A lesson in which students interpret the results of two different tests for lactase persistence: the blood glucose test and the hydrogen breath test. The lesson involves graphing and analyzing actual research data.
Appropriate for: first-year high school biology
"As an AP Biology teacher, I think it is important for students to be able to do four things before they leave my class: 1) support their thinking; 2) apply math to science; 3) understand that evolution is the unifying theme in biology; and finally 4) realize that biology has real-world applications and is just plain cool. The author of this classroom activity does an excellent job of covering my essentials in under 45 minutes. After watching the short film, students explore how the enzyme lactase hydrolyzes lactose into monosaccharides, and practice graphing and analyzing data. The worksheet requires them to provide reasoning for their answers. If you have time to explore the extension portion of the activity, you can tie in anaerobic respiration and why lactase non-persistence causes pain and discomfort."
– Melissa Csikari (Colonial Forge High School & Germanna Community College, VA)