More Alike Than Different

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More Alike Than Different


Students often focus on what makes them different from one another, when in fact the instruction manual for life, our DNA, is nearly identical. Such superficial differences as skin and hair color, height or just the shape of our ears make up just a tiny part of the human body. By understanding the role of DNA in organisms and how these traits are determined, students should realize that all of us are more alike than we are different.

Covering topics from North Carolina's 5th and 8th grade science standards, as well as high school Biology, More Alike Than Different is a blended lesson that combines interactive components with hands-on activities. With enough content to fill 2 full weeks of class time, the lesson begins with two Engage activities to introduce students to the topic, including How Are We Alike? a short animation featuring four students who pose an inquiry to the class: How are humans more than 99% alike?

The rest of the lesson helps students gain the knowledge they will need to solve that inquiry, through modeling, group activities, laboratory exploration and other rich content that not only educates students about DNA, but challenges them to rethink how much they really have in common with each other.

UNC-TV is proud to include Life's Instruction Manual, an interactive component that features an animated glossary, three short animations (on the genome, DNA and genes), and interactive quizzes and projects, as part of the More Alike Than Different blended lesson. You can access this component here, or by clicking the link in the Explain portion of the 5E Lesson. Life's Instruction Manual presents some key information that will help students form solutions to the inquiry problem. The blended lesson ends with a suggested Evaluate assignment that will allow students to share their answer to the inquiry question, as well as what they have learned about DNA, in creative ways, and with an Extend activity that challenges them to explore controversial applications of DNA-based tools, using content from the UNC-TV broadcast program Sci NC.