Life in a Box (Day # 2 of 3)

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SWBAT develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting organelles within a cell. (HS-LS1-2)

Big Idea

Life is like a box... It has a defined boundary, things can go into and out of it and the action happens inside of it!

Learner Goals

Note: I recommend that you first check out this resource in order to get the most out of this lesson!

In high school I took several drafting classes and, for a while, I had hoped to become an architect. With respect to planning instruction and teaching, I feel that I can still live out the detailed approach to building something intricate and complex even though the product is a lesson rather than a certain "built environment".

The lesson-planning document that I uploaded to this section is a comprehensive overview of how I approach lesson planning. This template includes the "Big Three" aspects of the NGSS standards: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices. Of course, there are many other worthy learning goals, skills, instructional strategies, and assessments that can be integrated into a class session. I don't feel compelled to check every box but, rather, use it as a guide to consider various options and tailor the lesson in light of these.

With regard to this particular lesson students will understand that the box can be a simple analogy for any and all cells. It has definite boundaries, things can go into and out of it and the interior space is where the action happens. Through completing this project, students will produce a cell model in which the similarities and differences among and between animal, plant, and bacterial cells are described. Additionally, students will describe the similarities and differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Lastly, they will match the basic functions of the major organelles.

I hope you get some value from my work! Please find the more intricate details of this lesson plan there.

Anticipatory Set ("Hook")

15 minutes

Refer to Day #1 of the Cell Box Project...

For today's work, distribute the diagrams for bacteria, plant, and animal cells. Remind students to color-code each organelle the same for any and all cells that contain that organelle. In this way, it will be a very simple visual way to determine which organelle(s) are uniform to all cells.

Furthermore, the project requires students to compare and contrast several pairs of cell types:

1) Plant vs. animal

2) Eukaryote vs. prokaryote

I require my students to address only the 16 organelles featured in the podcast (video lecture) from Day #1 as the basis for this critical thinking task.

Additionally, students are to categorize each of the organelles according to their function. These categories include:

1) Build or Destroy To this category I would place lysosomes and ribosomes.

2) Support To this category I would place the cell membrane, cell wall, and cytoskeleton.

3) Store Stuff To this category I would place vacuoles and cytoplasm.

4) Move Stuff To this category I would place the Golgi Body, Smooth & Rough ER, and cytoskeleton.

Certainly the strategy of "divide and conquer" clearly applies to cell structure and function, however I let my students know that a single given organelle could be placed in more than one category and these connections are good for them to discover.

Keeping an eye on the end product, here is a sample of completed student projects.

Instructional Input/Student Activities

50 minutes

Students are to continue with the work described in the prior section for the duration of class:

1) Color-code each organelle found in the respective cells (animal, bacteria, plant). Each organelle ought to be the same color regardless of which cell it is found in (e.g. cytoplasm=yellow, chromatin=blue)

2) Compare and contrast cell types

3) Categorize organelles according to functions(s)

Again, refer to slides 8, 11 and 12 of the Cell Box Project PPT for an example of the finished product.

Closure: What did we learn? Where do we go from here?

With the colored cell diagrams completed today, tomorrow will feature the construction of the cell box model of the plant, animal, and bacterial cells!

See Day #3 of 3...