OpenSciEd®: Biology 3: Inheritance & Variation of Traits 1-Class Unit Kit


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Biology. In Biology 3: Inheritance & Variation of Traits, Carolina Certified Version*, students work to answer the Unit Driving Question: "Who gets cancer and why? What can we do about it?"

This unit is designed to deepen student understanding of inheritance and variation of traits through an exploration of cancer as a phenomenon. In the first lesson set, students explore the genetic basis of cancer by investigating what cancer is and how mutations that can increase risk for cancer occur. While there are many genes implicated in cancer, the unit focuses on p53, a tumor suppressor gene that is involved in many different cancers. In the second lesson set, students investigate cancer caused by mutations that occur throughout our lifetimes, inherited mutations, and how the environment can cause mutations. In the third lesson set, students investigate additional factors that explain differences across the US in both instances of cancer and mortality, as well as access to and feasibility of treatment options. They also explore the role of health navigator as a way to advocate for and help support friends and family who may be experiencing cancer.

Throughout the unit, students will:

  • Develop a model and ask questions to explain and predict the causal factors of cancer and the possible protective effects from p53.
  • Construct an explanation based on evidence about how mutations occur and the role of p53 in their repair.
  • Use a model to illustrate the relationships between DNA structure and the structure and function of p53.
  • Use a computer simulation as evidence to develop and revise a model that predicts how the rate of cell division affects the likelihood of cancer.
  • Develop and use multiple models to explain how the inheritance of p53 alleles and other gene alleles can cause cancer in multiple generations of a family through new combinations of alleles.
  • Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about current treatment options, using criteria related to human systems, and predict outcomes for individuals.
  • Propose a solution about how to use health navigators in cancer prevention and treatment that considers a wide range of constraints within the context of the healthcare system.

This 1-Class Unit Kit comes with basic teacher access to instructional materials on, plus the materials needed for a teacher to teach 1 class of 32 students per day.

Building Toward NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs)

  • HS-LS1-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
  • HS-LS2-6**: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • HS-LS2-7**: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • HS-LS4-1: Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
  • HS-LS4-2**: Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
  • HS-LS4-4**: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
  • HS-LS4-5**: Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
  • HS-ESS2-7†: Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth.
**This performance expectation is developed across multiple OpenSciEd biology units.
†This performance expectation is developed across multiple OpenSciEd courses.

Focal Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs)

  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Developing and Using Models

Focal Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs)

  • LS1.A: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Function
  • LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
  • LS4.C: Adaptation
  • LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
  • ESS2.E: Earth's Systems
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Focal Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

*All enhancements to materials and instruction for this Carolina Certified Version of the unit are approved by OpenSciEd® to preserve the integrity of the storyline and the instructional model.


Shipping Information or Purchase Restrictions
  • Limited Qty: Flammable Liquid - This product is/contains a limited quantity of a DOT regulated hazardous material. This item will not incur a hazmat fee when shipped by ground. Orders shipping to HI and AK are subject to review and may incur additional shipping charges.
What’s Included:
  •  Living Materials Voucher, Inheritance & Variation of Traits (for Saccharomyces cerevisiae [yeast] strains) (voucher item)
  •  Unit Technology Pack (basic digital access to teacher's guide and all instructional resources for the teacher)
  •  Aluminum Foil, 25-ft Roll
  •  Bags, Plastic, Resealable, 6 x 9"
  •  Beads, Blue Pony
  •  Beads, Light Blue Pony
  •  Beads, Red Pony
  •  Beads, Yellow Pony
  •  Card Sets, Amino Acid
  •  Card Sets, Cellular Chance
  •  Card Sets, Checkpoint
  •  Card Sets, DNA Sequence
  •  Card Sets, Mitosis Phase
  •  Card, BRCA1 Gene Pedigree
  •  Card, Multiple Models
  •  Cards, Cell Cycle Data
  •  Cell Game Boards
  •  Chips, Cancer Cell
  •  Chips, Non-Cancer Cell
  •  Ethanol, 95%, 500 mL
  •  Glass Beads
  •  Melt and Pour YED Medium, 350 mL
  •  Mitosis Card Sort Key
  •  Note Pads, Self-Adhesive, Yellow, 3 x 3"
  •  Pawns, Assorted Colors
  •  Petri Dishes, 100 x 15 mm
  •  Pipe Cleaners, 30 cm (12")
  •  Pipets, Transfer, Sterile, 1 mL
  •  Plastic Wrap, Roll
  •  Toothpicks, Round, Box
  •  Top-Loading Sheet Protectors
  •  Transformation Tubes with Caps, 15 mL
Return Policy:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with this item, it is eligible for a return, exchange, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase. Restrictions may apply. Returns & Exchanges Policy.