Discovering DNA

Discovering DNA © Sbahrialtay - www.fotolia.com

Knowledge and skills

  • Animals, including humans
  • Evolution and inheritance
  • Enquiry skills
  • Research

Genetics might feel like a tricky topic to tackle with young children but educational science writer Rhys Baker shows us how we can approach a subject that children are increasingly coming across in both news and fiction.

In our story Rosa’s Code, our fictional heroine tries to change who she is by stepping into a machine that alters genetic code. For many children, this will raise questions about the seemingly tricky concepts of genes and DNA. As a teacher, I am a strong believer that you can teach anyone anything. The younger the student, the more likely they are to retain it. Children will encounter the terms DNA and genetics not just in stories but in TV programmes, films, information books and newspapers, so it makes sense to introduce them to the basics at a young age. In this way, when they read or hear these terms, they’ll have some understanding of what they mean. So, let us take a look at how you would explain DNA to primary children.

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