Should the World Stop Cloning Around?

Teacher Notes

It has been said that when the United States coughs the rest of the world catches a cold. As a member of the President's inner circle you are keenly aware of this fact. After your last cabinet meeting with the President he pressed an envelope into your palm as he left the room with the other advisors. After waiting for the Oval Office to clear, you step away from the window and open it up.


It is with great trepidation that I put pen to paper. Ever since the word got out that a lamb in England was successfully cloned, I have feared it would come to this. As you know there is a doctor in Cleveland who is brazenly suggesting that he can and will clone a human being. I have asked for congress to officially ban the procedure of cloning but I am powerless to make laws. I have received many calls from overseas asking how I intend to lead my country on this issue and, while I have been open in my opposition of the procedure, I lack the real knowledge to make an informed decision on the subject. This is where you and your team come in. I need you to search for the latest research and information on both the good and the bad of cloning so that I might be able to make a convincing statement either way. As I go so will the world, so the decision I make must be the right decision for all, not just a moral decision for some. As your leader all I ask from you are the facts, not your opinions. As your President, I will assume the responsibilities of that opinion. Please hurry as I expect this issue only to grow in the days ahead.


In order to shape the report, please use these questions to assist you in your research.

  1. What, if any, are the benefits of cloning?
  2. Are there any risks associated with cloning?
  3. At this point in time what types of organisms have been cloned and what is the result of those clonings?
  4. Where is most cloning research taking place today?
  5. Should I be concerned with the efforts of other countries with regard to cloning?
  6. What are the ethical concerns regarding cloning? Is the controversy just over human cloning?
  7. Are there specific medical benefits to cloning that completely outweigh the risks and ethical concerns of cloning?
  8. On a large scale, what could be the effect of cloning on a large species?
  9. With regards to people's fear of cloning, what things in particular should we fear?
  10. Given our current world climate, does cloning make economic sense?
  11. Lastly, could a crazed leader create a master race and dominate the world?

The Task

Your team should try and address each question in an objective manner and leave personal opinions out of the equation. Your job is not to shape the President's opinion, merely to guide him. For each question you should provide the Pros and the Cons of each issue related to cloning, and in the event you come across something new, relate it to the President immediately.

The Process

  1. Divide the research amongst your team preferably into a "for and against" whereas two of you will seek out favorable information and the other two negative information.
  2. You should plan on providing the President with both a written and oral presentation as he may not have time to read your report. If possible use charts and other display material so the President can use them later if he needs to.


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Learning Advice

While researching the questions it is of paramount importance that you remain unbiased and provide the President with the best information presently available. His decision on this issue will likely shape the world's views and policies, and will likely land him a place in history. It remains up in the air though how that view will be.


You and your team will be assessed on the accuracy, authenticity, relevancy, and thoroughness of your research by the President himself.


This activity is designed to raise an awareness of the potential of cloning humans and its effects on our present, naturally born population.


Answer two of the three questions.

  1. Based on your research, should we as a society fear the cloning of humans?
  2. Does cloning have a place in our future?
  3. What if any benefits do you see in cloning?


Teacher Notes
Grade Level Grade 12: Contemporary Issues

History-Social Science Grade 12: Students understand and explain the scope and limits of rights as democratic citizens, the relationships among those rights and how they are secured. Therefore, students explain the meaning of personal rights as distinguished from political rights...and explain economic rights...

Language Arts Grade 12: Reading Comprehension: Students critique the power, validity, and truthfulness in the logic of arguments set forth in public documents, their appeal to audiences both friendly and hostile and the extent to which they address reader concern and counter claims. Writing Strategies: Students write coherent and focused texts that convey a well-defined perspective and tightly-reasoned argument. Listening and Speaking: Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations of their own that convey clear and distinct perspectives and solid reasoning.

Lesson Purpose: To be able to objectively research a controversial issue.

Length of Lesson: To sufficiently complete this lesson please allow at least two weeks for research and presentations to take place.

Materials Needed: All materials should be found on the Internet. If the Internet is not available, periodicals and newspapers should be used to complete the project.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Language Arts/Science

Adaptations for Special Needs Students:

This is an opinion related topic so all students, once aware of the issues and ethics concerning cloning, should be able to participate successfully in completing the tasks.

David R. Mac Donald
Michael S. Karayan
Fillmore Middle School Fillmore USD

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Last Revised: 03/21/06