Enduring Understandings:
  • The development of technology has allowed us to apply our knowledge of genetics, reproduction, development and evolution to meet human wants and needs.

  • Difficult ethical issues can occur when using information obtained through modern biotechnology.

  • All organisms have genes, which are units of information for inherited traits passed from parents to offspring.

  • Genetic information is stored in genes that are located on chromosomes inside the cell nucleus.

  • In sexually reproducing organisms, each offspring contains a mix of characteristics inherited from both parents.

Essential Question(s):
  • How does the understanding and manipulation of genetics, reproduction, development and evolution affect the quality of human life?

  • What are the pros and cons of the use of biotechnology?

  • What processes are responsible for life’s unity and diversity?

  • How are traits passed from one generation to the next?

  • How is the probability of genetic trait inheritance predicted?

  • What are the various modes of heredity?




  • MS-LS3-1. Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism.

  • MS-LS3-2. Develop and use a model to describe why asexual reproduction results in offspring with identical genetic information and sexual reproduction results in offspring with genetic variation.


CCSS ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

  • RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

  • RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

  • RI.6-8.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

  • RI.6-8.9 Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.

  • SL.8.5 Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.



  • MP.4 Model with mathematics.

  • 6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.