When introducing the topic of genetics to students, it may be hard to capture their attention and get them excited. It is possible, however, if you play your cards right. Getting your students excited about genetics is easiest by finding ways to capture their attention and show them how genetics plays a part in society.
Ways to Get Your Students Excited About Genetics
1. Create a timeline
After your initial introduction of genetics, ask your students to create a timeline from the information you taught them. This would be an easy and fun way to end the first day of learning about genetics.
2. Show a video.
Students love to watch videos. Find an interesting, exciting video about one of your genetics topics and use that to assist in teaching and capturing the attention of your students. Hearing it explained differently may help with understanding or inspiration.
3. Make it personal.
Explain to the students how genetics affects their physical appearance. Make a game out of it so the students can learn about their own genetic make up. Talk about freckles, allergies, eye colors, and hair colors.
4. Keep the lessons short.
Genetics can be overwhelming and confusing, so don’t give too much information at one time. Introduce a small section of information at a time, and then plan fun assignments or activities to further the students’ understanding.
5. Create a person or animal using genes.
This person or animal will be imaginary, of course, but students will have fun and be able to visualize how genetics works. There are many lesson ideas for this online.
6. Talk about genetics and hereditary diseases.
There are many diseases that can be passed on through genes, and students may be interested in learning about it. You could talk about how these genetic imperfections were discovered and then discuss what that means for the future.
7. Have a debate
After students have a fair understanding of genetics, split the class up and have a debate. Students love having a reason to argue, so if you tell them about this debate before the genetics lessons ever begin, they may be more likely to listen, learn, and ask questions along the way. By debating, the information is becoming more concrete in the student’s minds.
8. Play Jeopardy
Games are a fun way to get students excited about genetics. You can divide the class up into teams and practice answering future test questions with a Jeopardy game.
9. Wrap it all up with a research paper.
Once the students have learned about different areas of genetics, they will likely have decided which area interests them the most. Allow the students to write a research paper on a genetics topic of their choice.
Students must understand how genetics relates to them and that it explains much of those around them. With the right technique, your students will be excited about genetics before the lesson ever begins.