Protein Functions Comprehension Reading – PDF & Digital Versions



Extend your DNA unit and help make science personally relevant to your students with this guided reading on protein functions! These two pages will introduce the concepts of transcription, translation, and many specific examples of proteins and what they do in the human body and in cells.


I find that in my middle school DNA unit, the students still have a lot of questions about what proteins exactly are, and I’ve had a very hard time finding text which is accessible on this level. I created this resource to give students some working knowledge on the importance of protein in the human body as well as connecting this new learning to their previous cells knowledge.


Also included is a comprehension check which requires students to produce definitions from the information they read as well as summarize the key points from the text.


Approximate Reading Level: 6-10th Grade


Uses for this product:

  • Ready to print Sub Plans
  • Flipped Classroom pre-reading
  • Whole or small group opportunity to model and teach Close Reading strategies and annotation
  • Differentiation – assign this reading only to students who have been identified as requiring reteaching
  • Interactive Notebooks: Print 2 pages in one and cut apart. Glue mini pages into notebooks with room for annotations on the side
  • Creation of Independent Work Packet for students who are not able to be present for direct instruction.


Purchase includes a printable PDF file with answer key. On page 2 of this resource you will find a link to a student friendly Google Slide version of this file. You will be able to copy this file and use it with Google Classroom or any other paperless initiative.



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NGSS Standards covered:

HS-LS1-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells. Assessment does not include identification of specific cell or tissue types, whole body systems, specific protein structures and functions, or the biochemistry of protein synthesis.
MS-LS3-1 Develop and use a model to describe why structural changes to genes (mutations) located on chromosomes may affect proteins and may result in harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects to the structure and function of the organism. Emphasis is on conceptual understanding that changes in genetic material may result in making different proteins. Assessment does not include specific changes at the molecular level, mechanisms for protein synthesis, or specific types of mutations.


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