The DNA replication process is the way our cells heal and reproduce themselves, it is also vital in the reproduction of our species. This process of unzipping and multiplying our DNA allows our cells to heal themselves and what makes our children inherit our traits. It is so important to teach our children how their bodies grow and develop, that being said, molecular biology can be confusing at best even for adults to understand. So how do we teach this to our children in a way that challenges them to investigate further while still simple enough for them to grasp. We fully believe that children can learn and comprehend any topic if it is presented in a way that is fun and engaging. Here are 5 simple steps you can use to teach your kids the process of DNA replication.
Step 1: Review important information with your children. What is DNA? What does DNA look like? What does DNA do? Even if you have recently completed a lesson on DNA it is important to review this information so they can easily build on what they already know.
Step 2: Read a few children’s books on DNA, cell structure, and specifically the process of replication. Frank Balkwill has written several books about DNA and cells called the Enjoy Your Cells series and The Baby Biochemist: DNA by Margot Alesund is another good resource. After you have read a few books, you can open a discussion with your child, explain how the process of replication works in your own words and answer any questions they may have.
Step 3: Explore videos or online activities working together to expand on your knowledge and understanding.
Step 4: Create a hands on experiment to do together. Being able to take the knowledge that your children have acquired and put it into a practical application helps solidify that information in their minds. There are multiple experiments using marshmallows and licorice, LEGOS, and paper and scissors.
Step 5: Have your child teach you about the DNA process of replication. You use different skills when learning and teaching so having your child teach you or another adult what they have learned is a fun and different way of checking for comprehension as well as continuing to anchor that knowledge within your child’s memory as an exciting role playing game. Don’t be afraid to really get into the student role by asking questions. If you ask a question that your child doesn’t know the answer to, go back to step three and continue to explore more avenues of information. Keep learning and growing together learning should be fun and engaging for both you and your child.
There are so many complicated and interesting topics you can use this five step system to teach your children about, we used the DNA process of replication as an example as it is an important if complicated topic for everyone to understand and When you, as an educator, make learning fun for your children you can foster a lifelong love of learning in them. When a child loves to learn there is nothing they can’t accomplish.