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Picking your teeth with DNA!

Problem(s): Where is DNA found in living organisms? What is DNA made of? What are nucleotides? What are the four nitrogenous bases found in DNA? Which bases pair together in a DNA molecule?

Hypothesis: ________________________________________________________.

Materials: 30 Toothpicks, 4 different colored markers, construction paper, Glue.


1. You will be given 30 toothpicks. Using the four markers, completely color each toothpick any of colors you want. Make sure to color the toothpick one solid color and try use all the colors.

2. Take the piece of construction paper and cut it in half.

3. Draw the phosphate and sugar backbone on each piece of paper, as your teacher has written on the board. There will need to be 15 phosphate and 15 sugar units on each paper. Take your time!

4. Now on one of pieces of paper attach a tooth pick, with glue, to each sugar group.

5. Did you guess what the color on toothpick was for yet? Each color represents a different nitrogenous base. Look at the board, find out which bases you have made.

6. To complete your DNA molecule, color your the remaining toothpicks the color of the complementary base of your current strand and attach them to the sugar molecules of your other stand of DNA, then attach both strands together by the bases (toothpicks).

Conclusion Questions:

1. Where is DNA found in a cell?

2. What are chromosomes?

3. What is the function of DNA?

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