Fish Market Survey Educator Resources Overview

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
14 March 2014

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Action Project Overview

The following is an outline of resources for the The Fish Market Survey Action Project. These resources cover a number of topics related to DNA sequencing including DNA barcoding. Minds-On Lessons 2, 3 and 4, and Consolidation 2 are optional lessons. Lesson plans and associated student black line masters are available for each lesson.


Food is an extremely important part of our lives, and more and more people are concerned about where their food comes from and what goes into their food. Food is also becoming more and more expensive, so consumers what to know if they are getting what they pay for. Even if you carefully read the package, you may not be getting what you think. DNA barcoding is one tool that scientists can use to confirm or refute the identity of food such as beef, fish and other seafood.



Subject Focus: Science, Biology

21st Century Skills Focus: Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration

Suggested Timing: 90 minutes or 2 periods (not including optional lessons)

Learning Goals

  • Develop awareness of applications of DNA Barcoding
  • Understand the processes used to extract DNA from cells and to sequence DNA
  • Understand how DNA sequences can be used to identify species
  • Correctly and accurately follow a scientific protocol and keep accurate and complete records
  • Become familiar with the seafood supply chain from point of origin to consumer

Learning Activities

Students will explore the issue of market substitution for seafood by reading articles, collecting fish samples for DNA barcoding and discussing the impacts and implications of market substitutions.

Big Idea

DNA barcoding is a tool which allows scientists to determine the species of a living thing based on a small segment of DNA. Applications of DNA barcoding include detecting food fraud, such as that which is occurring in the seafood industry.

MINDS-ON 1: The Fish Hook

In this introductory activity, students will read two articles about the issue of fish mislabelling and complete two graphic organizers to identify the issue, the implications of the issue and possible solutions. They will complete the organizers individually and in pairs, and then discuss the results with the whole class. Note: The other minds-on activities below are optional.

Suggested Timing: 30 minutes

MINDS-ON 2: DNA Barcoding 101


Students will be introduced to the topic of DNA barcoding by viewing a DNA Barcoding PowerPoint presentation and answering questions based on the presentation.

Suggested Timing: 40 minutes

MINDS-ON 3: Banana DNA Extraction


In this hands-on lab, students will extract DNA from bananas in order to gain a basic understanding of how DNA can be extracted from tissues and cells.

Suggested Timing: 30 minutes

MINDS-ON 4: DNA Sequencing


In this hands-on/minds-on activity, students will learn about Sanger sequencing by creating a paper-based model of the process.

Suggested Timing: 30 minutes

ACTION: fish market survey Data Collection

This is the core activity for the Fish Market Survey project. Students will collect samples of fish from local grocery stores or fish markets and then prepare the samples for shipment to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics in Guelph, Ontario. 

Suggested Timing: 20 minutes (plus time outside of class to obtain fish)

CONSOLIDATION 1: Fish Market Survey Results

Students will find out about the DNA sequences (barcodes) for the fish samples collected in this project and whether or not they were labelled correctly. As a class they will watch a presentation from the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics which will highlight interesting findings from the project as a whole.

Suggested Timing: 40 minutes

CONSOLIDATION 2: exploring the impacts


In this final set of activities, students will learn about the seafood supply chain and use the White Hat - Black Hat strategy again to consider ways of minimizing fish mislabelling.

Suggested Timing: 50 minutes

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation

This content is provided through Let's Talk Science's Education Services team.

Ce contenu est fourni par l'équipe des services d'éducation de Parlons sciences.

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