Protein Synthesis Translation Activity | Printable or Digital Distance Learning

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
11 pages
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

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This activity is designed to help our students master the concepts of transcription and translation. The details of these concepts are very difficult for many of our students. This activity provides a visual method of teaching students how the information stored in DNA produces traits and characteristics in living organisms. Using a DNA template, students will transcribe mRNA, and translate the information to create a “mystery organism.” Choose to use the traditional printable version, or the paperless, digital Google Apps version.

This resource is perfect for distance learning and for students in 1:1 classrooms.

Click this link to view all of my Digital Resources.

Protein Synthesis: Determining the Traits of a Mystery Organism Through Translation and Protein Synthesis. This fun DNA and RNA activity teaches students how to read the code of messenger RNA codons and translate the code to determine the proteins that are made to produce the characteristics of a "mystery organism." The student must determine which proteins will be made to produce the mystery organism. By simulating the process of protein synthesis, the traits of the organism will be determined.

What is included in your download folder?

  • Printable and Editable 6-Page Student Handout
  • Printable and Editable Paper Saving Version
  • Paperless Digital Version for Google Drive, Google Classroom, and/or Microsoft OneDrive
  • Teacher Guide and Answer Key

Many times students have trouble with the concepts involved in protein synthesis. This is a fun activity that reinforces transcription and translation. Students are given a DNA template and must determine the complementary mRNA codon sequence, tRNA anticodon sequence, and the amino acid sequence. The order of the amino acids will determine the traits in the "mystery organism."

This activity is suitable for biology students in grades 9-12.

Materials Needed: Colored Pencils and Paper

The included Teacher Guide contains pre-lab discussion, answers to all questions, and some post lab follow up ideas.

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Total Pages
11 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
55 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. Emphasis is on conceptual understanding that changes in genetic material may result in making different proteins. Assessment does not include specific changes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis, or specific types of mutations.
Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring. Assessment does not include the phases of meiosis or the biochemical mechanism of specific steps in the process.
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


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