Genetic Disorder Research

Overview & Concepts

This lesson is a research activity on genetic disorders.  It emphasizes the use of Online Inheritance of Man (OMIM), as well as other genetic databases. The student will locate the gene or genes involved with a disorder, discuss symptoms, prevalence, and possible treatment and present this material to the class using Prezi (presentation tool).

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

Genes, karyotypes, alleles, dominance, recessiveness, autosomal, sex-linked, chromosomes

Prior Knowledge Required: 

Dominance, recessive, sex-linked traits, alleles, genes, chromosomes

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 

1 period to introduce/brainstorm, 1 period of research (optional), 1-2 periods to present


  • Attached Worksheets
  • Student Computers for research
  • Projector for presentations

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

  • Prezi is a free, online presentation tool that is an alternative to PowerPoint. It may take some practice to get yourself and your students acquainted with the program but I think it is worthwhile. However, PowerPoint could also be used.
  • Depending on your level of students, it might be helpful to do a review of different types of inheritance.
  • The assignment could be done individually or in groups.
  • Instructional sequence:
  1. Introduce the assignment.  Hand out Genetic Disorder Worksheet.
  2. Assign groups & disorders.  See GeneticsDisorders.doc (attached) for a list of disorders.
  3. Provide class time for brainstorming and research.  Direct students to the sites listed below.
  4. Sudents should create and then give their presentations about the disorder they researched.


Presentation rubric and assessment.


  • Assign an additional topic or ask additional questions about the disorder depending on the level of students.
  • Is the mutation a deletion, substitution, frame shift, etc.?
  • Use BLAST tool to further analyze the DNA sequence and make comparisons.


The teacher notes were produced by Beth Sholder.

Academic Standards
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