Cells & Homeostasis: The Inner Life of a Cell

For our entry task today, students had the opportunity to check out a biology textbook.  The textbook should stay home, as we will have a class set of books to use at school.  Students who did not check out a book will be provided with copies of reading assignments as needed.

Next, we watched a video produced by the BioVisions group at Harvard University.  The video, The Inner Life of a Cell, provides a visually amazing introduction of cells to students who may not realize how dynamic cells really are.  After the video, students worked together to begin reading chapter 1 of the “purple book” – Inside the Cell.  Students used the following A/B Partner Paraphrase Reading strategy, with the goal of reading pages 6-13 of the book:

  • Partner A reads one section out loud
  • Partner B listens and then summarizes the section out loud back to Partner A
  • Partner A then summarizes Partner B’s summary out loud
  • Both Partner A and B write down the final summary

The purpose of the reading strategy is to provide students with the opportunity to read aloud and practice saying new vocabulary words, and also to help them distill key ideas through summarization.  Students who would like to order their own free copy of Inside the Cell should visit the National Institute of General Medical Sciences website and do so as soon as possible.  There are quite a few excellent freebies available from the NIGMS website, including magazines and posters.

We will complete the reading tomorrow and make flash cards tomorrow to help students learn about cell organelles.

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