Are Genetically Modified Organisms Lurking in YOUR Closet?
Lesson Plan : Trivia Contest
Student Background:
Students will have completed a unit on growth, development and reproduction of organisms as
The Performance Expectations in Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms
help students formulate an answer to the question, “How do organisms grow, develop, and
reproduce?” Students understand how the environment and genetic factors determine the
growth of an individual organism. They also demonstrate understanding of the genetic
implications for sexual and asexual reproduction. Students can develop evidence to support
their understanding of the structures and behaviors that increase the likelihood of successful
reproduction by organisms. They have a beginning understanding of the ways humans can
select for specific traits, the role of technology, genetic modification, and the nature of ethical
responsibilities related to selective breeding. At the end of middle school, students can explain
how selected structures, functions, and behaviors of organisms change in predictable ways as
they progress from birth to old age. Students can use the practices of analyzing and
interpreting data, using models, conducting investigations and communicating information.
Crosscutting concepts of structure and function, change and stability, and matter and energy
flow in organisms support understanding across this topic.
Students will also have received basic background information about genetically modified organisms.
This lesson will focus on MS-LS4-5 of the Next Generation Science Standards (which are in the early
stages of implementation in my district).
MS-LS4-5 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-LS4Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the
inheritance of desired traits in organisms. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on synthesizing information from
reliable sources about the influence of humans on genetic outcomes in artificial selection (such as genetic
modification, animal husbandry, gene therapy); and, on the impacts these technologies have on society as well as the
technologies leading to these scientific discoveries.]
for Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts.
Introduction provided by teacher:
1. Play Langston Hughes reading his poem “One Way Ticket” to start a discussion about the history of
cotton growing in the South.
2. Provide students with some historical context (after checking with social studies teachers to find
out what they have already learned). Prepare a short slide show to help students understand this
history. Focus on Mississippi Delta ecosystem, soil type and quality, slavery, sharecropping,
productivity, and the impact of technology beginning with the single row cotton harvester.
3. Student will have already have a definition for GMO. They will explore cotton as an example of why
humans genetically modify plants.
4. Students will have 1 week to research genetically modified cotton at home. They may take as many
notes as they wish to use during the trivia game.
5. Students will be instructed to sort fact from opinion and find supporting data for any information
they read.
Students will be given these websites as a starting place but must find at least 3 additional sources:
To turn in:
Annotated Bibliography
Nine trivia questions. 3 for each of the following categories:
Cotton Uses
Cotton Biotechnology: the pros and cons to GMOs
Cotton Growing
Questions should be formatted as true/false, multiple choice or very short answer.
Each question must cite source of information.
Students must write questions individually and not share with other students.
Class Activity:
Student will be randomly placed in trivia team. Each may use his/her notes complied while conducting
research while playing the game.
Teacher will use Activboard to design a trivia contest using the best of the students’ questions.
Winners will receive a cotton/Mississippi Delta related prize (as yet to be determined)
Although the topic will be taught within the context of human culture and history, students will only
be assessed on MS-LS4-5 as stated above.

GMOs lurking in your closet lesson plan, Amy Leslie