Educator Resources

Class Discussion
Establish Prior Knowledge

Discuss genes with students. Ask:

  • Can genes determine your susceptibility to disease?
  • Can your environment affect your susceptibility to disease?

Tell students that researchers went to Morocco to study the genes of three groups of Berber people living in different settings: urban, rural, and nomadic. The researchers wanted to know if there was a relationship between a person’s genes and environment. Tell students that the Snapshot they will see documents the researchers’ findings.


Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Use the following questions to guide discussion.  

1. Do the three groups of people share the same genes? 

2. What’s the difference between active and inactive genes?

3. What did researchers discover about active genes in the urban group?

4. What do researchers hypothesize about what might have caused this gene expression?


Revisit the discussion you had prior to watching the Snapshot. Ask your students:  

  • Does this change what you think about how environment can affect a person’s susceptibility to disease?