Chemical Compounds in Cells - Flipped

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SWBAT identify the connections between chemical compounds and cells.

Big Idea

This lesson helps students see the connections between chemistry and biology at the cellular level.


5 minutes

The students enter the room, take out their Chromebooks and begin working on a Socrative quiz.  While they work on the quiz, I am able to see their result in real time.  This allows me to work with individual students later in the lesson, to clarify areas in which they are having difficulty.  Moreover, the students receive immediate feedback as they answer the questions, so they know whether or not they answered the question correctly and what the correct answer was supposed to be.

In this video, I review some of the student answers to the quiz.


10 minutes

Once the students have completed the quiz, we review their flipped notes.  I return the graded copies of their notes reviews and remind the students to add to their notes as we review the items and to correct their notes reviews as necessary.  For this particular in-class review of the notes, I focus in on having the students make as many connections between chemistry and biology as possible.  We review the terms compounds, elements, molecules, and atoms in the context of biology.  I also focus in on laying some of the foundation for genetics by introducing nucleic acids.

This is the video the students are expected to view and take notes on prior to this lesson.


20 minutes

After we have reviewed the notes, I have the students log into their Chromebooks and find their plasma membrane worksheet on our Google Classroom site.  For this lesson, the students will be focusing in on the cell membrane.  While the students are opening their documents, I also open the document and display it on the SMARTBoard.  I lead the students through the Build a Membrane activity on the SMART board as they complete the activity on their Chromebooks.  Some of the students have difficulty building a membrane that will stay together, so by completing the activity on the SMARTBoard, those students are still able to follow along without becoming overly frustrated if they cannot build the phospholipid bilayer of the membrane.  I also lead the students through the Build a Membrane activity because I want to emphasize the questions that I have designed to accompany the activity.  While the students understand the function of the cell membrane, they do not understand how it is constructed.  I have found that this activity helps them to remember the construction and I am able to use this activity as a reminder and reference during future lessons.

Once we have finished with the Build a Membrane activity, the students work on their own to review the other activities listed.  While the students are working on this, I am checking in with individual students regarding their scores on the quiz from the beginning of the lesson.  During this check in, I ask them to explain their thinking regarding the questions they missed on the quiz.  I address their misconceptions and help them think of ways for remembering the correct information.  Many times the students will tell me that they hit the wrong button.  When they tell me this, I ask them to tell me what the correct answer was and to explain why it was the correct answer.  This helps to ensure that the student does know the correct answer.

Within this mini unit on cells, I spend a great deal of time reviewing the cell membrane.  I do this because as we move through the upcoming units, specifically the circulatory system unit, the students will need to understand the processes through which items enter and leave cells.  This lesson also addresses NGSS MS-LS1-2, SP2, and Cross Cutting Concept: Structure and Function as students explore the online model of the cell membrane and how it functions.

Wrap up

5 minutes

Near the end of class, I ask the students to turn to a neighbor and describe the most frustrating part of the game and the most interesting.  Without a doubt, the most frustrating thing for the students was having the cell membrane fall apart and them having to rebuild it.  While this was frustrating for them, it did require repetition and they were able to remember the construction in later lessons.  I then called the class back together to have them describe some of the chemistry related words and processes that appeared in the activity.