Resources for Biology Teachers

Lesson Plans and Classroom Materials for the Biology Teacher

Araport develops one-week learning modules for high school and college biology courses. The materials include lesson plans, worksheets, posters, videos, and tests. The lessons address specific aspects of plant biology (e.g. photosynthesis or DNA transcription). The lesson plans incorporate usage of the powerful Araport web site so as to encourage development of bioinformatics, data mining, and statistical analysis skills as applied to modern genome science. The learning modules are being developed in collaboration with teacher interns starting Summer 2015.

Araport Lesson Plans


Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre-Joseph_Redouté
Title100: Stopping to Smell the Flowers
Learning Objective:

HS-LS1.A Structure and Function

  • Systems of specialized cells within organisms help them perform the essential functions of life.
  • All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules. Genes are regions of DNA that contain the instructions that code for the formation of proteins, which carry out most of the work of cells.
  • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level.

HS-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms

  • Cellular division and differentiation produce and maintain a complex organism, composed of systems of tissues and organs that work together to meet the needs of the whole organism.
Author:Margot Goldberg
Recommended Level:9-12
Materials Needed:Powerpoint Slides, Handouts, Student devices with internet access, Araport.org, FLOR-ID

Image Source: http://aboutlifting.com/
Title101: Introduction to Gene Mining Part A: BLASTn-off!
Learning Objective:

After completing this lesson, Part A, Students will be able to: Provide examples of biological models and state why they are useful. List characteristics of Arabidopsis thaliana that make it a useful model organism. Use OMIM to find information about a genetic disease. Explain why bioinformatics tools are needed to analyze large data sets. Find information about a gene of interest on NCBI including FASTA sequence and function. Perform a BLASTn comparison and identify the result with highest similarity using E-value, scores, % query, graphics, description, and alignment results.

Author:Andrea Cobb, Ph.D.
Recommended Level:9-12, College Level
Materials Needed:Computers with internet access (students may work individually or in pairs)

Image Source: Microsoft office clip art
Title102: Introduction to Gene Mining, Part B: How similar are plant and human versions of a gene?
Learning Objective:

Explain gene or protein sequence conservation..
Discuss why some sequences might be conserved while others might not. Use NCBI protein BLAST, multiple alignment and distance trees to identify potential homologous proteins. Use Araport data to evaluate protein homology. Understand protein-protein interactions, co-expression and gene expression. Propose and defend their claim about the feasibility of using a plant model to study a human genetic disease.

Author:Andrea Cobb, Ph.D.
Recommended Level:9-12, College Level
Materials Needed:Computers with internet access (students may work individually or in pairs)

Image Source:
Title103: Mining Phenotypes: Reverse Genetics with Arabidopsis Mutants
Learning Objective:

Explain the concept of gene or protein sequence conservation..
Discuss why some sequences might be conserved while others might not. Use NCBI protein BLAST, multiple alignment and distance trees to identify potential homologous proteins. Use Araport data to evaluate protein homology. Understand protein-protein interactions, co-expression and gene expression. Propose and defend their claim about the feasibility of using a plant model to study a human genetic disease.

Author:Andrea Cobb, Ph.D.
Recommended Level:9-12, College Level
Materials Needed:Computers with internet access (students may work individually or in pairs)

Image Source: http://www.woothemes.com
Title1 000: Suggest an idea for a new lesson plan!
Learning Objective:

Educating the community about the significance of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome using bioinformatics tools.

Author:Araport Team
Recommended Level:1-5, 6-8, 9-12, College Level
Materials Needed:

Contact Us

Have a question or comment? Send us a message at araport@jcvi.org or at our Contact Us page.

ABRC