Integrated Lesson Plan
Summarize the Context
1. Description of Unit - My integrated lesson plan will be designed for a 10th grade biology class in the second half of the school year. The reason I put the time frame for the lesson later in the school year is because not only does the topic I chose get introduced towards the end of most high school biology curricula, but also because during the first half of the year I would expose students to the different types of technology this lesson incorporates. I would afford students practice earlier in the year with technology. The lesson and classroom learning activity would be a part of a unit on Heredity and Reproduction, specifically on the topic of genomes. The aim of this unit is to make evident to students the relationship between DNA, genes, chromosomes, and genomes and to give them a basic understanding of how genetic information is passed through generations.
The lesson would contain a structured webquest Internet research component and a component that requires students to craft a visual and audio multimedia presentation of student findings. Students will be required to gather information about their organism using several databases from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, which has entire genomes of thousands of different organisms, including eukaryota, prokaryota, and even viruses. The lesson will require students to do research on the Internet, to create a multimedia presentation (including a PPT presentation as well as an audio component synched to their presentation) that addresses the essential question of the unit “How is genetic information passed through generations?” and contains their research about the genome they investigated. The students will work in groups to create a wiki through which they will share their work with their peers. Lastly, students will assess their peers presentations as well as their own presentation using an evaluative rubric.
2. Student Learning Objectives - The purpose of this specific learning activity will be to have students use a to critically explore and analyze the genome of an organism of their choosing and to relate their research back to the fundamental biological concepts of the unit. This learning activity supports critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as cooperative learning. The types of student dispositions or attitudes it would support including visual and audio learners, students that work well independently as well as cooperatively, and students who may be intimidated by speaking publicly (allowing students to podcast their presentations rather then present them live to the class). This learning activity supports other activities in the unit of study because it shows a practical application of several of the key concepts (DNA structure, structure of a chromosome, what a genome is, why uncoding genomes is important) within the unit. It demonstrates for students the real world, current application of these concepts in society.
3. Specific Curriculum Objectives –
This learning activity supports unit objectives and unit Performance Task by allowing students to interact with authentic data and to access large databases. These types of laboratory experiences are suggested by the NJ World Class Standards website as essential to a high school biology curriculum. This lesson stresses the fact that science is a practice and forces students to act like scientists. Lastly, this assignment is cumulative in that it highlights the intricate relationship between DNA sequence, protein expression, and gene inheritance and links these concepts to real world application within the field of biotechnology
· 5.3.12.D.1 Genes are segments of DNA molecules located in the chromosome of each cell. DNA molecules contain information that determines a sequence of amino acids, which result in specific proteins.
o CPI: Explain the value and potential application of genome projects.
o Enduring Understandings: There are predictable patterns of inheritance, and the variation that exists within a species is related to its mode of reproduction.
o Essential Question(s): How is genetic information passed through generations?
· 8.1.12.F.1 Information accessed through the use of digital tools assists in generating solutions and making decisions.
o CPI: Select and use specialized databases for advanced research to solve real-world problems.
· 8.1.12.A.3 The use of technology and digital tools requires knowledge and appropriate use of operations and related applications.
o CPI: Participate in online courses, learning communities, social networks, or virtual worlds and recognize them as resources for lifelong learning.
4. Substance of the Lesson/Activity:
The technology being used includes computer technology – in particular the Internet and a government funded website (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/), that contains several free databases used by scientists around the world. Students will also use PowerPoint or Google Docs to create a multimedia presentation that includes audio. Students may use Garage Band or Audacity to create an audio presentation. Lastly, students will use Slide Share to synch their presentation with their audio. Lastly, students will be assigned groups. Within their groups they will create a group wiki using www. wikispaces.com. Students will post their multimedia presentations and comment on each other’s work.
As stated previously, having students put biology into practice and perform research using real databases is a great way to enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills while also having them learn through their own personal experience by doing something. Having students create a wiki and evaluate each other’s work as well as their own will force them to reflect on the assignment, perhaps reinforce or learn new content through viewing the work of their peers, and also will get them to work cooperatively. Peer to peer instruction and interaction is one of the best ways for students to learn. Lastly, students are creating something themselves based on a research organism they chose. This will hopefully keep students engaged in the assignment. Students will have content requirements for their presentations but will also have space to be creative in their multimedia presentations. The technological skills students will need to learn or develop would be how to use a database and how to perform an effective search within the database. Students would also need to know what information they are looking for and how to sift through their search results. Students would also need to know how to use Power Point, Garage Band/Audacity, how to synch their presentations on slide share, how to create a wiki, and how to post their presentation to that wiki.
5. Activity timeline/procedures:
This assignment would take 3 full 80-minute block periods to finish. The first class would be used to lay out the assignment and its requirements entirely. Students would also mostly complete the webquest research assignment. Students would explore the database website and look at the list of different organisms to chose from. Students would be given a handout with explicit instructions for how to get to the website, explore, etc. Students would be given a set of questions and research topics that they would have to answer within their presentation as well. By the end of the class, students would select an organism and have answered several of the research questions.
Day 2 would again be in a computer lab and would be finishing up their actual research. At this point students should have addressed all of their research questions. This class period students would be creating their presentations. Students would be given a rubric during this class that states the requirements for the presentation (both audio and visual). If students have time, they can begin working on the audio component of the assignment. If unfinished, the audio portion of the assignment must be completed as homework. The teacher would provide addition computer access time outside of the class period where students could work o the assignment (both before and after school).
Day 3 would have students in their wiki groups. Students would create their wiki and post their completed multimedia presentations to the wiki during the first half of class. The second half of class, students would be given the teacher’s assessment rubric and would be required to assess their own presentation as well as their peers in their groups using the rubric. Students final grade will be composed of 50% an average of their peer and self assessment and 50% the teacher’s assessment of the presentation.
6. Assessment Criteria:
As previously stated, there will be a project rubric given to students that includes requirements for the web-quest activity and the presentation itself (including the fact that the presentation must include images, must have audio, must be posted appropriately to the wiki, must have all required content, etc.) The criteria for success include completing all components of the assignment. Each requirement for the assignment will be represented in the rubric. Students will also be responsible for accurate content and for answering all research questions/topics. Students will be assessed within their project based on their group participation as well. For example, “Did student submit a self assessment as well as an assessment rubric for each of their peers?”
The students’ grade will be based on the rubric the teacher uses as well as the group evaluation rubrics (same as teacher) that are submitted by the student and the peers within the group. I will know in several ways that this learning experience has accomplished the learning goals that I set for my students. Because some of my goals involve students completing an actual task and actually creating something, I will know if they have or have not accomplished this by physically examining their final work. I will also view individual assignments and evaluate students individual understandings of core concepts based on the content of their presentations.