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Students of all ages get a thrill out of actually seeing clumps or strands of DNA. The Biotechnology/Bioinformatics Discovery! Project, a professional development workshop offered to science teachers, has always included a DNA-extraction activity. Over the course of four years, as the authors conducted these workshops for scores of teachers, they extended and refined the DNA-extraction activity to make it relevant to middle school students. Although the protocol for this exercise is on their project website along with teaching tips, they describe here the use of oral directions to give teachers many opportunities to interact with their students, and to assess how well students can follow directions and stay focused on the task.