Lesson 22

Using StopMotion Video to Explore Protein Synthesis (Day 3 of 3)

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SWBAT explain the three phases of protein synthesis (transcription, RNA processing, and translation) and protein processing by creating videos to describe the process.

Big Idea

Keep your kids engaged in learning the complex process of protein synthesis using this StopMotion video creation activity!

Notes for the Teacher

This is a three day lesson series that allows students the opportunity to teach protein synthesis through an StopMotion video app on our school issued iPads.  This could also be done in a more tradition video format that students most likely have access on their personal devices.  

On Day 1, student groups brainstorm their video, choose materials, assign roles, and investigate the app.

Standards: SL.9-10.1SL.9-10.4SL.9-10.5RST.9-10.2RST.9-10.3RST.9-10.4HS-LS1-1HS-LS3-1SP1SP2SP8XC-P-HS-1XC-SF-HS-2XC-SC-HS-1

On Day 2, students work together to film their videos.

Standards: SL.9-10.1SL.9-10.1aSL.9-10.4SL.9-10.5RST.9-10.2RST.9-10.3RST.9-10.4HS-LS1-1HS-LS3-1SP1SP2SP8XC-P-HS-1XC-SF-HS-2XC-SC-HS-1

On Day 3, students view each other's videos and complete a peer evaluation for each other's work.

Standards: W.9-10.2fSL.9-10.1SL.9-10.4SL.9-10.5RST.9-10.2RST.9-10.3RST.9-10.4HS-LS1-1HS-LS3-1SP1SP2SP8XC-P-HS-1XC-SF-HS-2XC-SC-HS-1

Students are incredibly engaged throughout the process and often arrange to come in during lunch multiple times in order to create the video they envisioned in our brainstorming session.  They are proud to show their unique way of showing the process of protein synthesis and protein processing and are supportive of each other's approaches during the peer review and large group debrief.  Because this unit involves an abstract, multi-step, complicated process that students typically have never heard of before, I find that this video creation piece really helps to build upon the work we've done through video clips, drawings, and our simulation lab to ensure that every student understands the flow of genetic information and gene expression from start to finish.  

Then Classroom Flow: Introducing Today's Activity

10 minutes

1.  Tell students they have 5 minutes to get their device and set up their device on their lab tables with their movie set up and open on the screen ready to view.  Ask them to sit back down at their desks when this step is completed.

2.  When students are seated, pass out the StopMotion peer feedback document.  Review the process with students.  

  • NOTE:  Because this is a common activity for my students, we spend no more than a few minutes preparing to look at each other's work thoughtfully and respond honestly and kindly.  Students know that they receive a grade from me for filling out the peer review forms, but that I do not  use their scores as part of my teacher assessment of the team videos, those are scored separately.

The Classroom Flow: Viewing Student Group Videos

30 minutes

1.  Remind students of our gallery walk/peer feedback protocols:

  • Honest, positive feedback is expected.
  • Student teams take turns being the recorder.
  • Student teams will be focused and engaged in discussion following the prompts on the feedback form.
  • Enjoy seeing each other's work!  Notice how each team approached their movie in their own way and how that did or didn't help your learning and review of the process of protein synthesis.

2.  Tell students that they will spend the rest of the class session looking at each video with their movie partners, discussing the work they see, and completing their joint feedback documents for each video project.

3.  While students are viewing the class videos, you can also use this time to evaluate each video using the form that student groups are using for their peer feedback activity.

  •  Note: You can expect that student pairs will be engaged throughout this session.  Students love to see each other's work and compare how each student approached the project.  The feedback form gives student pairs direction so that they stay on task, and the length of the session is long enough to get the work done but still short enough to create a sense of movement and urgency so that students continue to direct their conversations toward the science content and presentation. As you look at each project, you can check in with student evaluator teams about their questions or to have them consider one specific concept from their form in more closely.  Be sure to verbally appreciate student work and effort throughout the session as students are sincerely very proud of their individualized, creative work!

4.  Check out some examples of student video work below.  The first sample is a high level project overall. Each of the other projects have some strong elements but also contain one or two areas in need of correction, clarification, or editing.

SW movie 1

SW movie 2

SW movie 3

SW movie 4

5. Check out this student work sample for the feedback document that goes with SW movie 4.  I felt the student comments were in line with my grading and that their comments were positive and helpful.

The Classroom Flow: Wrapping Up

10 minutes

1.  Ask students to close out their videos but leave the devices at their lab tables for the next class.  Have them return to their desks for our last wrap up activity.

2.  Ask student groups to discuss the following prompts:

What stood out to you most about the videos you watched? Were there any surprises?

After watching the videos, what do you now understand about protein synthesis and protein processing that you didn't before?

Alternatively, you could focus this conversation more on the video creation process with prompts like these:

What challenges did you face making your video? How did you overcome them?

After making your video, what do you now understand about protein synthesis and protein processing that you didn't before?

3.  Using the spokesperson protocol, share out group responses. Students will share responses similar to the following:

  • Making the movie helped me see what I really didn't know that I thought I did. Then I asked my partners for help and we figured what was actually true.
  • Watching the movies other groups made about protein synthesis helped me to review what I knew and quiz myself as I followed along.
  • I liked seeing how creative our class is.  Everybody did this a little bit differently and I liked that.  
  • Time is always the challenge and there is nothing to do but stop panicking and get to work. Or maybe ask the teacher for more time (thanks for that, by the way).

4.  Address any enduring misconceptions/uncertainties if there is time.  If there isn't time to address any specific question, make note of them to follow up on the following day.

  • Note:  In this group of videos, I noticed a few groups used the term 'promoter' incorrectly and I am wondering if there is something I said or did that planted that misconception in their thought processes.  I will go back and look over my class notes and check in with them to reteach the concept and to determine improvements in that area for next year. 

5.  Congratulate students on their work and remind them to make sure they have delivered their videos to you for further viewing in whatever way that you initially agreed upon.  In my classroom, students upload their work to our shared biology class folder on Google drive.