We have learned so much over the years about genetic diseases such as Down Syndrome.
Your students will have an interesting class session as they read and discuss a text lesson, create Down Syndrome Awareness posters, and complete a worksheet.
At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Define Down Syndrome.
- Describe the symptoms of Down Syndrome.
- Give a brief description of the causes of Down Syndrome.
1.5 – 2 hours
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.
g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
- Copies of the What Is Down Syndrome? – Symptoms, Causes & Facts text lesson
- Copies of the lesson worksheet
- Poster boards
- Student computers
- Index cards with the names of different people, such as athletes, that have Down Syndrome
- Begin the lesson by having a quick review about chromosomes and how they determine almost everything about our bodies.
- Ask your students if they know anyone with a genetic disease. Allow a few students to answer.
- Tell your students they are going to learn more about one genetic disease as they read the What Is Down Syndrome? – Symptoms, Causes & Facts text lesson.
- Pass out the text lesson, and read it together as a class by having different students each read a paragraph. Stop periodically for discussions.
- Have the first student start reading at the beginning. Stop reading after the ‘Meiosis and Down Syndrome’ section, then ask and discuss:
- What is dominant/recessive inheritance?
- What is meiosis?
- How many pairs of chromosomes are in the human genome?
- How many chromosomes should be present in each egg and sperm?
- What is trisomy?
- Continue reading through the end of the ‘Down Syndrome’ section, then ask and discuss:
- Which chromosome has an extra copy in Down Syndrome?
- What is the other name for Down Syndrome?
- What is the most common symptom of Down Syndrome?
- What are some other symptoms of Down Syndrome?
- Continue reading through the end of the ‘Treatment for Down Syndrome’ section, then ask and discuss:
- Is there a cure for Down Syndrome?
- What is the biggest key to treating Down Syndrome?
- What does cognitive mean?
- What can be improved with surgeries?
- Continue reading through the end of the ‘Facts About Down Syndrome’ section, then ask and discuss:
- When was Down Syndrome first discovered?
- What term was first used to identify people with Down Syndrome?
- At what age is a father more likely to have a child with Down Syndrome?
- What was the eugenics movement?
- What were people with Down Syndrome forced to do during the eugenics movement?
- Why is the term mongloids no longer used to identify people with Down Syndrome?
- Read the ‘Conclusion’ section to your students, and answer any questions they have.
Down Syndrome Awareness Posters
- Divide your students into groups of three to four.
- Have each group select one of the index cards.
They should also get a set of markers and a poster board.
- Explain to your students that they are going to create posters highlighting a successful person with Down Syndrome.
- Here is what they should include their posters:
- Person’s name
- Occupation, sport played, or Olympics they participated in
- A 5-sentence biography that includes the fact that they have Down Syndrome and any obstacles they had to overcome to become successful.
- Picture of the person
- Have each group present their posters to the class and then hang the posters in the hallway outside of your door to bring awareness to the rest of the school.
- Give your students the lesson worksheet.
- Go over the answers to the worksheet together as a class.
- Down Syndrome: Cause, Progression, ; Treatment
- Types of Genetic Disorders: Definitions ; Symptoms