The Need for Speed: Enzymes, part 1
Lesson 6 of 30
Objective: Students will explore the properties of enzymes and gain an understanding of what they are and how they work.
Warm-Up: What is the primary function of enzymes?
Ask the warm-up question as a formative assessment to determine the depth of prior knowledge students have about enzymes. Listen for any misconceptions about what enzymes do. Jot down misconceptions on the whiteboard but do not address the misconceptions at this time. Explain that we will refer back to these thoughts later in the class. Listen to see if the class universally possesses a clear understanding of the function of enzymes. If so, adjust the instruction to spend less time teaching on the function of enzymes and possibly more time exploring how they work.
Introduce New Material
Begin the lesson by introducing the vocabulary associated with the lesson: enzyme, substrate, activation energy, protein, active site, catalyst, specificity, denature, -ase. Say each word aloud and ask students to repeat the term after you. Clap out the syllables for the terms with 2 or more syllables. This helps students hear the word parts of more complex words so that they can pronounce them correctly. Vocabulary acquisition includes being able to pronounce new words and this simple practice helps all students become more adept at correct pronunciation of new words.
Distribute copies of an informational text on enzymes. Explain that students are to perform a “close read” of the text, using highlighters that you provide to cite the most important facts they learn while reading the text. A close read is a literacy activity that allows students to read and annotate important points they pick up while reading.
Give students 10 minutes to independently read and highlight the text. Walk around the room to ensure that all students are engaged in the task. Note: For those students with reading deficits, allow them to read the same informational text using a computer and the Kurzweil program to assist them. The Kurzweil program allows students to work independently with reading and vocabulary support, which allows them to complete the same tasks as stronger readers in the classroom.
At the end of the assigned reading time, instruct students to identify one sentence that they think is the most significant sentence in the text. This reading technique is called “The Golden Line”. Give students 1 minute to turn and talk with a nearby classmate about the “golden line” that they selected. After they share in small groups, allow 2-3 students to share with the class. Instruct them to share what they selected as the “golden line” and why they felt it was the most significant line in the text.
Provide explicit instruction on the function of enzymes and instruct students to take notes using guided notes that you provide. If you do not provide guided notes, use a note taking strategy that you have taught students previously. Walk around to ensure that students are writing down what is being taught.
Refer students back to the informational text worksheet that you distributed earlier in the lesson. Guide them through the completion of questions 1-3 as you model how to use the text and notes to explain and cite the rationale for the correct responses to each of the three questions. Provide guidance for the 1st question and allow them to complete the remaining two questions working with a partner.
Walk around to monitor that all students are on task and able to cite the text that helps them answer the questions. Use “4 Corners” to indentify the correct answers to the remaining questions as a whole class. In “4 Corners”, students move to one of four corners of the room where a label (A,B, C, or D) is posted.
After each of the selected responses question is read from the worksheet, instruct students to go and stand in the corner that reflects their response to the question. Select one student in the correct corner to explain his/her answer to the question. Listen for students’ ability to correctly identify the rationale for their answers. This formative assessment is an easy and quick way to determine how many students possess an understanding of the content or not. When students provide the rationale for their answer, ask them to cite exactly where in the text they were able to find the correct answer to the question.
In this case, the student work indicates that the student was be able to correctly identify the correct selected response for questions 1-2, but missed question 3. When a student misses a particular question, conduct a brief spiral review of the concept before moving to the next question.
Instruct students to complete the student worksheet, questions 4-6 and the concept map independently. Walk around to monitor that all students are on task. Look for students’ ability to interpret the graphs correctly. Look for students to be able correctly use the word bank to complete the concept map, as shown in the student work that is included. Use of concept maps are a great way to reinforce concepts and assess how well students understand concepts.
Quickly revisit the list of misconceptions that were identified at the start of the class. Make sure students are able to correct the misconceptions. Distribute an “Enzyme quick quiz” to allow students to self-assess how much they have learned from the content taught. Instruct students to complete the two questions and submit. Collect the work and review student responses as a formative assessment.