Topic 7 - Nucleic acids HL revision activities

A single page revision summary of the nucleic acids HL topic.

If you want to see the all the different aspects of this topic on a single A4 sheet this page will help you. By completing short questions or cloze activities students are forced to review the whole topic and complete an overview of the main concepts in the topic.

It helps students to identify areas in need of extra revision and gives less confident students a useful set of facts to learn.


Lesson starter

Brainstorm the topic as a whole class. Keep notes of key ideas. The image below may prompt ideas.

Activity 1 - A3 Revision worksheet

Complete the Student's topic 7 nucleic acid A3 revision worksheet of unfinished phrases, and missing words about the topic.
Use lesson notes, and IB text books for help.

Avoid looking for answers on the internet as many answers will be too detailed, or too simple for your IB exams.

Remember this is just a beginning. There are many more details to understand and applications of these ideas to know.

Activity 2a - Revision list

The following page Topic 7 - Nucleic acids HL revision list can form the basis of revision work.

To do

  • Students read the understandings and the essential questions in the revision list page.

  • Students prepare an answer to one essential question - including details from the understandings section.

  • Students can then compare their answers with others in the class and either;

    • add improvements - if one answer has a detail missing from the other.
    • look up specific details - if both students are unclear
    • ask the teacher a question - if there is a disagreement

Activity 2b - Corrections & Improvement

Students compare answers with other students & use their answers to the questions in the revision list.

Make improvements to the answers and note any areas which are less well understood and require further revision.

Activity 3 - Connect Extend Challenge

In this activity students will make connections with previous knowledge and reflect on any ongoing challenges they find.

To Do

  1. Students work in pairs to discuss how the ideas in this topic connect to things they already know.
    Sketch a 'mind map' or spider diagram to show the links
    Look for connection to any of the following;
    • other IB Biology topics,
    • other IB subjects,
    • previous learning, or
    • general knowledge
  2. Students decide which of the new ideas extend their thinking in a new direction
    • highlight these ideas on the 'mind map'
  3. Individually reflect on which of the ideas a still a bit of a challenge, or confusing.
    • make a list of challenging ideas, and discuss these with your teacher

Teachers notes

This activity is aimed at those students who need help to make their revision effective, but it is useful for all students. The three short activities are really just suggestions.

The worksheet could be a simple homework task.

Suggested lesson plan.

Starter (10 minutes)

Brainstorm the topic asking students to recall as many parts of the topic as they can.
Record these on the whiteboard.

Main (30 minutes)

Students use their text books and notes to complete the unfinished phrases on the worksheet.
Students compare their answers to the model answers Topic 7 - Nucleic acids A3 revision - model answers

Plenary (20 minutes)

The Connect extend, challenge activity could be combined with a memorizing activity.
It should help the students to make links to their prior knowledge, and to identify areas to revise.

There are plenty of possibilities to enhance this activity. For example, write ideas on post-it notes and share them with the whole class or to work as a whole class around the interactive whiteboard.

Extension work

There are many possibilities for extension. Students could

  • create a mind map of the topic
  • produce lists of questions for a hot seat challenge
  • make a revision presentation on one part of the topic

Alternative plenary - Hot Seat Challenge

Students set their own challenge to try to memorize parts of the sheet.
Students can begin using look cover test check for 5 points at a time, and gradually build up until they can remember the whole sheet.

When a student is chosen for the 'Hot Seat' they sit in the teachers chair, describe their area of expertise (ie. how much of the sheet they thing they know) and other students ask them as many questions as possible in one minute.

The teacher could write down the questions from the hot seat challenge and use these in a "Line Dialogue Activity."

In a line dialogue students form two lines facing one another other. Everyone has a copy of the Hot Seat question list. To begin, line A students simultaneously ask a question to the person opposite.
After 2 minutes, students in Line A move one person to the right (the last person should move to the beginning of the line.) Then students in Line B ask questions from the list questions. Students repeat the process alternately asking the questions.

D.Faure Oct 2012

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