DNA in River Classroom

What do snow and DNA have in common? Both were topics of the day last Wednesday in our 4th-6th grade River Classroom! We couldn’t help talking about snow, since we got so much the day before.

We spent some time observing snow outside, and then to get a closer look, we had to throw a few snowballs.

“Observing” snow, which is easily done by making and throwing snowballs.

We took some snow back into the classroom and observed it with loupes.

We collected snow samples to observe in the classroom.
Observing snow
Recording observations of snow.

Because of the sun, the snow had actually changed quite a bit since it fell the day prior. We discussed these changes and why they occur.

A bowl of collected snow.
That bowl of snow after melting.

We collected a big bowl of snow and then melted it to see how much water it produced. Then we discussed how the shape of water molecules impacts the properties of snow. Our students have already discussed water quite a bit and remembered the shape of the molecule as well as why it’s polarized.

The most cheerful water molecule you’ll ever see!

After these discussions and activities, we returned to our biology curriculum to learn about DNA. After a quick discussion of DNA, where it’s found, and what it means, our students created a dog based on “DNA” randomly pulled from an envelope.

Putting together a dog
Determining the dog’s characteristics
Lining up our dog DNA

This activity was a fun way to demonstrate how DNA affects traits. Our students created some pretty cool dogs!

It was another great day with our 4th-6th graders. These kids are so smart! We can’t wait until our next class.



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