatal diagnosis,
  • the chromosome number where the gene is located,
  • resources in your community available to help people with this disorder and their families.

Helpful Hints

Suggestions for research sources: Contact the local March of Dimes organization for information about genetic disorders. This can be done by phone (1-888-MODIMES or 1-888-663-4637). It can also be done using a search engine and entering a search for March of Dimes. An example of a March of Dimes Web site: resourcecenter@modimes.org.

Presentation Guidelines

Use your preferred guidelines for helping students develop their communication presentations, or consider rubrics for areas such as the following.

  • Student exhibits mastery of content knowledge during presentation and in fielding answers to student questions.
  • Presentation is shared well with all members of the class.
  • Presentation style is clear, easy to understand, and engages audience.
  • Audiovisual materials are neatly prepared, clear, and effective in reinforcing content.
  • Presentation is efficiently organized and logical.

ASSESS

Use the completion of the activity and the single gene disorder written report and/or presentation to assess if students can

\checkmark demonstrate the four possible combinations of genes representing dominant and recessive alleles and describe the variation expressed in each.

\checkmark explain what is meant by a single gene disorder.

\checkmark identify examples of single gene disorders.

\checkmark perform independent research on a single gene disorder.

\checkmark present the findings of their research in a written report or presentation to the class.

Activity 7-1: Exploring a Single Gene Disorder Activity Report Answer Key

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. What do you observe when you place one colored strip on another?
  2. What do you observe when you place a colored strip on a clear strip?
  3. What do you observe when you place a clear strip on a colored strip?
  4. What do you observe when you place a clear strip on another clear strip?
  5. The single gene disorder I will investigate is

A suggested response will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org.

Look at Figures 7.2 and 7.3. What are the chances that the daughters of the couple will have the genetic disease? What are the chances that the sons of the couple will have the genetic disease? What proportion of the daughters will carry but not express the genetic disease? Why do more males than females have X-linked genetic diseases?

Hemophilia Students answer several questions about the X-linked trait hemophilia.

X-linked Inheritance Pattern-Color Blindness Students answer several questions about the genotype of males and females who are colorblind and their children.

Imagine that you are completely colorblind. You see a world of black and white all the time. Write a poem about your impressions of the world-a world where color has no meaning, but which exists in shades of gray.

Review Questions/Answers

  • Sample answers to these questions will be provided upon request. Please send an email to teachers-requests@ck12.org to request sample answers.
  1. What is the difference between a dominant inheritance pattern and a recessive inheritance pattern?
  2. What is the chance that a son and daughter will be colorblind if their parents are not colorblind, but their mother's father is colorblind?

Activity 7-1 Report: Exploring a Single Gene Disorder (Student Reproducible)

1. What do you observe when you place one colored strip on another?

2. What do you observe when you place a colored strip on a clear strip?

3. What do you observe when you place a clear strip on a colored strip?

4. What do you observe when you place a clear strip on another clear strip?

5. The single gene disorder I will investigate is ____________________.

Image Attributions

Description

Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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