Medical Problem Solving using OMIM

Overview & Concepts

In this case study activity, students read about a disease in the Mennonite population and learn more about the disorder using OMIM.  Students will also be introduced to SNP analysis to visualize how the gene that is causing a disorder is found.  Students will also get the opportunity to see how mutations can be determined and the effect of these mutations.

Grade Level: 

Concepts Covered: 

Genetics, Pedigrees, DNA sequencing, SNP analysis, OMIM 

Prior Knowledge Required: 

Students would have a need to understand genetics, DNA, and the different types of mutations. The definition of a SNP is also a concept that must be addressed prior to the activity.   

Activity Notes

Days to Teach: 

Entire activity: 90 minutes


  • computers
  • student handout (see attached files)

Teaching Tips / Activity Overview: 

  1. Introduce the activity to the class. Hand out Medical Problem Solving student sheet (see attached) and answer any questions.
  2. Students may work alone, in pairs or groups.
  3. Allow students to work through it.
  4. I found that they if you type in some of the more technical terms, you do not get the right disorder. If this is their first time with this, you may want to give them the correct words one at a time. This may allow them to understand the process better.


Prior to this lesson we will have completed both the DNA and the genetics units.  The students would have been tested in both.  Post assestment would be completion of this activity.  In addition there should be a follow up activity with less guidance on what the keywords are in the research.


Once they have an understanding of this process, it can be followed with an additional case study but one in which they are not given the exact search words. 



This lesson and teacher notes were produced by Kathleen Cassidy. Most of the background and images were from the above website.   

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