In this lesson, students will analyze an intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how biotechnology is being used to identify genetic conditions with a phone app that gathers data from a photo to generate a list of possible genetic conditions. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: biotechnology, genetic diseases, app, diagnosis, traits, Face2Gene, genetic testing, lesson plan, text complexity
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain how biotechnology is being used to help clinical geneticists diagnose genetic disorders
- Explain how the Face2Gene app tool is able to use facial features to diagnose genetic disorders
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text
- Provide an accurate summary of the text
- Determine the meaning of unknown academic and domain-specific words in the text
- Construct a piece of explanatory writing supported by textual evidence that accurately uses domain-specific and academic vocabulary
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students should have a general familiarity with basic genetics and the terms associated with it. The Khan Academy site has a video as well as reading material that touches on this topic.
- Students should have a general familiarity with some genetic diseases/conditions that can affect humans. If you are not currently studying this subject in class, you may want to show this video titled "Genetic Disorders and Diseases" (9:30, uploaded by YouTube user BestOfScience). It discusses some well known genetic disorders and their causes.
- For information on the specific disorders mentioned in the article, this National Institute of Health site provides information about each disorder. Links are provided after the name of a disorder has been entered into the search tool.
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine also has a link which describes the causes behind three types of general genetic conditions that may affect people and provides a variety of topics to explore.
- Have students read the article "How Facial Recognition Systems Work" so they have context about why the app can be used to diagnose certain genetic conditions. This resource has also been provided in the Accommodations portion of this lesson plan.
- Students may want to read more about FDNA, the company that developed the Face2Gene app.
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meanings based on how a word is used in a text.
- Based on the provided writing rubric, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), body paragraphs(s) to support the main point(s) and include relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that support the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- How has biotechnology made diagnosing specific genetic disorders easier?
- There are many common symptoms of genetic disorders, such as distinct facial features, intellectual disabilities, and physical disabilities, making an exact diagnosis difficult at times. There are genetic screenings that can test for a suspected condition, but they are expensive and may not provide exact or correct results. The development of an app that uses photos to analyze specific facial features has helped geneticists detect physical facial patterns associated with specific disorders. This tool provides assistance to a geneticist in diagnosing a disorder.
- What impact may the Face2Gene app have on the medical field?
- The Face2Gene app has provided a tool for clinical geneticists to help aid them in the diagnosis of rare and tricky-to-identify genetic conditions. By uploading a picture of the person with the genetic condition, databases are searched for information to provide possible lists of conditions and the likelihood of it being that condition. Facial recognition software is used to analyze information from the picture, primarily facial measurements, and quickly sends back a list of possible matches. The app provides a lead for geneticists to follow, and then the geneticist can confirm the diagnosis with blood tests and screenings. The app is also being used as a teaching tool at medical schools to help identify and label specific features common to certain genetic conditions.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by asking students, "What are some examples of genetic disorders/diseases?"
- Students may suggest: cystic fibrosis, Down's syndrome, hemophilia, Huntington's disease, sickle-cell disease, etc. If the students have already been introduced to genetics, these are some of the common genetic conditions often discussed in their Biology class. Inform students there are thousands of genetic related conditions/diseases that people may have.
- Ask the class, "What are some causes of genetic disorders in individuals?"
- Students may answer mutations in DNA sequences, the effects of environmental conditions, or chromosomal abnormalities.
- Ask the class if they know how genetic conditions may be diagnosed.
- Students may suggest physical examinations, personal/family medical history, laboratory tests, or screenings. Inform students that many genetic conditions have similar symptoms, and it is often a long and tedious process to identify some of the rarer genetic conditions.
- Show the class this Explain to students there is a new app called Face2Gene that is being used to help diagnose genetic conditions using facial recognition software. Inform them the picture they just viewed shows a child with Down's syndrome.
- End the discussion by telling students they will be reading an article from Smithsonian.com that discusses and describes more about the use of the Face2Gene app by the medical profession.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Provide each student with a text-only copy of "This App Uses Facial Recognition Software to Help Identify Genetic Conditions."
- Provide students with copies of the note-taking guide.
- Have them first complete each section of the SEED Discussion Organizer.
- Then, have students complete the vocabulary list.
- Students should complete the note-taking guide during or after their first reading of the article. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary section.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge, use context clues, and/or use a dictionary to define the words.
- Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
- Distribute a sticky note to each student and have them write on these any questions they may still have regarding the text.
- Address student questions by reading and responding to the sticky notes.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers should use the sample answer key included at the end of the note-taking guide to help them assess students' answers.
- For discussion of students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
- Students often confuse the terms disease, disorder, and syndrome. Use these to clarify the meaning of these terms.
- Students often believe all genetic conditions are inherited. Explain there are conditions such as Down's Syndrome caused by nondisjunction during meiosis, resulting in the genetic condition as well as a variety of other human chromosomal disorders. These disorders are not inherited.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and a grade. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key included at the end of the text-dependent questions to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the sample answers in the text-dependent questions answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review their responses to the other text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
- Teachers may have students use the rubric to provide a score for the sample written response and have them justify the scores they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a 4.
- Have students (in their table groups) write down 3 things they learned from the article and 1 question they still have.
- Share out loud, discuss.
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They must refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written responses will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts:
- Citing evidence from the article, explain the pros and cons of using this biotechnology to diagnose genetic conditions.
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students’ written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, “How will you check for student understanding?”
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science concepts:
- Have students look at the home page and read some of the information that is provided about this app.
- Have students read the article "How Facial Recognition Systems Work" so they have context about how the app can be used to diagnose certain genetic conditions.
For readers struggling with the note-taking guide:
- Teachers might want to fill in some of the answers on the graphic organizer together.
- In the summary section, teachers might want to provide a few sentence starters to help students.
For readers struggling to understand the text:
- Have students match text terms and definitions with a partner. Have students skim the article independently. They can then "shoulder-partner share": What do you think the article is about?
- Have students close-read the article based upon their reading level of students' readability.
For struggling writers:
- You might provide an outline to help students structure their responses. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- Suggestions on text specifics to support their topic
- Topic sentences for each paragraph in body of writing
- Ideas on how to conclude their writing and connect it back to the introduction
- Have students research their "question" they still have from the SEED summarizing activity.
- Have students research a biotechnological advancement in genetics made in the last five years. Create a PowerPoint presentation conveying this information.
- There are several resources available on CPALMS: enter "biotechnology" into the keyword search to find resources. Resources range from lesson plans to Perspective videos by experts in the field. It is probably important teachers provide some guidelines for the students in their search.
- Have students "invent" another app that would assist in creating healthier lives for humans. Create a poster/brochure of the idea.
- Have small groups research one of the genetic conditions listed in the article and report back to the class with their findings.
- Have students research others apps or ideas for apps that will help with the diagnosis of medical conditions. This may be a starting point as it discusses a grant provided to help fund these types of apps.
- Students should have a working definition of biotechnology and how it affects humans. Watch this TEDTalk video Bringing Biotechnology into the Home.
- The video addresses the benefits of having biotechnology as an accessible tool, not just something that is used in laboratories.
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Microsoft Office
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Kimberly O&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#39;Connell
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Volusia
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.