Lesson Transformed: Biology

This is the tenth lesson in the series, Lesson Transformed, in which traditional lessons are transformed into engaging experiences for students which exemplify the premises of the Visioning Document.

Lesson #10

Topic: Cellular Biology and Virology

Grade Level: 9/Biology

Content Area: Science

Traditional Lesson

Objective: The students will be able to compare the structures of viruses to cells, describe viral reproduction, and describe the role of viruses in causing diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and influenza.

Lesson: The teacher should divide the class in half and assign each group one of the following reading assignments:

Then, students should pair up as partners (one partner who read about HIV/AIDS and one who read about influenza).  Using The Role of Viruses in Causing Disease note taking sheet linked below, students should summarize the reading with their partners and make notes of what they learned.

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link to access

Video: The teacher should show the Kid2Kid video on Virus: Structure from the Texas Gateway.  While the students watch the video, they should take notes using the Venn Diagram handout linked below.

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link to access

Practice: Students should complete the interactive activity on Virus: Structure from the Texas Gateway.

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link to access

Transformed Lesson

Objective: The students will create evidence of understanding comparing the structures of viruses to cells, describing viral reproduction, and describing the role of viruses in causing diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and influenza.

Flip this video: Flu Attack!  How a Virus Invades Your Body

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link to access

Class Opener: Discuss how the sneeze spreads pathogens and is gross!  Encourage students to refer to their knowledge gained from the Flu Attack! video.

Video: Show the Virus Hunter video linked below.  Pause the video at 10:57 and pose the question: How are the CDC and WHO preparing for the next big viral outbreak and why must we cast such a wide net?

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link to access

*Note: This TED talk supports the connection of the students and class to the world – promoting meaning of the interconnectedness of the world population.

Research: Students then research the influenza virus, spread, treatment, and vaccine creation.  How the vaccine is designed and produced is fascinating!  Students may access E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth Chapter 26 (linked below), the CDC website, the WHO website among other resources to gain information.

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link to access

*Note: The series, Life on Earth by E.O. Wilson, is a set of free multi-touch books in the iBooks store.  The quality of the content, including text, imagery, and interactivity is un-matched.

Create: Students use iMotion or iMovie to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video or the Canva app to create a graphic poster PSA to share with the public about the spread of the flu virus and tips to avoid getting ill.

Use QR codes for easy access by the public to student-created PSAs or post them on student blogs to reach an audience beyond the school building.

*Note: When students create a PSA such as this, they are contributing to their community and their world.

Extension: Show the Small Pox Video (linked here) and discuss eradication of the virus.  Encourage students to compare and contrast the small pox virus worldwide with other viruses, including the number of cases.

This transformed lesson was inspired by TASA on iTunes U: Biology – Cellular Biology and Virology (Viruses vs. Cells and Disease).

It is the goal of this blog series to equip teachers with skills to transfer understanding and transform their own lesson design.











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