Lesson Plans

D’Scerner: Critical Thinking of a Study: Genetic Analysis Shows Gene Expression is Changed by Cocaine

Created by : 
University of Texas Health Science Center

Students use critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem-solving skills to evaluate scientific evidence on the epigenetic effects of cocaine. Students develop scientific “habits of mind” as they learn the process of creating a scientific study and compare and contrast their analysis with that of traditional media articles. This is one lesson of the seven-part curriculum Transforming Science for Critical Thinkers.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 4 lessons
  • Teacher materials
  • Journal and media articles

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Science literacy
  • Using empirical evidence and logic to examine scientific research
  • Identifying limitations and advantages of scientific research
  • Comparing and contrasting peer-reviewing findings with that of media articles

Time / Duration: 

  • 4 class periods


  • Printer/copier for articles, worksheets

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • National Science Education Standards
  • Project 2061 Standards
  • Healthy People 2010


  • English