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 learn how DNA fingerprinting has been used in criminal investigations. They do an interactive Web activity to learn about the process of DNA fingerprinting. In teams, they interpret different DNA fingerprints, then do a jigsaw activity to explore other uses of DNA forensics. Finally, they listen to a radio program about using DNA as evidence and discuss the limitations of and problems with DNA testing.
1. Show the video Forensic DNA Analysis. Discuss the following:
2. Have students do the Create a DNA Fingerprint Web activity. Then give student teams index cards and ask them to write the name of each step of the DNA fingerprinting process on the front of a separate card, with an explanation for the step on the back. Ask teams to put the cards in order according to the sequence of steps. Then have students shuffle the cards and put them back in order. Have each team tape their cards in order to the board and compare their sequences and explanations to those of other teams. Ask different students to explain what happens in each step.
3. Have students read and take notes on the How DNA Evidence Works Document. Then have the same student teams as before answer these questions:
4. Give teams of students a set of the DNA fingerprint cards. Ask them to interpret the fingerprints and compare their answers to those of other teams when they are finished. Provide a key of the correct answers.
5. Have students do a jigsaw activity to explore other examples of how DNA fingerprinting has been used (Jigsaw Explanation (PDF)). Use the sources listed below. Divide DNA on the Witness Stand into sections if necessary.
Have students listen to the NPR "All Things Considered" audio program DNA Evidence. Ask pairs of students to consider and discuss these key questions:
6. Ask students to report to the class three things they learned about DNA fingerprinting that they found surprising. Or, have students use the term DNA Fingerprint as an acronym. Have students in teams brainstorm what they have learned about this topic and then organize this information into sentences that begin with each letter of the acronym. Ask them to include the most essential information about the topic. For example:
DNA sections with repeating sequences are
called VNTRs and are used in DNA fingerprinting.
No DNA fingerprint test can prove defendant's guilt, but a match can establish probability.
A fingerprint begins with a sample of tissue such as blood, skin, or semen.
Fingerprinting can also be used to determine paternity
and to identify victims of disasters or war.
Gel electrophoresis separates the DNA fragments by size, as the smaller pieces move faster through the gel.
Restriction enzymes break DNA into more manageable sizes for fingerprinting.