Prior to this class period, I have the students complete Circulatory System Unit Info in order to preview the content they will be working with. We use this document for the remainder of the unit as a way to track student understanding of concepts. More information about this process can be found in the Chemistry: What do You Know? lesson.
As the students enter the room, they take out their journals and respond to the prompt:
What is the function of the circulatory system within the body? Provide examples.
While the students write, I read their journals, looking for evidence that they reviewed the notes prior to class and that they have an understanding of the purpose of the circulatory system. At this point, many of the journals note that the function of the circulatory system is to move blood through the body, but I need them to know why it is important for the blood to move through the body. I encourage students to think about what it is about the blood that is important and to write about it.
Once the students have had a chance to write in their journals, I ask for volunteers to share their journal with the class. The volunteers point out that the function of the circulatory system is to move blood. I then guide them by asking what is in the blood and why we need it to move through our bodies. I ask them to think carefully about our previous lessons and the students are able to comment that oxygen, hormones, and drugs move through the bloodstream.
This is the video that students are expected to take notes on prior to this class
I have the students take out their notes and tell them that we will be spending our class time focusing on the function and purpose of the circulatory system. While they do this, I load the presentation on the SMART board. I begin with a quick recap of the information they shared in their journals. Then I ask the students questions about the notes and point to specific slides in the presentation. For instance, since this is the first time the students are discussing information, I use models and the presentation to point out the four chambers of the heart. We discuss the permeable structures and I ask questions to make sure that the students remember what the word permeable means. I also review the branching of blood vessels, paying specific attention to the capillaries and then review the pathway that blood takes to travel through the body. A final highlight that I review with the students in preparation for the rest of the lesson is the blood cells and their functions.
This review of the notes addresses NGSS MS-LS1-3 as we review the circulatory system as a subsystem and the cells of which it is composed.
The students take out their Chromebooks and open the Circulatory System Transport worksheet. I have them begin by typing the answers to the first few questions. As they do this, I read through their work. After the students have had an opportunity to record their thoughts, I ask them to share their answers within their small group. During this time of sharing, I do permit students to change or add to their answers. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to review the students' initial answers while they are working individually. Sharing their answers within their small groups helps them to build confidence in their responses, so I also ask them to share out to the class. These questions also serve as a good review of the information previously covered during class.
I then display the Circulatory System Transport website on the SMARTBoard and go through the instructions with the students. It is important that they understand the information in the second paragraph as it explains how this game representation of the circulatory system differs from how the circulatory system actually functions. Reviewing this disclaimer provides students with a good opportunity to discuss and addresses NGSS SP2 (Developing and Using Models) and the Cross Cutting Concept Systems and System Models as it helps students understand that models can be used to represent systems but are limited in that they may represent only a part of a system. **This is a good time to explain to the students that another issue with the game is that they are not expected to deliver oxygen to each of target sites they visit. This caused some confusion and frustration for my students.
After reviewing the instructions, students spend time working through the activity. Many times I allow the students to work with a partner as this provides them with the opportunity to discuss the information they are reading and working on. This can lead to good questions and a deeper level of understanding as the students generate dialog with one another instead of just clicking boxes. When the students have completed the activity once, I ask them to work with a partner, or a different partner if they already had one, to compare their charts and then try the activity again.
This is a sample of student work for this activity: Circulatory System Transport-student work and this Circulatory System Transport video provides additional information about how I use the online interactive.
To wrap up the lesson, I go through the activity on the SMARTBoard, asking the students to tell me what I should "pick up" and what I should "deliver", reminding them that the goal is to achieve a perfect score. I call on a different student for each portion of the activity, and I ask them to explain their choice. When we have finished the activity as a group, I ask the students to explain the manner in which the circulatory system is a transport system. I expect them to be able to provide each of the examples reviewed in the online interactive.