Pineapple Enzyme Lab (Day #1 of 3)

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Collect evidence and use it to develop a claim and compose an argument about the effect of temperature on enzyme activity.

Big Idea

Enzymes are protein-based molecules that catalyze (speed up) chemical reactions. Cell chemistry is essentially impossible without sufficient quantities of properly working enzymes.

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 be able to:

Collect evidence and use it to develop a claim and compose an argument about the effect of various temperature conditions on enzyme activity.

Note: LS1.C (of NGSS) states "As matter and energy flow through different organizational levels of living systems, chemical elements are recombined in different ways to form different products" and refers to HS-LS1-6 and HS-LS1-7. Furthermore, according to A Framework for K-12 Science Education, "Understanding chemical reactions and the properties of elements is essential not only to the physical sciences but also is foundational knowledge for the life sciences and the earth and space sciences." "The capacity of carbon atoms to form the backbone of extended molecular structures  (e.g. enzymes- my clarification) is essential to the chemistry of life" Therefore, even though enzymes are not specifically named in the HS-LS1 learning target group (as I would expect), it is highly relevant for life science instruction and interconnects sufficiently to justify its inclusion (if you ask me).

I hope you get some value from my work!

Anticipatory Set ("Hook")

5 minutes

Word Wall: To begin with, students are provided a copy of the Bromelin Lab Investigation that, with my guidance, will be fully completed by the start of tomorrow's investigation. Next, I verbally review a short list of key vocabulary with them so that, as these terms are used over the course of this three day lesson, their familiarity will be much stronger. Refer to the teacher version of the Bromelin Lab Design PPT and slide #2.

Instructional Input/Student Activities

45 minutes

Teaching Challenge:How do I support my students in posing testable questions and designing effective investigations to answer them?

Teaching Challenge: How do I support my students to compose, communicate, and evaluate a clearly stated, evidence-based, compelling argument? In other words, collect evidence and use it to develop a claim and compose an argument about the effect of various temperature conditions on enzyme activity.

The heart of this, and any other, investigation is to lead students to the point where they can pose a meaningful scientific question, make a reasonable and testable prediction, and devise a method for collecting evidence with which to answer the original question and compose a thoughtful argument about the related phenomenon.

To this end, as we do investigations again and again throughout the year, I expect that student proficiency gets better and better. Toward the end of the year, student teams ought to be able to take off on their own with only a question posed to them by me. This lab, in contrast to the two previous ones, will require that students take a larger role in articulating the specific details to be followed. In my experience, students struggle more with writing procedures than any other aspect of a full-fledged inquiry lab.

To support them I use the video demonstration below as the scaffold to helping them take their time and, as necessary, stop, rewind, and scrub forward in order to glean all details that need to be included in their procedure. Growth in this area is step-wise and, as the year progresses, I will wean them away from such "training wheels" but the time has not yet come!

Please see the Instructional Input section of this lesson for greater detail on writing lab reports, especially procedures.

For other relevant details related to completing the design of this lab, refer to the planning document for Day #1.

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

5 minutes

Review of Lab Essentials: I quickly review the essentials of the key variables for tomorrow's lab (MV, RV, CVs, ECC) as outlined in the lesson-planning document.

Continue to Day #2...