Pineapple Enzyme Lab (Day #2 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.

I hope you get some value from my work!

Anticipatory Set ("Hook")

10 minutes

Continued from Day #1...

Teaching Challenge: How do I develop routines and procedures to support students to work independently in the science classroom?

My intentional shaping and influencing of team dynamics began very early in the school year as evidenced in this student teams activity. In fact, formal team member roles are outlined as explained in this document. With this routine and class culture in place, I look for frequent and natural opportunities to refine it and reinforce what awesome teams look and sound like.

Toward this end, students will make an equitable plan for implementing the steps of this lab including dividing up the work to be done and set up the lab for overnight refrigeration. I approve of each team’s procedure as an accountability measure that the proper criteria have been met.

So far, I have had such cooperation and harmony among the members of my 15 student teams (in two classes) which is tremendously gratifying. To give due credit, my students are so cool, curious, friendly, and flexible which makes this year especially enjoyable to me. Honestly, just yesterday I had to ask my class, "Have I told you how much fun I am having with you all?" They replied that it had been a little while but they knew it to be true. I love these students!

To be sure, I have had my challenges in the past so I cannot take all of the credit! But I believe the best defense against classroom management issues is an engaging and well-planned lesson with copious amounts of encouragement and opportunities for quality and frequent feedback so that students can make improvements and to really experience what it feels like to be proud of their best work. That pride-in-work is largely why I work my tail off in support of my kids. It is an extremely powerful motivator!

Instructional Input/Student Activities

35 minutes

Implementing the Plan : (Bromelin Lab Design slides #15-20)

Students enact their plan for implementing the lab in order to set up the lab for overnight refrigeration.

Careful consideration should be paid when working with the gelatin (which can be hot) as well as the hot water bath. I keep thermal gloves on hand (pun intended) for student safety. As students work, I circulate around to see what students might need and to pose different questions to be sure that everyone knows the lab plan, knows their job, and is doing their job. Here are a standard set of inquiries I make:

1. What is the question you are seeking to answer?

2. What is the MV, RV, CV, and ECC for your team's investigation?

3. What is your prediction?

4. If the gelatin is solid tomorrow (evidence), then how active had the bromelin enzyme been (claim)?

5. What exactly is your job during lab? What questions do you need clarification with in order to do it to the best of your ability?

In this way, if students did not seek clarification on their own (or if some confusion arose as teams began their individual work) I can run interference and hopefully "prevent a fire from starting" as opposed to dealing with it after the fact.

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

10 minutes

Review of Expected Results: As a check for understanding, I quickly review the predictions of the four teams investigating the lowered (freezing) temperatures and the other four teams investigating the elevated (boiling) temperatures. Perhaps there is now a different sense of what might occur since yesterday's initial predictions?

Furthermore, a team investigating the lower temperature conditions ought to have a sense of what might happen with the elevated temperature conditions and vice-versa so this is good to review as a class before we actually observe and record data on Day #3...