Document Type


Grade Level


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Description / Abstract

This article provides an in-depth exploration of the design, execution, and outcomes of the "Mystery Mutt: DNA analysis with a dog named Charlie" lesson. Designed for seventh-grade life science students, the lesson focuses on unraveling the correlation between genotype and phenotype using authentic pet DNA test results. Grounded in real-life experiences and employing a multi-dimensional approach, the lesson successfully bridges the gap between theoretical genetic concepts and practical applications. The article discusses the lesson's alignment with academic standards, consideration of materials and safety, its unique classroom context, and the engaging phases of exploration, explanation, elaboration, evaluation, and closure. The emphasis on differentiation, professional learning, and supplementary materials underscores the lesson's adaptability and its lasting impact on students' understanding of complex genetic principles. This reflective exploration serves as a testament to the efficacy of innovative teaching strategies in making scientific concepts accessible and meaningful for diverse student populations.


Curriculum and Instruction | Science and Mathematics Education


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