Secondary Smorgasboard: Free and Fabulous

Secondary SmorgasboardI am so excited to be part of an amazing community of secondary teachers! Darlene Anne from The ELA Buffet and Pamela Kranz from Desktop Learning Adventures have teamed up to provide some great resources to the blogging world.

This week’s theme is “Free and Fabulous”: secondary sellers are uniting to share their free resources and tips!

Easy Cheeky Strawberry Squeezy: DNA Extraction Lab

As the holiday season approaches, it can be a very fun, yet stressful time of year for teachers. We are looking forward to the time off, and spending time with our families, but we are also looking at our planners hoping we can finish up this unit or that unit before we break. I always tried to test on either the second or third to last class day before vacation officially begun. I would spend the Friday before just catching up, and it also gave the students that were absent the day of test at least one or two days to makeup the test.Which leaves you with the question: What do you do after the test? I would actually have the kids work on something fun yet practical while I called them up in ABC order for a one minute conference. What this meant was that I would simply tell them their grade and discuss any concerns. And we’re not perfect, sometimes there were errors and it would enable me to double check my handwritten grades against my electronic submissions.

One thing that I have used in the past as a fun, meaningful activity is the classic DNA extraction lab. I would let students choose to extract strawberry DNA (the bait being that strawberries are octoploidy so the procedure would yield more DNA), or they could actually extract their own DNA using their cheek cells. Just a note of advice: The cheek cell extraction can be difficult if you do not put the rubbing alcohol in the freezer for at least a few hours before you begin. It’s best to stick in the freezer the day before to ensure the best results. Check out this FREEBIE!

Slide1All you need are some household ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep. It’s “easy cheeky strawberry squeezy!”

Your grocery list includes:
wooden coffee stirrers
cheesecloth
salt
detergent (Dawn works well)
rubbing alcohol

Here is a picture of the lab using cheek cells, this isn’t the best example I’ve seen, I forgot my camera that day  😆
DNA Extraction Lab


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