Just before midterm I was focusing on the biological world learning outcome #1 Students should be able to investigate the structures of animal and plant cells and relate them to their functions
Looking at the action verbs
Investigate – observe, study, or make a detailed and systematic examination, in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions
Relate – make or show a connection between
Here are a few things I did with my students…
To get to know the microscopes and investigate the variety of cells our there we started by looking at prepared histology slides. There is a site called Histology Guide that has some lovely images of human cells and tissue I used this to start a discussion on why all cells are not the same, relating structure to function.
For a closer look at microscopes and how they work we used this Meet the Microscopes activity
We then took a closer look at plant and animal cells – for this I had drawn a plant and animal cell making sure structures that are common were the same colour eg. nucleus was black, cell membrane was brown etc. Purely by observation (no names yet!) we looked at the similarities and differences between the structures. I then introduced the names of each part asking students to ‘Think, pair, share’ why they thought that bit was important.
Finally we made up our slides, I used my mobile (our students are not permitted mobile phones in school) to take pictures of the slides the students made and printed them out so they could stick pictures of their work them into their copy.
I placed some anonymous examples good and bad up on the board; some where full of air bubbles, some had not been stained correctly / at all, some were not focused correctly or had too much or too little light. (I have two classes so this is a bit easier). I asked the students to what may have gone wrong and suggest how would they improve it.
Linking to Nature of Science
#1 Students should be able to appreciate how scientists work and how scientific ideas are modified over time and #7 Students should be able to organise and communicate their research and investigative findings in a variety of ways fit for purpose and audience, using relevant scientific terminology and representations
We watched and then discussed this video from TED-Ed on The Wacky History of Cell Theory. I also have a simple timeline of cell theory activity, we look at the work of scientists such as Hooke, Van Leuwenhoek, Turpin, Schleiden , Schwann and Virchow in groups students will take a scientist, research their scientist discovery and discuss how their discovery contributed to what we know about cells. Each group presents their work on an A3 poster in chronological order forming a timeline.