Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Identify the research linking lateral gene transfer to cancer.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in 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:
1. Students need a basic knowledge of bacterial growth and reproduction. Students should understand transformation, transduction, conjugation, and horizontal/lateral gene transfer.
- Bacteria reproduce in numbers by binary fission.
- This titled "Bacterial Asexual Reproduction" (0:41, uploaded by YouTube user geneedinc) explains binary fission.
- Gene transfer includes transformation, transduction, and conjugation.
2. A general knowledge of bacteria and their place in the ecosystem would also be very helpful. Students need to understand how common bacteria are and that they are found just about everywhere.
- This is a great 20-minute TED talk titled "The Secret, Social Lives of Bacteria" (18:59, uploaded by YouTube user TED). It discusses where you can find bacteria and how they communicate with each other.
- "Misunderstood Microbes" is a 5-minute video (5:14, uploaded by YouTube user Misunderstood Microbes) discussing beneficial and harmful bacteria.
- This 11-minute video titled "Bacteria" (11:03, uploaded by YouTube user Bozeman Science) is an advanced level explanation of bacteria basics.
3. Basic knowledge of cancer and some of its causes will assist students in their ability to integrate all of the information in the article.
- The American Cancer Society has endless amounts of information on all types of cancer.
- The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has several activities, both online and hands-on to help students understand cancer:
In regards to literacy skills:
1. 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 that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
2. Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in this article include: title, subtitle, photograph, and caption.
3. 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).
4. 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. This site provides examples.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. What is lateral gene transfer?
Lateral gene transfer is the transmission of genetic material between organisms in a manner other than traditional reproduction.
2. What evidence do scientists have that links cancer to lateral gene transfer?
- They found that bacterial DNA is more likely to integrate in the genome in tumor samples than in normal cells.
- Researchers found that in all the tumor samples they took, 99.9% of the reads supported bacterial integration.
- One possibility to explain the results is that the mutations are part of carcinogenesis.
- Tumor cells reproduce quickly, which may make them more permissive to lateral gene transfer.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by posting a general question to the class: "What is cancer?"
- Students are likely to answer that cancer is a disease that causes uncontrolled cell growth, usually resulting in tumors: masses of cells that can either be benign (not harmful) or malignant (harmful) when they spread.
- Depending on the students and their background, you may or may not choose to show from Cancer Treatment Centers of America titled "What is Cancer?" that explains what cancer is and why it is so hard to treat.
2. Next, ask the question: "What causes cancer?"
- Students are likely to suggest smoking, genetics, types of food we eat, sunlight, radiation, chemicals on our food, viruses like HPV, and many other sources.
- The teacher may want to take the time to discuss that a lot of causes listed on the media are not confirmed.
3. Show the following video on the basics of cancer and its causes, titled "Animated Introduction to Cancer Biology" (12:07, uploaded by YouTube user CancerQuest).
4. End the discussion by informing students that they will be reading an article that addresses new developments in cancer research.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article. For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section.
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: Bacterial DNA May Integrate into Human Genome More Readily in Tumor Tissue
- Subtitle: Gene transfer may play role in cancer, other diseases linked with DNA damage
- 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 small groups. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can provide some or all of the terms 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.
5. If students struggle with determining the meaning of the selected academic vocabulary, teachers might work with them to model ways to define a few of the academic vocabulary words to get them started. The teacher can think aloud as he or she decides which vocabulary strategy or strategies to use to define a word, and think aloud while deciding which meaning from a dictionary entry with multiple meanings would be the best fit for how the word is used in the context of the article.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or 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 this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
3. For discussion of 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:
Because of the grade level this lesson is recommended for, most students should understand the basic mechanisms of cancer. Most of their misconceptions will revolve around the idea that there are so many different types of cancer and that they often need to be treated differently. This makes the task of curing cancer overwhelming.
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 this sample answer key 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. 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.
3. 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 4.
1. Have students make an "exit ticket" in the form of a postcard.
2. They can write a post card to an absent student explaining the key ideas presented in the day's lesson. This will allow students to pull together the main idea of the lesson and will also allow the teacher to see if there are any misconceptions or errors in their learning.
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 it 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. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts:
- Bacteria are able to share their DNA with other bacteria through a process called gene transfer. This allows them to share both beneficial and detrimental genes. Scientists have found that bacterial DNA may integrate into the human genome more readily in tumor cells. Using evidence from the article, identify and explain the research that links lateral gene transfer to cancer.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"