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Film Guides
Film Guides: The Double Helix


The following classroom-ready resources complement The Double Helix. This short film describes the evidence that led James Watson and Francis Crick to the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA and how the structure immediately revealed how genetic information is stored and inherited.

These guides and quiz support the short film The Double Helix. The “At a Glance Film Guide” provides a short summary of the film, along with key concepts and ties to selected curricula and textbooks. The “In-Depth Film Guide for Teachers” includes a more detailed summary and background information, discussion points, lists of related resources and references, and answers to the accompanying student “Quiz.” The "Quiz" is designed as a summative assessment that probes student understanding of the key concepts addressed in the film. These documents are updated as new information and resources become available.

Note: The In-Depth-Guide was revised October 2014 to include film pause points and discussion questions.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS (April 2013)

AP (2012–13)
3.A.1, 4.A.1

IB (2009)
3.3, 3.4, 7.1, 7.2

Supporting Materials (2)

Classroom Resource
This activity can be used in conjunction with the short film The Double Helix. It introduces students to the classic experiment by Matthew Meselson and Franklin Stahl, which revealed that DNA replication follows the semiconservative model.
Short Film
The Double Helix is the story of the scientists and evidence involved in one of the most important scientific quests of the 20th century: the discovery of the structure of DNA.

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Additional Materials

Bulletin Article
Bulletin Article