Kansas Foundation for
Agriculture in the Classroom

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Wheat Germ DNA Extraction

This lesson takes a very abstract subject of genetic codes or the 'genetic recipe' of life in plants and animals and allows students to see DNA strands extracted from the genetic material of wheat germ. DNA is difficult to grasp because it is not easily seen. This activity allows students to use household chemicals to extract DNA strands from wheat germ in a matter of minutes. They will be introduced to Norman Borlaug, the author of the green revolution through the book The Boy Who Changed the World, by Andy Andrews.

Suggested Grade Level: 5th – 6th

Time: 50 minutes

Subjects: Science, Math

Objectives:

  1. Students will observe DNA strands extracted from Wheat Germ

  2. Students will learn the importance of genetic engineering is to create the perfect plant that will survive, bear seeds and fruit and feed the world.

  3. Students will learn the contributions scientist Norman Borlaug made to decrease world hunger using natural selection of wheat plants.

Supporting Kids Connection Magazine: Wheat

Supporting Resources: Wheat Fun FactsWheat Growth StagesWheat Plant Part LabelingTerra Nova Wheat News