What are Genes and who is Gregor Mendel?

Teacher Page

Your teacher will provide instruction on how to utilize these resources:

Class One

  Students will probably have some class time left after the motivation. Using the A Mendel Seminar student esheet, tell students to go to Experiments in Plant Hybridization (1865), by Gregor Mendel and read the first section, Introductory Remarks, of the Mendel paper. (It should only take five minutes.) Then ask them the first question from the A Mendel Seminar: Teacher Sheet.

If sudents still have class time left, students can read the second section (ten minutes) and you can discuss the second discussion point from the same sheet.

  Students will read the first half of the original text of Experiments in Plant Hybridization (1865), by Gregor Mendel and How to Prepare for a Seminar, for the next class in which a seminar will be held. These can be accessed from the student esheet. They will read from wherever you left off in class through section eight. You can either pass out copies of the paper, or send students online to read the full text.

Also, give students the MendelWeb: Flower Structure website, as a reference to use while reading. In Mendel's paper he uses flower "parts" to describe fertilization of the pea plants. Students can quickly glance at the diagram on this website to better understand what he is describing.

Class Two (and possibly Three)

A seminar discussion: Have students put their desks in a circle, and tell them that they will all discuss the assignment together. You may want to start the discussion, or ask a student to start the discussion. Tell students that they will be graded on participation. One thing you may want to keep in mind as the teacher is that you are a facilitator in this class, not a "leader." You should guide and keep a balance in the discussion. At the same time, if one of your students is on to something, you can ask them to elaborate, or ask if any other students have thoughts on the topic.

Start the discussion with ideas from the A Mendel Seminar: Teacher Sheet and use that sheet as you see fit.

Adaptation Recommendations: Though students should be ready at these grade levels to discuss things learned in class, you will have to decide if this format is appropriate for your class. One way to adapt the lesson for a group of students who are not ready to maintain a working discussion is to use A Mendel Seminar: Teacher Sheet literally. Ask the questions on the sheet and receive answers from students. You may be able to springboard from that approach to the seminar class format.

Assign students to read the rest of the paper for homework. You may opt to have a seminar discussion of the rest of the paper, or not. Either way, it will be beneficial for them to have read the entire paper for the summary and evaluation exercise.