Agronomy and Horticulture Department



DNA for Dinner 4-H Curriculum

Date of this Version


Document Type



Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (PASSeL) Lesson


Copyright © 2010 Peggy G. Lemaux and Barbara Alonso. Used by permission.

This project was supported in part by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants CAP project 2011-68002-30029 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, administered by the University of California-Davis and by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education, National SMETE Digital Library Program, Award #0938034, administered by the University of Nebraska. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA or NSF.


It is “(DNA for) Dinner” Time! The five lessons in this curriculum, designed for fifth through eighth grade participants in classroom or after-school venues, include: Dare to Be Different (organisms, genetic diversity); Language of Life (genomes, genetic code); DNA for Dinner (genes, DNA, reproduction); Building Blocks to Organisms (amino acids, proteins, enzymes); and From Bread to Biotech (classical breeding, genetic engineering, restriction enzymes). Each lesson has an introduction, open-ended discussion questions, math puzzles, and three to five activities to demonstrate key points of the lesson. Some activities are computer based, some are hands-on, and some are physical activities. Each lesson targets National Science Education Content Standards in Life Sciences for Grades 5 through 8. The curriculum development was funded by the American Society of Plant Biologists and completed in November 2010.

The curriculum may be accessed at the DNA for Dinner Website