Lesson Plans

There are a variety of good lesson plans available on the Web. We have a few specific lesson plans below. If you have found, or developed, specific lesson plans that you would like to have included here please contact Dr. Eva Top etop [at] uidaho.edu

Available on the Internet

Action Bioscience.

Action Bioscience
ActionBioscience.org is a non-commercial, educational web site created to promote bioscience literacy by examining issues that will:

  • motivate the public to play an active role in bioscience education
  • show how developments in bioscience research can affect everyone
  • promote an understanding of biogeography and the biodiversity of life
  • engage the public to reflect on the relationship between human activity and the natural course of evolution
  • promote global ecological awareness
  • advance formal and informal bioscience education
  • encourage students to pursue studies in the bioscience

Some favorites NSES Correlation Charts : Lesson Directory : Antibiotic Resistance, Sean S. Kardar

Serendip U Penn.

Dr. Ingrid Waldron and Jennifer Doherty, a graduate student, in the Biology Department at the University of Pennsylvania have developed these hands-on, minds-on biology activities for grades 6-12 in collaboration with colleagues at Penn and K-12 teachers. Please visit their Serendip site for a full index of lesson plans, materials required and teacher preparation.

Some favorites Genetics [pdf] : DNA [pdf] : Antibiotic Resistance [pdf] : Microorganisms Everywhere [pdf]

Learn Genetics, U Utah.

Learn Genetics - Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah

The Genetic Science Learning Center is an outreach education program located in the midst of bioscience research at the University of Utah. Their mission is to help people understand how genetics affects their lives and society. Don't forget to register for even more teaching materials and resources. Then be sure to visit The Biotechniques Virtual Laboratory

Some favorites How to Extract DNA From Anything Living : DNA Extraction From Wheat Germ


myDNA - teacher's guide - Gene Almanac - Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory

“Download 15 lesson plans for use in your classroom. Plans include objectives, national education standards, student worksheets, and more!”

Some sites from the Dolan DNA Learning Center DNA from the Beginning : Silencing Genomes : DNA Interactive

Hila Road Science Projects.

Hila Road Science Camp - Hila Science Projects, DNA Extraction Instructions

“Carol and Wayne Campbell are owners of the Hila Outdoor Centre. This 12 acre facility recently celebrated 25 years of science and nature education. During this period the centre was home to Hila Science Camp, a resident camp attracting clientele from all over the world. The centre also hosts workshops for teachers, students and clubs, covering topics ranging from nature photography and astronomy to alternative energy. ”

DNA Extraction series on YouTube: DNA Lab Part 1 : DNA Lab Part 2 : A YouTube search for DNA


MicrobeLibrary.org - American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

The MicrobeLibrary is an online collection of peer-reviewed teaching resources for undergraduate microbiology education supported by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). It is a subscription service and contains “Over 2,000 original, peer-reviewed resources for teaching undergraduate microbiology!” Additionally there are usually one or two free resources available. Take a look.


Bioscience Education Network (BEN)

The BEN Portal provides access to education resources from BEN Collaborators and is managed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

History of Science Journal

Teaching and Research: Bibliographic Essays - History of Science Society

Life Sciences in the Twentieth Century”, by Garland E. Allen, is a series of essays containing a lengthy bioliography of reading for teachers and students interested in the history of science. This series, although somewhat dated - last updated in 1988 - contains many primary sources.

Build your own

You can assemble your own lesson plans from interesting sources. Here's an interesting project, started at M.I.T., that might provide inspiration for student projects.
Registry of Standard Biological Parts.

The Registry of Standard Biological Parts
The mission of the Registry is to collect and provide standardized, reliable biological parts to enable synthetic biologists to design and construct biological machines. Parts are defined as bits of DNA that have been designed (and then often constructed) to have a particular biological function with defined inputs and outputs. The Registry acts as a clearinghouse for these parts as well as the biological devices and systems that are built from these parts.

Loosely related TED Talks

Paul Rothemund: Casting spells with DNA
“Paul Rothemund writes code that causes DNA to arrange itself into a star, a smiley face and more. Sure, it’s a stunt, but it’s also a demonstration of self-assembly at the smallest of scales — with vast implications for the future of making things.”

Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication
“MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about his Fab Lab -- a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results.”

Saul Griffith: Hardware solutions to everyday problems
“Inventor and MacArthur fellow Saul Griffith shares some innovative ideas from his lab -- from "smart rope" to a house-sized kite for towing large loads.”
See his Howtoons site.

The Exploratorium.

The Exploratorium
“Housed within the walls of San Francisco’s landmark Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collage of hundreds of interactive exhibits in the areas of science, art, and human perception. The Exploratorium stands in the vanguard of the movement of the “museum as educational center.” It provides access to, and information about, science, nature, art, and technology.”

DNA at the Exploratorium

Teaching materials from Exploratopia

The Virtual Genome Project is funded by the National Science Foundation Microbial Genome Sequencing Program, Grant number: EF-0627988.
For more information contact: Dr. Eva Top, Professor of Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, I.D. 83844-3051 U.S.A.
email: etop [at] uidaho.edu