Class OnAir Lesson 9.mp4

Direct Instruction

In this lesson students were greeted with a cartoon plant and cartoon human, complete with labels pointing to different types of cells. This led to a short discussion once they were settled, which in turn stimulated a plethora of DNA/developmental/biological questions. After watching a short video of the development of a baby in a womb from conception onwards, students completed an anticipation guide each before watching a short Netflix episode about CRISPR and being able to edit the genes of embryos in the future. Then students engaging in a group reading about "Designer babies" and if there had been time, would have reflected on whether their knowledge and opinions had changed from the original completion of their anticipation guide.

Extended plan here


The class was very engaged during this lesson. I was unsure whether to spend some time explaining what genes and DNA before this lesson, but decided to stick to the established order of our topics; cells first, genes and DNA second. Therefore, at the time of this lesson students were a little unsure about what genes were but still appeared to grasp the bigger picture. This introductory lesson was part hook (students were curious about the development of an unborn child, and how twins are formed, etc), was also useful to link their previous learning about cells to something tangible (the development of a baby) and provided an opportunity for a literacy activity (annotation and group reading). The Netflix episode about CRISPR and the group reading about editing genes in the future included high-level content (I've been teaching Year 13 about CRISPR too) but demonstrated to students that what we learn about in science IS relevant to the real world. Roimata and Journey returned to the reading after the topic on genes and DNA and were able to have a more in-depth discussion that included their perspective as young Maori learners.

Class Site Content

WALT: Learning how humans develop from a single cell to having trillions of cells that work together.


Class discussions, questioning, watching videos.


Creating opinions on an anticipation guide.


Sharing opinions and help with the group during a group reading.




Learner Generated Content



Lesson 9 Further Discussion.mp4

Nicola Wells

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand