DNA, adaptation & evolution – year 6

Discover the structure, function & history of DNA to expand on core content about evolution and adaptation.

An introduction the history of this astounding molecule – What is DNA? How was its structure revealed? Discover the fascinating history of the scientists involved. Video coming soon

Practical – how to extract DNA from a strawberry, kiwi or banana. I take you step-by-step through extracting DNA from 3 different fruits, so that any allergies can be accommodated.

For the adults – detailed instructions and safety notes here.

Here’s a selection of pieces of potential follow-up work. They are tailored to fit the curriculum targets of the specified year group, especially the SPAG ones. They all include answers / solutions on the 2nd/final page where appropriate. They have been created by me, using the font from Twinkl.

Spellings – using prefixes to mean less/under/below (inspired by DEoxyribo …) and using the suffix /tion/ (evolve -> evolution). There isn’t an aswer page for this one as there are hundreds of possible correct words

Reading comprehension – a short piece about the work of Gregor Mendel.

Maths – Work out how many permutations there are for the 4 bases of A, T, C & G. Ratio & fraction questions are based on Mendel’s pea experiments.

Wordsearch – all the names and technical vocabulary to revise here.

Crossword – The clues are in different forms: there’s a code to break (A=1 B=2 C=3), mixed up letters to unscramble, fill in the words missing from the paragraph, and some words to just fit in & write your own clue. Page 1 is the blank grid. Page 2 has initial letters for a bit of extra help. Solution is on p3.

More fun activities here – The Wellcome Genome Campus has instructions for how to make a DNA model from sweets, a lovely bracelet activity bade on real genetic codes, and an origami DNA moledule (it’s a challenge, but worth it!) Link here

Have fun trying all these materials. Do please let me have any feedback, comments or corrections. If you’re happy to send me photos of the practical in action, I’ll share them here.

White jelly-like blobs of tangled DNA collected in a small petri dish, sitting on a bright tablecoth.
DNA from a strawberry

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