Saliva and Sleepiness: A Look Into Scientific Research!

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Objective

Students will interpret and analyze data presented in a research article to discuss the correlation between sleep activity of the brain and amylase production.

Big Idea

Scientists have discovered that amylase, an enzyme in saliva can be used as a biomarker to assess the level of sleepiness in a person.

Introduction

Lesson Background and Justification:

         Discussion can be utilized to talk about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. In the science classroom, discussion can utilized to generate student interest or to expound upon a concept being presented via productive and active discourse. While, the effectiveness of the discussion itself is contingent upon many factors, the teacher's implementation of discussion style far outreaches others. Said styles include but are not limited to: 

1) Brainstorming Discussion: Sharing ideas without evaluating their validity or value.

2) Synthesizing Discussion: Putting ideas together. Generalizing from specific activities to a broader conclusion. Making connections to personal experiences, previous lessons, or knowledge constructed in other units, lessons, or subject areas.

3) Sense Making Discussion: Figuring things out or making sense of activities. Going deeper, beyond surface answers. May involve challenge,debate, or argument in which students justify their ideas. May involve revision of previous ideas as students learn new information that calls into question the limitations of what they “knew” previously.

        This lesson the mid lesson of a unit on Sleep and Memory, allows for students to address science in a social context (specifically via synthesizing discussion) while further developing their knowledge bases on the correlation between the digestive system, the sleep center of the brain.  

Lesson Preparations:

 In the effort to prepare for this lesson, I make certain that I have the following items in place: 

a) A class set of Changes of Gene Expression with Sleep and Sleep Debt Science Review

b) A class set of 2ml microcentrifuge tubes, plastic pipettes, 10% starch solution (10 grams of starch + 90 ml of distilled water) and iodine. 

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SL.11-12.1-Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.

Standards Rationale:

     Science is a social process. It is one that involves specific ways of talking, reasoning, observing, analyzing, and writing, which often have meaning only when shared within the scientific community. Discussions are one of the best ways to help students learn to “talk science” and construct understanding in a social context. It aids in their abilities to merge their worlds of personal experiences and classroom experiences to fully understand the ever evolving science around them. In this lesson, discussion is used in concert with other science practices (analyzing and interpreting data in the classroom to promote students’ reasoning and understanding of core science ideas presented (explaining the correlation between amylase found in saliva and sleep deprivation).

Engage

10 minutes

Section Instructional Sequence:

              In this section of the lesson, my goals are to introduce the overview of the concept to students from an article review and blogging standpoint and to use the overview to motivate students to set individual content/information goals for themselves as a result. This activity proceeds as follows:

a) Slide 1: State "Today, we are going to read two articles that will extend our understanding on how sleep deprivation can be quantified using a common enzyme as a biomarker." Let's first see what we can extract from a our current knowledge and the MRI presented on the screen about sleep deprivation in general. Discuss for 5 minutes. 

b) Slide 2: Provide each student with a copy of the Berkerly Science Review and share that we are going to use a combination of our personal experiences and video to relate to the information in the main article. We will begin by making personal goals for our reading and discussion experiences using the Berkerly Science Review as our preview. Advance the first bullet on the screen and using the popcorn reading strategy, read this part as a class. 

c) Post-reading, ask students to highlight statements or to record in the margins, areas of the reading that they interested in knowing more about. Share out on specific interests for 3 or so minutes.

Standard Covered: 

SL.11-12.1-Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Explore/Explain

30 minutes

Section Sequence:

In this section of the lesson, my goal is engage students in meaningful discourse about the impact of sleep deprivation on the brain and the factors that can biomark the degree of impact. The idea is to access students' learning experiences from lesson 1 of the unit to explain and apply to some of the phenomenon that they will experience in the article. This activity proceeds as follows:

Advance the task items on the screen and using the popcorn reading strategy (specifically among those students who expressed interest in the articles content), read the following parts of the article aloud and complete the corresponding tasks:

Abstract:Changes in Gene Expression with Sleep (5 minutes)

1) Slide 3- Instruct students to highlight areas that presents new content that was not expressed in the Berkley review that piques your interest and ideas that they think they can explain using the concepts learned within the previous lesson. Allow at least one student to share out on the experience.

2) Discuss: What  new interests do you have as a result of reading the abstract of a more lab based research article? Then instruct student to set up their mini investigation using their saliva samples collected for homework from the previous day (see slide for specific directions). Explain to students that they are going to determine if there is any validity to the claim from the first reading: "According to Shaw, Amylase’s salivary activity, as well as its concentration, is highly correlated with sleep drive" and will simultaneously determine if fruit flies, the human model briefed over in the abstract provides congruent results to this claim. Finally, share with students that they are going to have a crash course on how their target biomarker works and show the video clip: What reaction does amylase catalyze? Post-video clarify any questions students may have. 

Paragraphs 1-4: (3-5 minutes each)

1) Slide 4- Advance each task associated with the a specified paragraph number and complete the tasks and discussion.  Using the popcorn reading strategy (specifically among those students who expressed interest in the article), read each part of the article aloud.

2) Instruct students to highlight areas that they think they can explain using the concepts learned within this unit or what is relevant to the question listed next to the paragraph number. Allow at least one student to share out on the experience for each paragraph.

Note: When asking students the questions presented on the slide, take care to continuously connect their article developments to their lab. For example, after asking the following questions: #3) What is a biomarker? What evidence do the researchers have that amylase is a bonifed biomarker?, ask students if based on their reading thus far if their investigation has potential to support the goal of scientists in this endeavor. Look for their comprehension of what a biomarker is and their understanding that they are utilizing the same biomarker except with human subjects. 

Standard Covered: 

SL.11-12.1-Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Extend

15 minutes

Section Instructional Sequence:

          In this section of the lesson, my goal is to engage students in scientific habits of mind and empower them to validate the conclusions that they read in scientific texts. This section proceeds as follows:

a) Slide 5: Read and progress with tasks as outlined on the slide. 

b) Slide 6: Read and progress with tasks as outlined on the slide. See student sample attached. Once students have recorded responses to the questions in their lab books, discuss their findings. During the discussion, place specific emphasis on the following projected questions:

Is it consistent with the research articles or data  shown thereafter?

What would you recommend for scientists who are performing research on the flies based on your results?

 The goals are to help students understand that they are essentially using content from the articles to grow their background knowledge on sleep deprivation and potential biomarkers as well as using their research data collected to validate or discredit the claim(s) collected from the article themselves.

Standard Covered: 

SL.11-12.1-Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.

Evaluate

20 minutes

Slide 7: In order to assess how well students internalized the article's content, I prepare the articles to exclude the summary content (paragraph #5) and instruct for students to produce and submit a summary for the article's main points (1 paragraph minimum).

Standards Covered: 

SL.11-12.1-Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.