As with the rest of my curriculum, I’ve gone through the College Board’s Course and Exam Description for AP Biology and extracted the following learning objectives, Enduring Understandings, and pieces of essential knowledge. This is what I’m using to inform the development of my on-line tutorials about Transcription and Translation, and the instruction I’m delivering to my own students at BHS. I’d love to know what you think.

Module 14: From Gene to Protein

Textbook Correlation: Campbell Biology, Chapter 17

Learning Objectives

  1. LO 3.4:The student is able to describe representations and models illustrating how genetic information is translated into polypeptides  (EK: 3A1)
  2. LO 3.6:The student can predict how a change in a specific DNA or RNA sequence can result in changes in gene expression.  (EK: 3A1)
  3. LO 3.25: The student can create a visual representation to illustrate how changes in a DNA nucleotide sequence can result in a change in the polypeptide produced.  (EK: 3C1)
  4. LO 3.27:The student is able to compare and contrast processes by which genetic variation is produced and maintained in organisms from multiple domains(EK: 3C2)
  5. LO 3.28:The student is able to construct an explanation of the multiple processes that increase variation within a population.  (EK: 3C2)

Enduring Understandings and Essential Knowledge

  1. Nucleotide structure (3.A.1.b)
    1. Similarities and differences between DNA and RNA (bases, sugar, strandedness, base pairing rules).
    2. Purines v. pyrimidines
    3. 3 RNAs involved in transcription and translation; also RNAi.
  2. Central dogma (3.A.1.c)
    1. RNA polymerase reads DNA in a 3’ to 5’ direction
    2. Post transcriptional modification of RNA (IE: poly A tail, GTP cap, excision of introns)
  3. Details of translation (3.A.1.c.4)
    1. Start codon, codons, role of various RNAs, stop codon, release factor
  4. Key idea: phenotypes are determined by proteins (3.A.1.d)
  5. Mutations in DNA  (3.C.1.a)
    1. What they are
    2. What causes them
      1. Errors in replication, DNA repair, mutagenic energy and chemicals
    3. Impact on phenotype (positive, negative, neutral), and how this depends on the environment (3.C.1.b)
    4. active, silent, frameshift, etc.