I want to share how I am leading my students through our unit on molecular biology with a narrative of sickle cell anemia (SCA).
Day 1: Introduce the problem of sickle cell anemia
Next, I introduced the driving questions or problem that we will be looking at.
#1 How does the gene for sickle cell anemia cause such dramatic changes in people’s health?
#2 Why has the disease sickle cell anemia become such a widespread problem in certain regions of the world?
I showed the students an image of where the incidence of SCA is in the world.
I collected these and read them to the class in four minutes. I am careful to praise genuine curiosity and correct early misconceptions about the concept.
At the end of class I made students diagram the process of protein synthesis. They had to copy this diagram three times in their lab notebooks for homework.