Teaching GMOs Using TED-ED in a 9th-12th grade Biomedical Technology Classroom


(CarbonNYC, 2011)

The Context for My Lesson

Biomedical Technology I is a course that combines technology and advances in healthcare research. Units covered in this course include cancer and cell biology, infectious diseases, biomedical research, organ donations, forensic medicine, uses of animals in research, and genetics primer. Before the lesson, students will read the following article: How Do You Get People To Eat More Veggies? Genetic Engineering!. Prior to students reading the article, we will engage in a before readings discussion. We will then explore essential questions such as “How can we assess whether risks are great enough to justify banning techniques?” after the lesson. After the lesson, we will have “story time” in which students will go around the room stating one thing that they learned to them or what stood out to them the most.

Prior to the lesson, my students will comprehend the basics of genes and ultimately what they are made up, which is DNA. Students will also need to know that heredity is when genes are passed from one generation to the next through mental and physical characteristics. They need to understand about how genes work and the fact that genes are the basic and physical function of heredity. In Biomedical, students need a foundation and know the basics to Biology to completely understand the curriculum in Biomedical.

This lesson will be a part of the unit: Genetics Primer for students in 9th-12th grade. The media that will be used during this lesson is TED-ED and the article on the internet. Students will also have a homework assignment to research GMO’s or Genetically Modified Organisms further via the internet. TED-ED will be integrated into that lesson because it is tool that can be customized to any lesson. TED-ED lessons are useful in engaging students by using YouTube videos, essential questions, and to dig deeper with discussion questions. In turn, TED-ED is being used in this lesson to spark interests of my students by using an educational video to teach the lesson.

The Standard(s) this Lesson Meets

The standard this lesson will meet is: BMTI: 4.00 Other issues in science

4.02 Genetics Primer (NC Public Schools, 2004).

The Media or Technology I am Integrating

My TED-ED lesson is first introduced with a YouTube video called “GMO A Go Go-Truth about GMO’s explained in new animated cartoon”. Students will answer four open ended questions that include: define GMO’s or Genetically Modified Organisms, what two foods are GMO’s hidden in?, what are some health problems involved with the use of GMO’s?, and do you think any of the food you eat contain GMO’s. If so, which? Explain in further detail. These questions will allow students to think about what they watched and to dig deeper into the topic of GMO’s. Students will then view additional resources to dig deeper into the background of GMO’s. Such resources are: GMO Health RisksHow are GMOs are created?, and Effects of GMO.

Following these viewings, students will answer a guided question that asks if “Genetically modified plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola, have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. The inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, which have never been in the human food supply. Due to these modifications, growing health concerns are arising. Which health concerns stand out to you the most, why? After other students have posted a response, students will be asked to respond to at least two other posts. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to define and give examples of health affects related to GMO’s. In conclusion, you learn to pay close attention to the foods you are consuming. This lesson is necessary in how foods are genetically manipulated so that you are aware of the health concerns and how DNA is manipulated.

To view the TED ED lesson, follow the link: GMO TED ED LESSON

The Rationale for Integrating the Media or Technology into this Lesson

This TED-ED example is being integrated to my overall lesson to engage such 21st century learners. Technology and media are around almost every aspect of a students life, from community interactions all the way to their home life. The importance to include technology and media into student school atmosphere is utterly important since technology are revolved around every part of their lives. This in turn stimulates learning by engaging students in what interests them. “Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process”(Edutopia, 2008).

According to Capella University, reasons to incorporate technology in the classroom includes engaging students and it creates active learners, encourages individual learning and growth, facilitates peer collaboration, prepares students for the real world, and creates more engaged and successful teachers (Capella University, 2014). This proves that technology integration supports the components of curriculum learning through active engagement, group involvement, and through feedback from the teacher.

The Integration of the Media or Technology Into the Lesson

The TED-ED example will be integrated into the lesson by using it as a tool to engage student learning. Students will first read the article How to Get People to Eat More Veggies to stimulate their thinking. Next, students will be instructed using their Chromebooks and earbuds to watch the YouTube video GMO A GO GO. After students have viewed the video, I will give them approximately fifteen minutes to discuss in groups their thoughts of the videos and answer the four questions in TED ED. After the fifteen minutes is up, as a class, we will discuss the following questions:

  1. Define GMOs or Genetically Modified Organism.
  2. What two types of foods are GMOs hidden in.
  3. What are some health problems associated with GMOs.
  4. Do you think any of the foods you eat contain GMOs? If so, which? Explain in further detail.

For homework, students will be required to answer the “dig deeper” question, view additional resources, and respond to two peers. The dig deeper question is: Genetically modified plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola, have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. The inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, which have never been in the human food supply. Due to these modifications, growing health concerns are arising. Which health concerns stand out to you the most, why?

The following day will be used to discuss student thoughts.

My Evaluation of the Media or Technology Integration

In my lesson, I chose to integrate my TED ED example as a way to engage students in learning. I began by providing students with an article to introduce GMOs. From there I introduced the TED ED lesson and once students watched the video and answered their questions, we discussed it as a class.  I feel as though this method will help my students in learning by getting them to think critically by exploring other issues in science in genetics according to the NC DPI standards.

Media integration will specific students in 9th-12th grade Biomedical course by spiking their interest by using media and technology as a tool for such 21st century learners. Some of the ways media integration doesn’t work is the actual teacher and student learning experience. The teacher facilitates learning through media in which media cannot do. It is impossible for media to take the place of a teacher because teachers are there to connect the media to the actual material in the lessons. By using media in this way to helps teach the content, the learners will be able to relate their interests in media/technology to the content that meets the standard outlined by NC DPI. Under the standard 4.00 Other Issues in Science in Biomedical Technology, GMOs are covered under 4.02 Genetics Primer.


GMOs by CarbonNYC [in SFI]                                                                                                                     (2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/carbonyc/6232861142

GMOs. (2013). How Are GMOs Created? Retrieved July 10, 2016, from                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G-yUuiqIZ0

GMO A Go Go – Truth about GMOs explained in new animated cartoon.                                 (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2016, from                                                                             http://ed.ted.com/on/x5Qh1QZp

Health Risks – Institute for Responsible Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved July                           10, 2016, from http://responsibletechnology.org/gmo-                                         education/health-risks/

Highlights. (2004). Retrieved July 08, 2016, from                                                                           http://www.ncpublicschools.org/

Reasons to Incorporate Technology into Your Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved                            July 10, 2016, from                                                                                                              http://www.capella.edu/blogs/cublog/benefits-of-                                                technology-in-the-classroom

Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many.                               (2008). Retrieved July 10, 2016, from                                                                           http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-                                               introduction                                                                   

Wilson, M. (n.d.). How Do You Get People To Eat More Veggies? Genetic                                Engineering! Retrieved July 10, 2016, from                                                                http://www.fastcodesign.com/1672053/how-do-you-get-                                  people-to-eat-more-veggies-genetic-engineering




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