Protein Synthesis Made Simple

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SWBAT follow the processes of DNA transcription and translation as they relate to creation of a specific protein.

Big Idea

Protein synthesis does not have to be intimidating or boring. This lesson simplifies the process of transcription and translation to make proteins relevant and interesting to your students!

Hook - Examining Proteins

10 minutes

Students will watch this video as a review of the structure and function of proteins in the human body.  Students will take notes from the video clip that will serve as whole-class discussion topics at the conclusion of the video.  

The video serves as a broad review of the structure and function of proteins at the beginning of the lesson so students are able to understand the "big" picture of protein's roles in the human body.  As the lesson progresses, students will be introduced to the complex process of protein synthesis.

Direction Instruction - Step-By-Step Synthesis

25 minutes

Students will get out a sheet of paper and title it Lecture Notes - Protein Synthesis.  It is critical that students can visualize the intricate details of this process.  If possible, teachers are encouraged to utilize an interactive Smart Board or ActiveSlate so they can annotate over each slide to highlight the important details of each concept.  Students are encouraged to read the lecture notes on the course website the night before in an attempt to familiarize themselves with the vocabulary and diagrams so that the in-class lecture can be most effective to optimize student learning.

Students have been introduced to the basic structure of proteins in an earlier lesson that reviewed the different categories of organic molecules. This lesson builds on that prior knowledge by examining the process that uses the structure of a DNA sequence to determine the structure and corresponding function of a protein.

Students will have an opportunity to apply and practice this knowledge through two lessons: Monster Mash and Transcription With A Bling.


Independent Practice - Student Study Guide

15 minutes

Students will use their lecture notes and textbook to complete each box of Student Study Guide Chart which will serve as a review for each of the following processes: DNA replication, Transcription, and Translation.  This study tool will enable students to create an easy to use reference sheet that will guide their understanding of how the structure of DNA will determine the sequence of the complimentary messenger RNA strand (mRNA) which will in turn be translated into amino acids that covalently bond together to make a protein chain.

For Teacher Use - Chart-replication,transcription,translation - KEY

Students are strongly suggested to keep this completed document in a safe place to ensure that they will be able to reference in upcoming lessons and during study sessions for upcoming assessments.

Transcription Chart - Student Work Samples - Each of these three samples demonstrate a varied level of student comprehension based on the accuracy of these responses and the level of details that were provided in each response.  It is evident from the documents that students took advantage of the class review session based on the scratched out original responses and correct answers added in to the chart.


Close - Modeling The Process

5 minutes

Students will use their lecture notes, data table, and textbook as guides to develop a model for the processes of transcription and translation.  In addition to the student-developed artistic models, students will create a narration to explain the details of each process and how they contribute/enable to protein synthesis to occur.

Students are reminded to use the question, "How does the structure of DNA determine the structure and function of a protein?" in mind as they create their models.