Estimated Lesson Duration:

15 minutes


Students test their knowledge and understanding of epigenetics by answering 18 true and false questions.

Big Understanding: The epigenome is a set of chemical switches and markers that influence gene expression. Diet, environmental stressors, physical activity, and exposure to toxins can activate these chemical switches that regulate gene expression without changing the underline genetic code.  Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene activity that do not involve changes to the genetic code.

Key Concepts and Standards:

Key Concepts: Introduction the topic and brand new field of epigenetics

Standards: Download the summary sheet about how this lesson meets standards

The standards listed were identified using key concepts from each individual lesson. These key concepts were aligned with the specific Oregon State Standards, Common Core Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards that apply specifically to each individual lesson.

Teachers may consult the Oregon Department of Education’s website for additional terms related to each lesson.


Preparations/ Materials

Background: Background and resource sheets below.

Objectives: Students test their knowledge and understanding of epigenetics

Materials: Each student needs copies of Epigenentics IQ quiz (below)

Preparation: Can be used as a pre-assessment or post-assessment activity

Activities/Procedures: Have students answer the true and false questions and “What can change your epigenome?”

Activity Extension:  Have each student chose 3 statements from “HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT EPIGENETICS?” the and explain why the statement is true using epigenetics


Downloadable Lesson and Supporting Materials

Lesson Plans