Introduction to Mitosis

Mitosis, or somatic cell division, involves the division of one cell into two after all of the components of the original cell (including the DNA!) divide into two sets.  We began by watching a Crash Course video about mitosis:

After the video, students were assigned to read pages 46-51 of chapter 4 (Cellular Reproduction: Multiplication By Division) of Inside the Cell.   Students then answered the following questions in their lab notebooks:

  1. Explain the purpose of mitosis.
  2. Which cells undergo mitosis?
  3. Describe the phases of mitosis in detail (words and/or drawings).
  4. Explain what happens when cells divide uncontrollably.  List the known causes of uncontrolled cell division.

This unit is focused specifically on NGSS Standard HS-LS1-4Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms. 


Updated: November 28

We continued our introductory lesson with a PowerPoint slide deck reviewing the key concepts from yesterday.  Students also received back their Unit 2 Exams with instructions on how to revise and resubmit the exam to recover partial credit (below):

Students had the remainder of the class period to work on lab reports or complete the reading assignment from yesterday.  As a reminder, the reading assignment is due on Thursday (11/30).

Functional Group Poster – Days 2-3

Prior to beginning our second day of work on the Functional Group Poster Project, we discussed the Ester Synthesis Lab scheduled for tomorrow.  Students received the lab handout and were instructed to read it completely and answer the pre-lab assignment questions as homework.

Next, we discussed the concept of “R groups” to help students better understand how to complete the poster project.  We first watched the video posted to the previous lesson (also below) and then worked through a PowerPoint slide deck.  Students had the remainder of the class period to work on their posters.

Functional Group Poster – Day 1

On the day before Thanksgiving Break, we began class with the Lesson 33 PowerPoint which introduced the concept of functional groups.  We reviewed the functional groups illustrated in Lesson 33 of the textbook and then students assembled into groups of no more than four students to begin working on the Functional Group Project.  For the first day of the project, students worked together to begin researching the various aspects of the functional group they selected.  Many students were confused by the “R-group” nomenclature.  With so many students absent due to the short holiday week, we will discuss the R-group concept when we reconvene on Monday.  For students looking to supplement the Lesson 33 textbook content, here’s a brief video to hold you over until Monday:

Potato Catalase Lab Report

  1. Read this document through to the end!!!
  2. The report is due on Friday, December 1, 2017.
  3. The Potato Catalase Lab Report Checklist contains all of the required items for your report.
  4. You may work (equally) with one partner.
  5. Create a Google Doc (shared with the teacher and your partner) for your lab report.
  6. Create a Google Sheet (shared with your partner) for your analysis.
  7. Use your potato catalase lab packet as your guide!  It contains nearly everything you need to write the Introduction.
  8. You should have written the Procedure in your lab notebook before conducting the experiment.
  9. The Results for Data Table 1 are provided here.  For Data Table 2, copy the results tables into Google Sheets and organize them so you can calculate the average change in oxygen for each experimental group.  Make a table of the average change in oxygen for each sample per group (i.e. average all of the “raw potato” data, repeat for the other groups) and then make a graph from that for your lab report.
  10. Use the data from Data Table 2 to discuss the results in your Discussion.  Also refer back to your potato catalase lab packet.
  11. Please ask Mr. Swart for help.  If you get stuck on one part, work on another part until you can get help.  This must be turned in by midnight on Friday, December 1 to receive credit.  No exceptions.

Octet Rule

We continued our study of Lewis Dot Structures by investigating the Octet Rule through the lens of double and triple bonds.  Students applied the HONC 1234 rule with their understanding of valence electrons (octet = eight electrons) to build molecules that share one or more bonds.  We worked through the Lesson 32 PowerPoint and then students used the Lewis Dot puzzle pieces from Lesson 31 to work through the Lesson 32 worksheet.  Some students elected to use molecular modeling kits to further their understanding of the geometry of how atoms bond.

Unit 2 Review

We packed a lot into our short Friday class period today, starting off with a return to the potato catalase lab packet.  We worked through pages 4-6 and students were directed to find the results from all of the classes on yesterday’s lesson post.  Students also received a copy of the Potato Catalase Lab Report Checklist and learned that they may work with a partner to complete the report and the due date is December 1.  Students were told that they can turn the report early to receive feedback which can be used to revise and improve their report by the due date.

For the last part of class, we reviewed Unit 2 content, with students encouraged to review the process of a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger being digested.  Students should practice writing an explanation which breaks down the parts of the food into biomolecules, explaining how those molecules are digested (anatomy of the digestion system and enzymes involved), and then explaining how the biomolecules are absorbed into the body and reassembled (biosynthesis) to form new biomolecules the body needs to live.

Potato Catalase Lab

For the lab today, students were instructed to record the steps of the procedure in their lab notebooks.  Steps were provided orally to emphasize the absolute importance of active listening (and not talking) while instruction is being delivered.  Students conducted the lab working in groups and recorded data in a class data table on the white board.  Results from all three classes are provided below:

Period 1 Raw Boiled Frozen Vinegar Ammonia
% O2 start 17.06 17.81 17.58 17.65 18.21
% O2 final 16.10 17.80 18.96 18.49 18.14
Time (sec) 379 213 900 321 160
Mass of potato (g) 3.8 5.1 3.5 3.8 3.8
Period 4 Raw Boiled Frozen Vinegar Ammonia Raw
% O2 start 17.66 16.60 17.65 16.58 17.40 17.60
% O2 final 19.47 16.65 18.60 16.41 17.44 17.58
Time (sec) 600 226 417 247 285 300
Mass of potato (g) 5.5 6.5 5.9 5.6 6.9 8.1
Period 6 Raw Boiled Frozen Vinegar Ammonia
% O2 start 17.70 16.81 16.81 17.17 17.55
% O2 final 17.52 16.74 17.15 17.88 17.59
Time (sec) 300 300 300 300 300
Mass of potato (g) 8.1 3.1 6.3 7.9 4.9
Mr. Swart Raw Raw Raw
% O2 start 17.34 17.04 17.88
% O2 final 18.12 17.62 18.12
Time (sec) 300 300 300
Mass of potato (g) 6.6 6.9 7.9