We wrapped up our week of studying cells and their organelles with a quiz. After the quiz, students received their egg for the egg lab. The wrote their name, class period, and starting mass (in grams) of their egg on a plastic cup, filled the cup with enough vinegar to cover the egg, and then wrapped plastic wrap over the cup to help seal in the vinegar. The egg shells quickly began to bubble as the vinegar began dissolving the shells. We will observe the eggs Monday and continue the egg lab then. Time permitting, students were treated to another Jimmy Fallon video featuring Kevin Delaney:
Students received their quizzes from last Friday and we reviewed how to analyze network diagrams. Students learned that when analyzing an edge between two nodes, the arrow of the edge points to the receiving node. For example, of Student A calls Student B, the students would be nodes, and the edge would start at Student A and point toward Student B.
Next, students had time to complete and/or review their organelle flash cards from yesterday. Students were told yesterday that the flash cards were due today, but with the Illuminate website down for much of the day, students received an extra day to complete the flash cards with the expectation that Illuminate is back up reliably tomorrow. Students then worked in small groups of 3-4 and were assigned to draw either a plant cell or an animal cell. First, the drawing must include all of the organelles found in the assigned cell type. Second, students must research interactions between the organelles. Finally, students will use their drawing to construct a network diagram, with each organelle serving as a node, and the relationships between the organelles serving as the edges. Each node must have at least one edge originating from it. Students were permitted to use all available resources, including the class textbook, the purple book (Inside the Cell), and scientifically reliable websites accessed from their phones. Students will have the class period tomorrow to complete the project and Chromebooks will be available. Students are encouraged to research relationships between the organelles as homework this evening.
Complete the reading from yesterday (pages 6-13 from Inside the Cell), complete with summaries of each section written in the lab notebook for each student.
Create flash cards as shown in the picture below:
A complete set of 12 flash cards for each student are due at the beginning of class tomorrow (one card for each of the 12 organelles). Students should use their textbook if they have one at home, the online version of Inside the Cell, and any other scientifically valid resources. The National Science Foundation has an excellent interactive resource called A Tour of the Cell that students might find useful.
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.
As we begin our new unit about how cells are organized, what they are made of, and how they obtain energy, we will begin with a review of organelles. Students will complete an organelle chart worksheet where they will research the function and location of the 12 major organelles, and determine whether those organelles are present in animal cells, plant cells, or both types of cells. Students may use any available credible scientific resource, including textbooks and the website A Tour of the Cell.