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Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Join the Debate: Should Humans Be Cloned?
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

This lesson is divided into three sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the Lesson.
Steps -- Conducting the Lesson.
Tips-- Managing Resources and Student Activities.


Student Prerequisites:
If possible, students should view the INNOVATION video. For information on purchasing videotapes of INNOVATION, visit or call 1-800-257-5126.

The following sites should be bookmarked:

This Web companion piece is based on Thirteen/WNET's three-part television series about ground-breaking biomedical treatments and research. CRACKING THE CODE, the first section of the site, focuses on the genetic revolution. The Resource Section contains a well-organized list of related links. (All of the links cited in this lesson are accessed from this site.)

Join the Debate: Cloning
This section of the INNOVATION site is a forum for debating the ethics of cloning and addressing the questions posed in the Overview section of this lesson.

Why Clone?
This Encarta Online site features a discussion of the implications of cloning among experts in bioethics and science.

Slouching Towards Creation
This Pathfinder site includes a primer entitled Cloning 1-2-3, and a debate among leading scientists and scholars on the ethics of cloning.

Computer Resources:
Read through the entire lesson. Plan to configure the execution of the project to your time and technological availability. For example, if you have a limited number of classroom computers but your students go to a computer lab, you might want to involve the lab teacher in the project.

You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:
Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.
  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 95.

    For more information, visit "What You Need to Get Connected" in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.


    This lesson should take 3-4 class periods.

  • Have students visit the Resource Section of the INNOVATION piece to gain background information about the topic of cloning.

    Students should visit and explore as many links on this site as time allows, in order to collect facts and gain knowledge to make informed opinions about cloning.

    In order for students to get a sense of the dynamics of debate and how opinions are expressed, have them visit the following sites, which feature discussions among experts on the topic of cloning:

    Join the Debate: Cloning
    Why Clone?
    Slouching Towards Creation

  • Students should prepare for their essays by making notes of facts, as well as listing the main points of the differing viewpoints held by the experts they have encountered on the Web. Students can further develop their own opinions and ways to present them by assuming roles in a mock classroom debate on the topic. To help students focus, present them with the questions listed in the Overview section of this lesson.

  • Students should begin their essays by introducing the question(s) they have chosen to address. Students should then take at least two paragraphs to present the different sides of the issue in a clear, explanatory manner. The final part of the essay should contain the student's opinion on the issue and the reasons he or she holds this opinion. Students should use the facts and information they have collected to support their opinions. Stress the importance of accuracy in the use of facts and data. Students should refer to the glossary on the INNOVATION Web piece to check that they are using scientific terms correctly. Students can find word definitions at WWWebster Dictionary ( Students will use wordprocessing software to write their essays.

  • Go to the discussion forum called Join the Debate on the INNOVATION piece. Encourage your students to post their essays.


    The "Join the Debate" discussion forums could be printed and distributed to students to provide background information in a timely manner and in a format that is easy to read.

    Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used this lesson in your classroom.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students