Jacob's Case: The Case of the Loaded Question

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
11 September 2012

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This case study invites students to grapple with authentic issues surrounding genetically modified and engineered organisms, in particular, food crops, and specifically soybeans. The lessons do not need to be done together and can be presented throughout a unit in an ongoing fashion. You may choose to use these as the basis for a senior biology performance task.

Suggested Timing:  4 class periods


In this series of introductory activities, students will become familiar with Jacob’s Case and some of the issues surrounding genetically modified (GM) and engineered (GE) organisms. In groups, students will look at perceptions of this issue from both points of view (for and against) and develop questions around this issue for further research.

Suggested Timing: 45 minutes

Teacher Resources

  • MINDS-ON (Lesson Plan) [.pdf]

Student Resources

  • BLM 1—Jacob’s Case: The Case of the Loaded Question [.pdf]
  • BLM 2—Backgrounder: Public Perceptions of Genetically Engineered Food Crops [.pdf]
  • BLM 3—Strategy: PMI Chart [.doc] [.pdf]
  • BLM 4—Backgrounder: Soybean Agriculture in Canada (Optional) [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 5—Backgrounder: Versatility of Soybeans: Food Uses (Optional) [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 6—Backgrounder: Industrial Uses of Soybeans (Optional) [.html] [.pdf]


In this series of activities, students will summarize scientific knowledge about biotechnology which is currently being used in agriculture and then use this information as the basis for a research writing assignment.

Suggested Timing:  Two 45 minute class periods

Teacher Resources

Student Resources

  • BLM 7—Backgrounder: Introduction to Genetic Modification of Crops [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 8—Backgrounder: Conventional Plant Breeding [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 9—Backgrounder: Marker-Assisted Selection [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 10—Backgrounder: Genetic Modification to Genetic Engineering [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 11—Backgrounder: Genetically Modified Soybeans [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 12—Strategy: ReKNIT Chart [.doc] [.pdf]
  • BLM 13—Strategy: Fish Bone Graphic Organizer [.doc] [.pdf]
  • BLM 14—Table 1: Overview of GE Crops [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 15—Backgrounder: Regulation and Labeling of GM Foods [.html] [.pdf]
  • BLM 16—Strategy: Quick Fact Trading Cards [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Student Guide to Ethics in the Classroom BLM [.pdf]
  • BLM 17—Strategy: Reasoning Guide for Making a Decision [.doc] [.pdf]


In this final phase of the case study students will pull everything together by creating an opinion piece.

Suggested Timing: 50-60 minutes

Teacher Resources

  • Consolidation (Lesson Plan) [.pdf]

Student Resources

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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