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How-To: Develop as a Professional

A Gene Journal: Creating a Newspaper about Genetics Judy Jones

One of the classes that I teach is a group of AVID students in grades 9 and 10. (See my earlier article about this program, The AVID program in Chapel Hill, NC). Recently, my two AVID colleagues and I were collaborating on what projects to design for these students to help them develop their writing skills and also their ability to use technology effectively. There already was an existing project for the 10th grade students – to research some of the HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and prepare a powerpoint presentation.

We decided that a good experience for the 9th grade students was to create a newspaper. I suggested that “genetics” would be a useful topic since that is the general area of study in their 9th grade biology class and it is also an area that challenges them. Together we agreed that this would give them help in their biology classes and also meet our goals – developing writing skills and learning to use computer productivity tools.

It was my task to design this project which I am sharing with you. When I was discussing this project with another colleague (a biology teacher), we became excited about the possibility of adapting it for many other topics. This spring we are going to modify it to address our students’ study of the various phyla of living things. I hope that you will find the project useful – and that you will consider adapting it to many other topic areas.

My experience has been that students learn a great deal from projects that involve research and then presentation of what they have learned in a way that allows them to express their creativity.

Target Group: 9th grade biology students.
Designed to be done in groups of 2 or 3 students.

Relevant National Science Standards:
CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

  • Molecular basis of heredity

CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

  • Science as a human endeavor
  • Nature of scientific knowledge
  • Historical perspectives

CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of

  • Personal and community health
  • Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
To the Newspaper Project.

Please share your ideas with me  via e-mail. To the How To's


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