3: DNA discovery
Understand that there are different
types of scientists, some methodical
and some inspirational.
2. Learn that scientific discovery
is often a race and not always
Time line card sort
asks who has heard of DNA and
who discovered it. Explains that
DNA controls everything about
us and that in the 1950s many
scientists were trying to find
out the structure of DNA so that
they could explain how it works.
Audio clip from BBC Book of the
Week “Rosalind Franklin. The Dark
Lady of DNA”.
clip ask if Rosalind Franklin
had been fairly treated.
Activity 1: 25
have details of incidents and
dates leading up to discovery
of structure of DNA. Students
sort and turn into a time line.
Students attach to “washing line”.
Alternative for higher ability
students, card set without dates
and with accompanying text.
If time permits, ask students
to consider the conditions which
enabled Rosalind’s work to be
ignored, and whether this could
happen now. What do scientists
do to avoid plagiarism?.
input / assessment
Teacher to circulate, questioning
students about their choices.
about different ways scientists
can work – methodical like RF
or inspirational like Watson and
Crick (who did no experimental
Ask if students have heard of
any famous women scientists.
Students’ vote whose work was
most important in discovery of
DNA, Franklin or Watson and Crick.
A more structured plenary could
focus on the outcomes to measure
the learning that has taken place.
input / assessment
Emphasise how important it is
that scientists share information.
students must: Understand
that the structure of DNA was
discovered in 1953.
students should: Understand
that scientists may disagree with
each other and scientific discoveries
can be a race.
students could: Understand
that two different types of scientific
investigation resulted in the
elucidation of DNA structure Understand
that not all scientific researchers
are credited with their discoveries.
analysis of text, teamwork, communication,
X ray crystallography, double
another woman scientist.
the importance of open discussion
and scientific research.
that different types of scientific
research can result in discoveries.