Sandra E. Broomes William T. Sherman School

1000 W. 52nd St.

Chicago IL 60609

(773) 535-1757


grades K-9

understanding DNA, which is the genetic material for every person and every other living thing

Materials Needed:

Materials are listed for groups of 2-4.

Project 1. - 1. Large grape 2. Sandwich size ziplock bag 3. Lemon Jello

Project 2. - 1. Masking tape 2. 2 pennies 3. Marking pen 4. Pencil 5. Ruler 6. Sheet of typing paper   7. Small hand towel

Project 3. - 1. ZOOB

Project 4. - 1. Scissors 2. Model of double helix

Project 5. - 1. Sculpt hubs


Project 1

  1. Mix Jello ingredients.
  2. Let Jello cool at room temperature.
  3. Pour the Jello into the ziplock bag.
  4. Seal the ziplock bag.
  5. Place the ziplock bag into the refrigerator.
  6. Let it chill for about 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  7. Remove the Jello from the refrigerator and open the bag.
  8. Use a finger to insert the large grape into the center.
  9. Reseal the bag and then put the bag on a flat surface.
  10. Observe its shape as it is now.
  11. Gently squeeze the bag.
  12. Observe as you squeeze the bag.

Project 2

  1. Place one small piece of tape on the front and back of each penny.
  2. Use the pen to write a capital E on one side of each penny and a lowercase e on the other side.
  3. Use the pencil, ruler, and paper to prepare a chart.
  4. Stretch the towel out on a table.
  5. Hold both coins in your hands and shake them back and forth several times, then toss the coins together over the towel.
  6. Put an X on your chart under "Trail 1" and next to the letter combination showing coins.
  7. Toss the coins three more times, recording each letter combination under Trail 1.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 6 two more times, recording the results of each trial.

Project 3

  1. Sort out the different pieces.
  2. Connect the different pieces to form a double helix.

Project 4

  1. Cut out the four pages from the book.
  2. Looking at the inside of the model score along all score lines.
  3. Cut out precisely and fold into hill and valley.
  4. Fold as it is indicated and crease firmly.
  5. Glue all 8 pieces together using the letters A through G in alphabetical order to make a single large net.
  6. Crease paper and check how the paper folds to form the double helix.
  7. Start gluing with flap number 1.
  8. Work in numerical order from 1 to 13 until the double helix is completed.

Performance Assessment:

Students will be assessed on the following items:


DNA by Sonja Broomes, 1998

Amazing schemes within Your Genes by Dr. Fran Balkwill. Carolrhoda Books, Inc.1993

Understanding DNA and Gene Cloning A Guide for the Curious by Karl Drlica

DNA The Marvellous Molecule by Borin Van Loon. Targuin Publications. 1990.

DNA and the Creation of New Life. The Arco How it Works Series.