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Protein Synthesis Worksheet

The following protein synthesis worksheets are intended for use with these NGSS standard:

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.

I was once like you, searching all over the web for a decent protein synthesis worksheet! I eventually gave in and decided to create my own. I’d like to share those with you now.

First, I have a very basic protein synthesis practice. It can easily be copied front and back. It includes several challenges. Students begin with the DNA given, and they subsequently determine the mRNA, tRNA, and amino acids. As they move through the worksheet, though, students will be challenged to figure out the missing pieces when they begin with different parts of the problem.

Both of the following resources include a link to a Google Slides version of the file for easy use with Google Classroom.

Basic Protein Synthesis Worksheet

protein synthesis worksheet with answers pdf

Give your students more experience with transcription and translation with this challenge. Each set of questions starts students with a different step in the protein synthesis process, and students will show their understanding of these processes by finding the missing pieces in each situation.

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One teacher said, “My students really buckled down and worked on this product individually as a reinforcer to the transcription/translation process. After I showed them how to complete one problem in each category, they were able to work through the product using the handy and helpful Codon Chart! I think this was an EXCELLENT product that really allowed students to critically think when it came to the more challenging questions on the second page. Thanks for a great product!

Another commented, “I saved so much time by using the Google Drive version of this document rather than making my own. Thank you so much for this!”

A third teacher raved, “This was great practice for my biology students. I loved that as they got further down the page it gets harder. It gives them DNA then they work to find the amino acid. It also gives them mRNA and they need to find not only the amino acid but the DNA. I used this to help assess and enforce reading codon charts, translation and transcription. This is great to do as practice when they feel they have mastered because it has them work forwards in the process as well as backwards.”

Protein Synthesis Guided Practice

Next, I also offer a more slow paced guided practice. This resource includes short paragraphs describing transcription and translation. It also walks students through the protein synthesis process in a step by step fashion. I usually start with this one in my class. I set timers and check each students’ work before we move on to the next step.

protein synthesis worksheet with answers pdf

If your students need a little more guidance, try this guided practice.
Students will move through protein synthesis one step at a time covering first DNA to mRNA, then mRNA to tRNA. They will practice using the codon chart alone to decipher codons, and then finally students will put it all together to complete full diagrams.

Get it here or through TPT

One teacher said, “My 7th grade students LOVED this activity. Great review of protein synthesis.”

One teacher said, “This is a great resource. It worked well to provide students an opportunity to practice protein synthesis in the virtual learning environment. I also love that it has information that the students can follow along and do completely independent.”

Another commented, “This was a last minute resources I found to help my students practice reading a codon chart. I LOVED it. It was way better than I thought. It helps guide them from DNA > mRNA > tRNA > amino acid. It also has extra explanations on the handout. I gave my students this then had them check their own work with the key. I asked how helpful they found it and it was mostly all thumbs up from the students.”

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Unsure about purchasing a protein synthesis worksheet?

Let me try to convince you that the products I’m offering are worth your hard earned cash. (Or you can always apply for reimbursement through your school.)

I work hard so you don’t have to. Finding useful resources for your lesson is a lot of work. Making them is even more work. Whenever I can, I always trade money for time. A couple dollars to reimburse another classroom teacher for their efforts in creating valuable resources is seen as a fair trade according to thousands of positive reviews.

My resources are high quality. Most of my resources come in both PDF and digital format to support you in face to face, virtual, or hybrid learning models. Having multiple representations is always useful for differentiation. My resources also include an easy to use answer key and high quality image, graphics, and explanations where needed.

All of my resources are guaranteed. That means that if you’re unhappy with your purchase, I will fully refund you. My email is listed on the last page of every resource. All you have to do is send me a quick note about your experience and I can resolve the issue or refund you.

Learn more about how I plan and teach my DNA Unit here.

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