Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.
In this lesson, students compare the processes of selective breeding and transgenic manipulation of plants. They consider the pros and cons of growing genetically modified crops. Then they explore the possible future consequences of genetically modified organisms. Finally, they analyze public opinion data about the use of genetically modified foods. As an optional activity, students explore genetics-inspired art and create their own artistic expressions about genetically modified foods.
1. Show the Classical vs. Transgenic Breeding video. Then discuss examples of plants that have been traditionally bred for certain characteristics (e.g., firmer or sweeter tomatoes, wilt-resistant cucumbers, etc.). If time allows, have teams look at seed catalogs to identify two food plants and the specific different characteristics for which they have been bred. Then show the Bt Corn video so students can compare how plants are being genetically modified by new technologies. In pairs, have students discuss whether or not they think corn should be genetically modified and why.
2. Have students do the Engineer a Crop: Transgenic Manipulation Web activities, including both "Selective Breeding" and "Transgenic Manipulation." (Note: In order to go from one activity to the other, students must click on the "Engineer a Crop" title at the bottom of the page.) Then, as a class, discuss the similarities and differences between selective breeding and transgenic manipulation.
3. Ask students to examine the Should We Grow GM Crops? Web activity. Discuss how they voted and which arguments most influenced their decision.
4. Next, have students explore the Guess What's Coming to Dinner? Web activity. Ask students to choose one of the bioengineered products or organisms described in the site (except the transgenic fish) and write a futuristic story about its introduction, uses, and positive and negative impacts on society. Stories can be shared with the class and/or displayed for others to read.
5. Show the Super Salmon video. Ask:
6. Have students review the Viewpoints: Harvest of Fear document. Ask them to describe each of the viewpoints introduced. Discuss the following:
7. Introduce the discussion section of the Harvest of Fear Web site, which includes viewers' comments on the entire program. Tell students you have divided up the section so that each team can analyze a portion of this public opinion data. Have each team identify in their batch of comments the arguments for and against genetic modification of food. Then have them list the pros and cons in separate columns on a sheet of paper. Next, have each team report to the class the number of contributors who are for and against GM foods. Finally, record the results in a class chart on the board. When finished, discuss the following:
8. Optional: Have students review the Genetic Art document. Then ask them to either make a collage or express in some other medium (painting, photograph, cartoon, etc.) their response to what they have learned about the genetic engineering of foods.