Goal: Present an Argument for Or Against the Cloning of Extinct Species

Goal: Present an Argument for Or Against the Cloning of Extinct Species

Essential Questions: With current advancements in technology, we have the capability to clone species. Should we use this technology to clone extinct species? What would be the dangers and benefits of this practice?

Goal: Present an argument for or against the cloning of extinct species.

Role: Research Scientist

Audience: Editor of Scientific Journal, News Anchor, Legislators that approve funding, etc.


In the movie Jurassic Park, dinosaurs are brought back to life after extracting their DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber. At the time the film was released, it was pure fiction, because the technology to achieve such a feat did not exist. Since that time, scientists have made many technological advancements and are closer to bringing back extinct species.

Preserved samples and carcasses, such as the woolly mammoth, are being found all

around the world. Should scientists be trying to clone these animals to bring them back? What are the benefits? The dangers?

Product: PowerPoint, Newsletter, Newspaper or Journal Article, Infographic, PodCasts, or Videos. Other products are acceptable with teacher approval. Products may be handed in on paper, via email, or posted on Edmodo.

Document Library:

Document A: Bringing Them Back to Life- National Geographic

Document B: Animal Cloning- Pros and Cons Discussed

Document C: Reviving Extinct Species May Not Be Science Fiction- Audio or transcript

Document D: Cloning Fact Sheet

  • http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/cloning.shtml

Document E: Tasmanian Tiger


Document F: Should We Have Cloned Lonesome George?

Document G: Cloning: Can It Resurrect Extinct Species?

Grading Scale:

A- 34-40 total points

B- 28-33 total points

C- 16-27 total points

D- 11-15 total points

Content Rubric

Essential Skill or Knowledge / Novice
(2 Points) / Proficient
(4 Points) / Expert
(6 Points) / Score/Comments
Natural Selection / Student mentions natural selection in their argument but offers no explanation of how it’s related to cloning. / Student included some explanation of natural selection in their argument but makes few connections to cloning. / Student discusses the role of natural selection in extinction and links the idea to the effects of cloning extinct species.
DNA Structure / Student mentions the vocabulary but shows no understanding of what terms mean. / Student cites appropriate vocabulary with minimal application of how it relates to their position on cloning. / Student uses vocabulary terms associated with DNA correctly to provide evidence to support their position.
Ecology / Student describes the environmental needs and challenges of a cloned extinct species. / Student makes minimal connections to how the needs of the cloned species will impact their environment. / Student is able to explain the effect of cloning extinct species on existing habitats and populations and provide examples.
Moral and ethical use of
science and technology / Student offers their personal opinion on the ethics of cloning with no justification or reasoning for their beliefs. / Student offers some explanation of their beliefs on cloning but it is not based on scientific evidence. / Student discusses the moral implications of cloning and justifies their viewpoint using scientific information.

21st Century Skills Rubric

Essential Skill or Knowledge / Entry
(1 Point) / Developing
(2 points) / Approaching
(3 points) / Ideal
(4 points) / Comments / Score
Research & Information Fluency / Students may acquire limited information from provided materials combined with opinion; some information may be inaccurately used or lack strong authority. / Students use some techniques to determine the authority of information and to conduct some analysis of the provided information; opinion, when used, is supported by some connection to content knowledge. / Students generate valid questions to guide their research and to determine the authority of information; they use some variety of digital tools to assemble and organize given information to support their position. / Students use expert strategies to analyze information and guide their own research; they use a variety of digital tools and media to assemble and synthesize information to form a powerful response to the situation that contains aspects of personal relevancy.
Communication & Collaboration / Students do not consider the positions of others and do not seek help, whether in the classroom or from appropriate communities beyond the classroom. / Students follow defined roles to create assignments that may be accurate but that communicate little unique information or have limited relevance beyond the scope of the class. / Students demonstrate some control of their own learning and navigate between different roles to meet the demands of the task (researcher, editor, reporter, etc.); they use appropriate digital tools to collaborate, when allowed, but do generate products that communicate to relevant communities. / Students use appropriate digital tools to collaborate with others, when allowed, and to create information that has relevance beyond the classroom to appropriate communities; they reflect on their roles as communicators, evaluate the effectiveness of their selected strategies, and determine how the experience might impact their performance in the future.
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving / Students complete assignments using opinion, personal experience, or basic recollection of factual information with little justification for their position or reasoning. / Students may move beyond incorporating basic factual recall and can respond to requests for justification when prompted; they use digital tools to support their thinking and problem solving strategies in a limited way. / Students generate purposeful questions to guide their work, identify the problem, and take steps to justify the decisions they’ve made and their problem-solving strategies; they use digital tools to support higher levels of critical thinking and as resources for solving complex problems. / Students demonstrate expert problem generation and solving strategies that allow them to provide innovative solutions to complex problems; they use digital tools to generate authentic solutions that require high levels of critical thinking; they reflect on their roles as critical thinkers, evaluating their strategies; and posing options for future growth.
Creativity & Innovation / Students follow teacher directions or prompts with little variation and limited or no original outcomes. / Students express some original choice during the activity and use some technology to explore new ideas, including generating questions or predictions. / Students analyze trends in information and make predictions that may be novel--to them or others--that result in meaningful work with appropriate digital tools within the parameters of the assignment. / Students synthesize existing and self-generated knowledge to make sophisticated predictions the extend beyond the parameters of the assignment; They take risks to test hypotheses and potential innovative solutions and reflect on their own creative process and consider how the experience can inform their performance in the future.

Total Score: ______Grade: ______

Additional Comments:

2012 by Teresa Davis, Martinsville High School, Martinsville City Public Schools, Virginia