Protein Synthesis Simulation


Lesson Plan Standards

1.4.8 1.5.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.3.2


Now that we have identified that there is a problem with the muscle in the zebrafish, we will investigate this more deeply. What macromolecule makes muscle? How is that protein formed? There must then be something wrong with the protein's form because it is not functioning properly.


Students will be able to sequence the steps of protein synthesis by manipulating a model, observing a demonstration, and completing a flow chart.

Lesson Materials

Small DNA puzzle pieces
Large, chalkboard model DNA pieces with RNA
3-D model of DNA Protein Synthesis flow chart - for drawing notes
Protein Synthesis flow chart - for writing summary
Protein Synthesis flow chart - teacher page with answers


  1. Review the structure of DNA - students should use the small puzzle pieces to construct the DNA puzzle, while one student could construct this on the chalkboard with the large model.
  2. The 3-D model of DNA should be used as a reference.
  3. Go through the steps of protein synthesis on board with the model. Students can use their small model to follow along.
  4. Students should draw pictures to take notes. After the demonstration, students will fill in the flow chart outlining the major steps and products in protein synthesis.


Any textbook that would refresh the instructor's memory of the steps of protein synthesis.

Maryland State Standards

The student will use models and computer simulations to extend his/her understanding of scientific concepts. (NTB)
The student will explain scientific concepts and processes through drawing, writing, and/or oral communication.
The student will explain processes and the function of related structures found in unicellular and multicellular organisms.
The student will conclude that cells exist within a narrow range of environmental conditions and changes to that environment, either naturally occurring or induced, may cause changes in the metabolic activity of the cell or organism.
The student will illustrate and explain how expressed traits are passed from parent to offspring.

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