Call Me Gene / My Name is Gene

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Although few instructional resources are written for young students about genetics, it's a subject kids find fascinating. After all, it answers questions like, "Why do I have blue eyes like dad?" and "Why can some people roll up their tongue and not others?" While most of us finally learn the details on DNA and genetics in high school, authors N.L Eskeland, Ph.D. and N.C. Bailey, Ph.D. have done their part to introduce genetics to children in middle school through these fascinating and relevant books. They have written two textbooks and corresponding activity books to help children understand genetics. Call Me Gene and My Name is Gene are textbooks (on CD-ROM) that explain DNA, genetics, heredity, cloning, mutations, and more. Both textbooks follow state standards for genetics at the 7th and 8th grade levels, but Call Me Gene is the secular version (for all of you ordering through charter schools) and My Name is Gene is the religious version. The tables of contents of each of these are virtually identical, but in My Name is Gene, the wonders of genetics are attributed to God's design, while in Call Me Gene, evolutionary theory is referenced, though not explained in detail. Topics covered include cell structure, DNA replication, sexual and asexual reproduction, Mendel's Laws of Genetics, cloning, vaccines, mutations, the Human Genome Project, and more. The text explains topics in somewhat simplified language, and full-color diagrams and in-text "exercises" keep it interesting. I do wish that the illustrations were integrated better into the text so you didn't need to scroll back and forth to reference them, but the computer-generated graphics are crisp and clearly labeled. Each chapter ends with several review questions. At this time, the texts are only available as .pdf documents on CD-ROM. Fun with Gene is the activity book segment of the program. Because it does not correlate chapter-for-chapter with the text, you may want to use this after reading one of the textbooks. The activities in Fun with Gene are divided into three parts: genetic cases to solve, hands-on activities and games, and exercises which utilize information directly from the text. The cases ask students to solve mysteries and predict offspring with particular traits using Punnett Squares and pedigrees as well as basic knowledge of RFLP and electrophoresis technology. With cases taken from the news and history, any student of genetics would find these fascinating! Word puzzles and codes can be found in the second section, along with instructions on making a DNA model and extracting DNA from an onion. The "exercises" section includes pencil-and-paper activities based on information from the textbook. The teacher book is formatted much like the student book, but with answers. Please note that the student book is not reproducible. If your middle-school curriculum doesn't cover genetics in much detail and your students have an interest, this program is something to consider.Jess

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Fun with Gene Student Edition Item #: 042976
Grades: 6-8
Retail: $10.95
Rainbow Price: $7.75

Fun with Gene Teacher Edition CD-Rom Item #: 042977
Grades: 6-8
Retail: $10.95
Rainbow Price: $7.75

Call Me Gene CD-ROM (3rd Edition) Item #: 030574
Grades: 6-12
Retail: $15.95
Rainbow Price: $10.95

My Name Is Gene CD-ROM (3rd Edition) Item #: 030580
Grades: 6-12
Retail: $15.95
Rainbow Price: $10.95

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