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Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
Title of Lesson
Exploring Ethical
Issues in Genetics
April 13th,
C&A Plan Title
Ethics in Genetics
Lesson # in unit
Biology (SBI 3U)
D (Genetics)
Class length (minutes)
75 min
South Carleton High School
Brief Description
In this lesson students will learn different ways that genetics research can be useful and
controversial. They will research and discuss different scenarios that present ethical issues in the
field of genetics and will develop ideas of how to navigate these kinds of questions.
Lesson’s Guiding Question
How is genetics research an ethical issue, and how can we navigate these dilemmas?
Overall & Specific Expectations for this Lesson
A1.11 communicate ideas, plans, procedures, results, and conclusions orally, in writing, and/or in
electronic presentations, using appropriate language and a variety of formats (e.g., data tables,
laboratory reports, presentations, debates, simulations, models)
D1.1 analyse, on the basis of research, some of the social and ethical implications of research in
genetics and genomics (e.g., genetic screening, gene therapy, in vitro fertilization) [IP, PR, AI, C]
D3.5 describe some reproductive technologies (e.g., cloning, artificial insemination, in vitro
fertilization, recombinant DNA), and explain how their use can increase the genetic diversity of a
species (e.g., farm animals, crops)
Prior Knowledge Activation (Prior to this lesson, students will have...)
Prior to this lesson students will have learned the basics of genetics and mendilian inheritance.
They will have already learned the process of meiosis and its impact on inheritance through
crossing over.
Learning Intentions:
Success criteria:
1. Learning Intentions
Today I will:
Learn the beneficial applications of genetics and
ethical issues surrounding them.
2. Why?
Success Criteria for this Lesson: (complete
phrases below)
* I can explain different ways that genetics can
be used to better society.
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
So that we can have a better understanding
of real-world applications of genetics and
appreciate different methods of regulating
the field.
* I can describe different areas where genetics
research and application can lead to ethical
*I can discuss different methods that can be
used to regulate and prevent the unethical use
of genetics research.
Work Skills and Habits
Learning Environment
Independent Work
Resources and Materials
Students will have different portions of
the lesson where they will work
independently or work collaboratively
at their desk in their table groupings
(groups of 3-4).
Technology Integration
YouTube Clip of “Voyager:
B’elanna’s baby”
Hot topics & ethical Dilemma
Chrome books and smartphones for
Considerations for Learners with Exceptionalities (e.g., accommodations, modifications,
extension activities)
Students who prefer working individually can work individually on the research for their group
Those who have strong leadership skills or require the assistance of another student can work in
groups for research but must ensure that they are not in the same group as their research partner
when we divide into discussion groups.
Students will be provided with chrome books to benefit those who use assistive technology.
Written instructions for visual learners as well as auditory explanation for auditory learners.
Lesson Execution: Hook, Development and Closure
10 min
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
Description of Hook:
The hook will be presented at the beginning of the lesson. I will play the YouTube video of “Voyager:
B’elanna’s Baby”. Group discussion on the video.
55 min
Description of Development:
5 min to explain that students our activity for today and hand out their different genetics hot
topics on interactive excel.
20 min of individual or group research on the hot topic they have been assigned.
30 min Group discussion on the different topics. Each student takes a turn sharing. Each group
has a member with each of the five hot topics. Groups will then discuss the ethical dilemmas
provided to their group when they are ready.
10 min
Description of Closure:
Discuss as a class the findings of each group as a class, what did they find that was interesting,
what conclusions did they make on the different ethical dilemmas.
Have students share any other areas that they think that genetics research could be beneficial
or cause an ethical dilemma.
Assessment Tool
Monitoring students in their discussion groups.
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
Appendix A:
Hot Topics in Genetics
Each student will select a genetics topic from the list below to research.
Research topics:
 Genetically Modified Organisms
 In Vitro Fertilization
 Prenatal Screening
 Genetic testing
 Selective Breeding
You will spend the first part of class either researching your topic individually or with a partner that has
the same topic as you. You will target your research to answer the questions below.
Research Questions:
 A brief explanation of this area of genetics and how it works.
 What beneficial purposes does this area of genetics provide?
 What potentially ethical dilemmas result from this area of genetics?
 Any other interesting information you found on this topic?
Feel free to take notes on your research so that you have your information ready to share with your
discussion groups. After the research phase is complete, you will be joining a group where each of the
members has a different topic than you (discussion group). You are now the expert on your topic in the
group. You and your group members will take turns sharing your findings on your individual topics. Once
you are done sharing, you will be provided with some ethical dilemmas that relate to the topics you
have researched. Your group will discuss these dilemmas and consider how you would respond to the
situation or what sort of legislation should be put in place to prevent these sorts of situations.
We will be sharing our group’s findings with the whole class at the end of class.
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
Appendix B:
Ethical Dilemmas in Genetics
A husband and wife decide to freeze some embryos to have their children later in life. However, the
man and women get a divorce. The man remarries and decides that he no longer wants to have children.
The woman does not re-marry but decides that she wants to have children. She asks her ex-husband to
allow her to implant the embryos. The man refuses. The woman takes the case to court to try to obtain
the right to implant the embryos. Should she be granted the right to implant her embryos?
