Paper Transcription and Translation
This hands-on activity reinforces the processes of transcription and translation. Usingpaper cut-outs, students follow the rules of complementary base pairing to build an mRNAmolecule, then translate the mRNA codons to assemble amino acids, building a protein. At theend, they learn which of 5 actual proteins they’ve built. (DNA and amino acid sequences havebeen abbreviated.)
- The arrangement of DNA building blocks in a gene specifies the order of amino acids in theprotein it codes for.
- Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
- The sequence of amino acids in a protein determines its structure and function.
- Living things make proteins the same way.
Copies, scissors, tape, paper clips
Have students work individually or in pairs.
Review with the class how the structure and function of proteins is dictated by the DNA sequence of genes (structure and function of DNA).
See Teacher Guide for further instructions.Teacher Guide (pdf)
Student Instructions (pdf)
Protein Pages (pdf)