Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Outline the research used to prove that clays, an environmental factor, may heal certain infections and diseases caused by pathogenic agents.
- Explain the significance of blue and green clays on public health problems, including that of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria).
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Determine the meaning of selected academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Provide an accurate summary of the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes the main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
In regards to science:
- General familiarity with the elements, iron and aluminum, would be beneficial to students. This offers a comprehensive and simple overview of both elements.
- General familiarity with the terms oxidation and reduction. Oxidation is when a molecule or compound loses electrons. Reduction is when a molecule or compound gains electrons. Even though a reduction is actually gaining electrons, electrons are negatively charged. If you add more negative charges, it reduces the overall charge. This video explain redox reactions and why they are confusing. Teachers may or may not want to use the whole video, depending on the needs of students.
- Students should have a basic understanding of the two main types of cells. This tutorial includes a review on both eukarytoic and prokaryotic cells.
- Students should be familiar with what a pathogen is. It would be helpful if students had some background knowledge on flesh-eating diseases. Two examples are mentioned in the article:MRSA andBuruli.
In regards to literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills as well.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in NSF's clay article include: title, subtitle, headings, one photograph and caption.
- Based on the rubric included with this lesson, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next. Teachers might wish to provide students with a sheet of transitions to help them. This site lists transitions that teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
Main investigation questions: Please use the questions below to help guide students' thinking throughout the lesson:
1. What are germs or pathogenic agents?
A pathogenic agent or germ is a biological agent that causes disease or illness to the host.
2. What are some medicines that we use to kill germs or other pathogenic agents to stop their spread?
Students may say antibiotics. They may also give other incorrect responses like Tylenol, Advil, and other over-the-counter medicines. Be sure to explain these only treat symptoms; they do not actually kill germs. Our immune system can also kill germs. Depending on the students' background knowledge, they may also consider viruses germs. In that case, they may mention Tami-flu or other viral medicines. Be sure that students realize we do not currently have medicines to kill viruses once we are infected, we can only slow their growth.
3. Do our bodies defend us against pathogenic agents?
The human body contains many defenses that occur naturally by way of the immune system and beneficial bacteria within our natural flora. The beneficial bacteria that lives in your digestive tract are one of the most important defenses we have again foreign invaders.
4. What are some characteristics of iron and aluminum that you already know?
Iron and aluminum are both metals. Metals tend to be magnetic, malleable, ductile, and good conductors of electricity and heat.
5. What are pathogenic agents' effect on public health?
Pathogenic agents have been known to be responsible for massive amounts of casualties within a population. For example, there were over 75,000 cases of MRSA last year. MRSA is very hard to get rid of and can stay with a person for their entire life. (See the for more information.) Most pathogenic agents affect the young and elderly more frequently. Hospitals are a breeding ground for MRSA, and so are places like high school sport lockers and wrestling mats.
The affect of the pathogenic agent depends on how quickly and easily it spreads, and of course if there are any medicines to cure it.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by posing a general question to the class: "What are some ways that you know of that bacteria can be killed?"
- Students are likely to suggest antibiotics in the form of pills or liquids prescribed by a doctor, hand-sanitizer, Lysol sprays, etc.
- Students may also bring up prevention of pathogen transfer. Hand-washing is one of the most effective ways to stop the transfer of bacteria. Here is a great to help students learn how to properly wash their hands.
2. Next, ask the class the question: "Which method of killing bacteria do you think is the most effective and why?"
- Students will likely be thrown off by this question, and they will try to come up with many ideas. If the students struggle with this question, ask them why they don't get an infection every time they have a cut or scrape. Hopefully this will lead them to think about the immune system and what a great job it does fighting off bacteria on a daily basis.
- This video shows how the immune system works to fight off bacteria.
- This video from NPR, "Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades Your Body," is simple and it shows how a flu virus infects our cells and illustrates the immune system attacking it.
- The teacher should write down opinions and reasons that the students come up with or have the students, as a group, write down their opinions and reasons in a central location in order to compare their thoughts to allow for a group discussion.
3. Next, to review or introduce the concepts of oxidation and reduction (mentioned in the article), show the first 3 minutes of this video. Tell students they are to write down what they have learned during the video to use the information to help them comprehend the article more thoroughly.
4. End the discussion by informing students that they will be reading an article that addresses new research findings on how certain clays can kill some bacterial pathogens.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "Scientists Discover How Blue and Green Clays Kill Bacteria." For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. They can also number the sections. (Section 1 follows the subtitle and this is an introduction to why scientists believe that certain clays can kill disease-causing bacteria, section 2 heading- "An antibacterial Trojan horse," section 3 heading- "From French green clay to Oregon blue clay," section 4 heading – "Greens and blues are antibacterial clues")
2. Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
3. Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information:
- Title: Scientists Discover How Blue and Green Clays Kill Bacteria
- Subtitle: May be new answer to MRSA, other "superbug" infections
- Headings: An antibacterial Trojan horse, From French green clay to Oregon blue clay, Greens and blues are antibacterial clues
- Caption: Located under the photograph
4. Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in a small group. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed. The note-taking guide is very detailed and thorough, for students that lack long periods of focus, attacking this as a team and then sharing assigned parts with their classmates may be more effective.
- Note: Based on the needs and skills of the students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge and use a dictionary to define the words.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by having students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
3. For discussion on students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
Only medicines can kill harmful bacteria.
It would be helpful to remind students that there are many products that can kill bacteria other than medicines, in addition, there is natural flora in our bodies that are a part of our immune system that help defend us against harmful pathogens.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use the sample answer key provided with the text-dependent questions to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
1. Before students complete the writing prompt be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
2. Teachers may also want to show this before students complete the summative assessment. The video may help struggling learners or provide further discussion on medicinal clays. The video talks about a specific clay, called Bentonite clay. Bentonite clay is an aluminum-based clay formed from volcanic ash, just like the clay discussed in the article. Be sure to mention that all the information in the video is not scientifically tested.
3. After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or with an LCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- Have students examine how the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph. (Students often struggle with ideas in how to start a written response, and they often want to repeat the prompt back in the first sentence because they are not sure what other options they have. Go over how this writer opened his or her piece of writing. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.)
- In the introduction, have students identify where the main point of the written response is revealed.
- Ask students to identify where textual evidence is used in the body paragraphs to support the main point.
- Throughout the sample response, have students identify the effective use of domain-specific vocabulary (e.g., bacterial pathogens, chemically reduced iron, oxidized, bacterial cell, antibiotic, aluminum, iron, antibiotic resistant infections, geochemical mechanisms).
4. Teachers might want students to use the rubric to provide a score for the sample written response and have them justify the score they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a three or four.
5. To bring the lesson to a close, the teacher could ask the students to design a simple experiment that they could conduct in the classroom to test the effect of medicinal clay on bacterial growth. For example, the teacher could purchase some medicinal clay from a local organic health food store. Provide the students with a few petri dishes to collect bacteria. Then, treat some of the bacteria with clay and some without. Wait and see what happens. This could also be set up earlier in the lesson and the teacher could show the students the results at the end of the lesson as a demonstration.
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
2. Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over the rubric with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
3. Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address.
The prompt: Do you think the clays mentioned in the text would be helpful to modern medicine? Using evidence from the text, assess whether or not you believe the article has provided ample evidence for the need of such research. Be sure to include specific details about the discovery of these clays and how they may be able to treat infections and diseases.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting the Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson.
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for providing Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond."