Reinforcement: DNA, RNA, and Sickle Cell

I made this worksheet for freshman biology for students learning about DNA, RNA, and the central dogma. Students practice vocabulary by filling in blanks with words from a word bank. Vocabulary relates to the structure DNA and includes terms such as deoxyribose, nucleotides, phosphate, and bases.

The worksheet is aligned to this Google Slide presentation that uses sickle cell disease as an anchoring phenomenon. Sickle cell is a great way to introduce DNA and genetics because it is caused by a single point mutation in the hemoglobin protein. You can return to this phenomenon when students learn Mendelian genetics. Sickle cell is inherited as a recessive (or codominant) trait.

Molecular genetics can be challenging for beginning biology students because there are so many new and unfamiliar terms. For worksheets like this one, I will have students work together to complete it, and then we go over it in class so they can check their own answers.

I follow this activity with one that looks specifically at the transcription and translation process: DNA, Proteins, and Sickle Cell.