GMOs: Costs, Benefits, and Controversies

byPierre Clark

We have entered a time in human history in which we can potentially engineer crops so that they retain whatever favorable traits we desire. Imagine a super sweet cherry the size of a fist and devoid of its seed, or a mushroom the size of a basketball that could feed an entire family for several days. Although these particular organisms haven’t been created, the potential and ability to create them is at our fingertips thanks to new advancements creating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). In this unit 6th grade students will address the following questions-What are GMOs? What are the costs, benefits and controversies surrounding GMOs? Do I support GMOs? How can I impact this topic in a way that reinforces what I believe? This unit provides teachers and students with choice and options through out the unit in order to give instructors flexibility and differentiation strategies. This unit also gives students the chance for a strong level of engagement and sense of ownership over their work. The content in the unit is in alignment with several NGSS Standards which include: LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits, LS3-1 Evidence Statements, SL.8.5: Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information and RST.68.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

(Developed for Science: Genetics, grade 6)

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