Genetic Testing:
Life insurance companies can require their customers to complete health examinations before
determining their insurance rates. Should Insurance companies be allowed to require their clients to
undergo genetic testing prior to determining their insurance rates? What if the client is already aware of
a genetic disease?
Prenatal Screening:
Two parents are both heterozygous with a recessive gene that causes blindness. They decided to
undergo prenatal screening for their first pregnancy. The screening indicates that the child will not be
blind, so they carried the baby to term. They undergo prenatal screening for their second pregnancy and
are informed that the child is homozygous recessive for the blindness gene. Is it ethical for these parents
to terminate the pregnancy?
In 2018 a scientist, He Jiankui, used CRISPER (a gene editing technology) to alter the genetic structure of
two human embryos. He claims to have disabled a gene that encodes a protein that allows HIV to enter
cells. His intent was to protect them from HIV by mimicking a mutation that exists in about 10% of the
European population. Was it ethical for the doctor to modify the genetics of these children to prevent
them from getting a disease?
Selective Breeding
Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to genetic diseases because of selective breeding. Pugs are
more susceptible to elongated soft pallets, knee disorders and larynx collapses. Is it ethical for dog
breeders to continue to breed more purebred pugs, knowing that the health of the breed will decrease
while doing so?
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
This inclusive lesson plan for a grade 11 Biology class was designed to meet the
individual needs of the students in the class. This lesson provides an outline of a highly engaging
class that that is accessible to each of the students. Recorded below are the specific ways that
this lesson meets the various needs of the students in the class.
Learning Styles:
This lesson plan addresses all the learning styles of the students in the class. The class
contains three kinds of learners: auditory, visual, and tactile. The lesson provides engagement
for the auditory learners through verbal instruction and discussion groups. Visual learners can
use a printed handout with written instructions for the activity to follow along in their preferred
method. They will also benefit from using chrome books to read and do research on their given
topics. The exploratory nature of the activity will resonate with the tactile learners in the class,
allowing them to explore the “hot topic” that most interests them.
Learning Preferences:
There are a few different learning preferences in the class: Verbal/Linguistic,
Logical/Mathematical, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal. The Verbal linguistic learners will
appreciate the group discussion times during the activity, allowing them to benefit from
conversing on the topics with their peers. The Logical/Mathematical learners in the class will
appreciate the challenge to consider the reason behind each of the different “hot topics” and
how they can be used for good. Inquiry into these questions will provide them with
engagement and will allow them to resonate with the activity. The option to work
independently or in groups for the research portion of the activity allows for both the
interpersonal and Intrapersonal learners to choose their preferred learning style.
Strengths and Areas of Need:
The lesson is used to take advantage of different children’s strengths and cater to the
areas of need of each of the students. The activity involves a fair amount of independent
reading, a strength of Angela. Keith will be able to enjoy the hands-on aspects of the project
and will enjoy thinking creatively during our discussion groups. Sean and Amanda will enjoy
their ability to do research for the topic independently on the computer. Troung will be allowed
to do research in their own language, reducing their challenge as an ELL. The handout with the
instructions and the ethical dilemmas will be provided in their language as well. Haneem will
enjoy being able to do research with a partner and the ability to participate in group
Instructional Strategies:
Differentiated Lesson Plan _ Miranda Tyler
Verbal instruction is paired with written format in the lesson so that Angela can more
easily follow along with the class, and as there is no required written component, and so she
does not need to worry about requiring extra time. Keith will enjoy the hands-on experience, as
mentioned previously, and will enjoy his opportunity for leadership skills during the group
discussion. The information for the stages of the project will be written down on the handout,
but the teacher will also be interrupting the class and giving guidance during transition periods
so that Sean is able follow along and know what task he is currently to be working on. Troung
will appreciate that there are both verbal and visual instruction for the activity and that he can
do his research with another student in class. Hameen will enjoy the opportunities he has for
leadership in the discussion groups. Amanda will have the opportunity to have a written record
of her findings during the research portion of class, allowing her to utilize that skill.
Improvement in Learning:
This lesson is designed to take advantage of previous scenarios of student improvement.
It has been observed before that Angela’s learning is improved when real-life context is part of
the problem, this is true with our ethical dilemma scenarios. She has also demonstrated
improved learning when she can discuss with a partner, which is what she will be doing in our
discussion groups, and during research if she chooses. Sean has also shown past improvement
with engaging in real-world applications, and so these ethical dilemmas will be of strong
interest to him. Troung has shown improvement working with small groups, and so the small
discussion groups and option to do research with a partner will greatly benefit them.
Adjustments in instruction/Other interventions/use of supports:
Chromebooks will be provided for research, and so Angela will be able to use assistive
technology. Troung will be able to perform research in their first language and will receive the
document in English as well will be allowed to research with a peer. Sean will appreciate the
handout that explains the steps that we will be following during this class, to help him keep
This lesson plan was designed so that each student would feel comfortable and have
success during the class. The students should each be able to thrive at a different point during
the activity and be able to use their strongest skills. Students will also be able to work on their
areas of weakness during this class.