How We Get Our Skin Color

Is our skin color determined only by genetics? Explore skin science through a video and related interactive. Young biologists discover the cells of the epidermis, how melanin is made, and the factors that influence the outward appearance of humankind's largest organ.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Show the video as a part of a whole class experience, or go one-on-one with the interactive version that includes more information and links
  • Do a quick pairs activity where students discuss genetics and environmental factors that contribute to skin color
Classroom Considerations
  • Make sure pupils are clear on the organelles found in the cells of the epidermis by reviewing a diagram before the video begins
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • The explanations are grade-appropriate and detailed
  • Colorful animations illustrate the process of creating and shipping melanin between melanocytes and keratinocytes
Cons
  • None
Common Core