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Lesson Plan

DNA: cheek cell observation and DNA extraction

Students first look at their cheek cells under a microscope, and find the nucleus. Then they extract their own DNA from their cheek cells.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Classification of Living Things, Biodiversity (1, 3)
Biology: Evolution, Natural Selection (7)
Activities in this lesson plan: 

Look at cheek cells and extract DNA from cheek cells, whichever order is best.
Optional: add ACTG letters to the DNA necklace.


At Tyee Elementary, we started the DNA activity, then while the students waited for me to pull it out of the tube, they moved between stations of 1. making cheek cell slides to look at under transmission scopes, 2. doing the coding puzzle, 3. looking at their DNA in the tube and other random stuff with magnifiers and dissecting scopes.

Grades taught: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Gr 7
Teaching Site: 
Gordon Elementary
Tyee Elementary