Resources - Secondary

17th September 2010 at 01:00


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Beginners' guide to heading departments

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What the lesson is about

This is an experiment to extract DNA from peas, and is aimed at key stage 3 biology pupils.

Aims: for pupils to be able to

- know how to extract DNA from peas.

Getting started

Put half a cup of split peas, one eighth of a teaspoon of salt and one cup of cold water into a blender and blend on a high setting for 15 seconds. Explain that this separates the pea cells from each other.

Pour this pea soup through a strainer into a measuring cup, add two tablespoons of washing-up liquid, swirl to mix and let it stand for five to 10 minutes. Explain that the washing-up liquid breaks open the cell membrane and that DNA is inside a second sack, the nucleus, within each cell.

Taking it further

Pour the mixture into test tubes about one third full and give groups or pairs of pupils a tube. Ask pupils to add a pinch of enzymes to each tube and stir, being careful not to stir too hard to avoid breaking up the DNA.

Ask pupils to tilt the test tube and slowly pour rubbing alcohol into the tube down the side so it forms a layer on top of the pea mixture. Pour until they have about the same amount of alcohol as the pea mixture. The DNA will rise into the alcohol layer from the pea layer. Ask the pupils to use a wooden spill or cotton bud to draw DNA from the alcohol.

Explain that DNA is a long, stringy molecule that likes to clump together. Explain that a microscope will not allow them to see the double-helix structure of DNA, but they will see a mess of many molecules stuck together.

Where to find it

The original lesson plan was uploaded by sabiakhan and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This looks at the appeal of European cities to examine how different places have different attractions. It is aimed at key stage 4 travel and tourism pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- identify factors that determine the appeal of a city;

- explain key terms such as "accessible" and "economic factor";

- identify and explain why different cities have different appeals.

Getting started

Ask pupils to list four factors that might affect the appeal of a European city for British travellers. Explain that these can be grouped into: accessibility, geographical, economic, cultural and attractions.

Explain that accessibility is used to describe the degree to which a country is accessible to as many people as possible. Why does this matter to a traveller? Why are European cities accessible to British travellers? Explain that geographical factors include oceans, coastlines, mountain ranges, lakes and inland waterways.

Taking it further

Explain that attractions include natural features and built attractions. Ask pupils to name examples of different types of attractions. Why do different attractions appeal to various types of travellers?

Where to find it

The lesson plan was originally uploaded by sez_chamberlain and can be found at


What the lesson is about

It looks at primary and secondary resources and how they can be used to maximise a design project. It is aimed at key stage 4 pupils.

Aims: for pupils to know

- the difference between primary and secondary research sources and how to use them;

- how to formulate and analyse a questionnaire as part of research;

- how to carry out research by evaluating existing products.

Getting started

Explain that designers do research to give their project the best chance of success, and that the amount of research required will depend on the extent of the project's aims.

Explain that there are two types of research: primary, collected first hand; and secondary, collected by other people. Give pupils a list of subjects to research, such as the ingredients of a breakfast cereal. Where could they find the information they need?

Taking it further

Explain that a questionnaire is a useful primary research strategy. Explain that closed questions, that require yes or no answers, produce results that are easier to analyse, but complex issues may require open questions. Ask pupils to construct their own questionnaire.

Where to find it

The lesson plan was uploaded by NGfLCymru and can be found at

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