Bonnie Waltz, Deanna Mayers, Tracy Rains
Life Science, Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
9, 10, 11, 12
  • Biology
  • Disease
  • Genetics
  • Mendelian and Non-Mendelian Inheritance
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Genetic Disorders

    Genetic Disorders


    DNA is the key to human life. When DNA is corrupted, changes occur in specific parts of the organism. Some of these changes can be fatal while others are beneficial. In this lesson we will look at the process of DNA mutation and how it impacts proteins produced by the organism.  You will research different genetic disorders and empathize with the impacts they have on your body.


    BIO.B.2.1 Compare Mendelian and non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance.


    Introductory warm-up activity.

    Genetic disorders can be a devastating. One change in a DNA sequence can make a person's life change forever. To get started, watch this video “Top 10 Genetic Disorders” to gain a better understanding of what it is like to have one of these diseases.  


    Read or watch the resources to learn about this concept, then do the practice activity.






    Learn more about this concept by reading this “article on mutations.”

    Complete the “reading guide” while you work.

    Learn more about DNA mutations by watching the following video, “The Different Type of Mutations.”


    For this simulation you get to “Mutate DNA.” Select the type of mutation, then look at how the protein changes.  Proteins are key to the creation of “us.”  Any changes to those proteins and you have a problem.  


    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.


    In the lesson reading, the concept of mutations and protein construction often go hand in hand.  For this prompt, explain why that is so.  Describe the connection between these two and why it's important to understand.  


    Now it is time to self-check how much you have learned about the this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.


    In this project you will be selecting a genetic disorder of your own choice.  You will “create an infographic” to illustrate what you have learned about this disorder.   Use these “instructions to guide you.”  When complete, you can evaluate your work using this “rubric.”


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning.  

    After completing this learning experience, you have a better understanding of genetics and how they impact your health.  Based on this knowledge, reflect on the prompt below.

    • How would your life be different if you had a genetic disorder? Think through a day; what activities would be easier? Which one would be more difficult?