Graphic Organizer/Worksheet


The year is 2023 and someone has robbed a casino in Las Vegas, and DNA has been recovered. Students are provided with a sequence from the DNA and a key telling which amino acids code for which physical characteristics. They decode the DNA into mRNA, then into amino acids, and then into physical characteristics. Finally, they draw a sketch. This is a lot of fun, but I'm afraid it gives the impression that genes map more directly to phenotypes than they actually do (as with the God gene, the Alzheimers gene, etc). What do others think? Can that be minimized? This resource is part of the Developing Biology course which contains units on Microscopes; Biochemistry; Cells; Cellular Transport; DNA; Photosynthesis and Respiration; Mitosis and Meiosis; Genetics; and Evolution.


  • Science > General
  • Science > Biology

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


protein synthesis amino acid DNA mRNA



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2009-07-26.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 0

Reviewer Comments:

This worksheet is an activity to help understand decoding DNA. The worksheet is easily located and downloaded. There is a simple and concise instructional paragraph provided as background information to establish the setting. This resource is excellent for general biology students as well as English Language Learner. However, it should be noted that student knowledge background should include DNA model, DNA sequencing and basic genetic history. Teachers should be sure to provide directions for students to refer to during the activity. A DNA sequencing model should also be available for student reference
indreams07 indreams07
July 23, 2009

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