In this lesson, students will analyze an intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses new research conducted by Penn State scientists to determine how the malaria parasite is evading the human immune system and entering into red blood cells. The study revealed how the parasite is able to use the complement system to its own advantage rather than being negatively affected by it. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 11, 12
Computer for Presenter, Computers for Students, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
2 Hour(s) 30 Minute(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: complement system, malaria, parasite, immune system, immunology, Penn State, infection, antibodies, text complexity
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain the role of the complement system in the immune response.
- Describe the importance of Penn State's new research in the fight against malaria.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes a 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?
- Students should be familiar with the function and components of the immune system. They should understand the differences between specific and non-specific defense. If students need a brief overview of the immune system, this Harvard outreach called "Pathways of Defense" should do the trick. If a more thorough explanation of the immune system is needed, this Khan Academy video on types of immune responses will be useful.
- Students should understand the function of the complement system and how it works. The teacher can determine the depth he or she needs to explore with the complement system. At the minimum, a brief explanation should be provided. If the teacher chooses to go into more depth, the following animation about the complement system by Pearson Education can help.
- Students should be familiar with the parasite that causes malaria and the basic life cycle of malaria. The following link provides access to a Khan Academy video that explains the basics of malaria.
- Students should be familiar with taxonomy or binomial nomenclature in regards to Genus species. There can be multiple species within one Genus.
For 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 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.
- Based on the rubric provided 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), body paragraphs that support the main point(s) and include 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.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- Why is the complement system important in the fight against infections?
- As the name implies, the complement system is used to help the immune response. When antibodies are produced, the complement system is activated and the complement proteins coat and kill the pathogen.
- Why is Penn State's new research so important?
- Thousands of people die a year die due to malaria, and many of them are children. There is not a vaccine that is 100 percent effective against the parasite, nor is one expected to be developed in the near future. Scientists still do not fully understand how the malaria parasite infects the red blood cells.
- How has this research helped the development of treatments and vaccines for malaria?
- The research shows there is still a lot of information scientists lack about the malaria parasite. However, it gives them direction, and they now know that the complement system is a part of the parasite's attack. New treatments might include the introduction of antibodies that produce less complement proteins, and new treatments may include the use of complement inhibitors.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by showing a of a mosquito to the students. Ask the students to brainstorm in small groups everything they know about mosquitoes.
- Have students share the information on their lists. Students might indicate that the insects feed on blood, carry diseases such as Zika, West Nile virus, malaria, etc.
- Explain to students that they viewed a picture of the Anopheles female mosquito. The Anopheles genus contains about 460 species of mosquitoes, but only 30-40 species are able to transmit malaria to humans.
- Tell students that over half of the world's population is at risk for exposure to malaria, and in 2015 there were approximately 440,000 people that died according to the World Health Organization. Explain to students that the mortality rate from malaria is falling--but there is still not a vaccine that is 100% effective, and there are concerns of resistance with anti-malarial drugs.
- Show this short video about the malaria parasite, by Animal Planet. Discuss the video and how the biologist talked about the immune response in the form of the fever that malaria victims get. Explain how the immune system responds to pathogens in the body (see prior knowledge for information as needed) and how a fever is the body's natural response. However, let students know that current research shows the malaria parasite actually uses an immune system process to become more successful.
- Finally, tell students they will be reading an article by Science Daily titled "Researchers Make a Key Discovery in How Malaria Evades the Immune System," which discusses the parasite's use of the human complement system in order to enter red blood cells. Tell students that scientists do not know the exact mechanism by which the parasites utilize this process, but by knowing the information, it can help with the development of future treatments and vaccines.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Pass out to each student a printed copy of the by Science Daily titled "Researchers Make a Key Discovery in How Malaria Evades the Immune System," or make it available to students electronically.
- For discussion purposes, the teacher may want to have students number each paragraph of the article. If using an electronic copy of the article, students can use a PDF mark-up tool (several tools are available as free downloads).
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide. Have students complete this guide during or after their first reading of the article. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary section.
- 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, use context clues, and/or use a dictionary to define the words.
- Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
- If students struggle with determining the meaning of the selected vocabulary terms, teachers might use the following tips to help them:
- Immunologist (Paragraph 3): Someone who studies and deals with the way body protects itself (immune system) from disease and infection. Students will probably need to use a dictionary to determine the meaning of the word. They most likely will find the definition for immunology, which is the name of the science of studying the immune system.
- Mechanism (Paragraph 3): A process used to produce a specific result. There are a few context clues for this word, including "to evade the human immune response and invade red blood cells."
- Trigger (Paragraph 4): Something that causes something else to happen. Students should use a dictionary to determine the meaning of the word. There are several different definitions, so students should plug the definitions into the sentence and see which fits the best.
- Enhance (Paragraph 7): To increase or improve. Students should be able to use context clues to determine the meaning of this word. The word is used in reference to "growth" and to "grow." This should provide the clues to determine the definition of the word.
- Bind (Paragraph 13): To cause to stick or hold together. The sentence the word is found in provides the context to determine the meaning of the word. Have students look at the sentence "complement proteins allow the parasite....on the red blood cells."
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' 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.
- 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:
- Malaria is caused by a protist (Genus Plasmodium) and not a virus. There are different species within the genus that can cause malaria.
- Malaria requires two hosts: the mosquito host and the human host. The mosquito is not affected by the protist, unlike humans.
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?):
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.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the answer key for the text-dependent questions.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing assignment for the summative assessment, review the responses to the text-dependent questions completed earlier by the students. Make sure the misconceptions are corrected and the key points (as found in the sample answer key) are discussed.
- 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 withanLCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph
- The main point(s) of the piece
- How each paragraph supports the main point of the piece
- How the writer effectively uses text evidence from the article to support his or her points
- How transition words or phrases are used to make the ideas flow
- Where domain-specific vocabulary is used accurately and effectively (e.g., vaccine, red blood cell, antibody)
- How the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to his or her main point established in the introduction
- Have students form groups of three. Assign each student one of the guided questions and have them write a response. Have students share their answers with the other members of the groups to discuss the responses. This should take approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Students may submit written answers as a group product if you wish. This may be graded as a further assessment.
- 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 should refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- 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.
- Go over the following writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address:
- Using textual evidence, explain in detail the health implications of Penn State’s new research in the fight against malaria.
- 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?"
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science content:
- Have students watch the "The Immune System: Your Body's Private Defense System" (CPALMS ID 117031) if they still have questions about the functions and different components of the system.
- If students need more information on malaria, the following CDC site can provide information about the disease.
For readers struggling with the text:
- It might benefit students to break the text into sections (each heading can be the start of a new section). Have students independently read section one, and then have several strong readers read section one aloud.
- Then, have students highlight (on their copy of the text) the terms from the note-taking guide that appear in section one. Work with students to model ways to define a few of the 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. Then students can work independently to define the meanings of the remaining words for that section. Students can report out their meanings and receive feedback from the teacher.
- Depending on the needs and skills of students, the following words were not included in the note-taking guide but might need to be added for students to define: sub-Saharan Africa, microbiology, tactic, scrutiny.
- Then, have students repeat this process for the remaining sections of the text.
- Finally, have students complete the concept organizer on the first page of the note-taking guide, share out their answers, and receive feedback on their work.
For struggling writers:
- It might help to provide students with an outline to help them structure their written responses for the summative assessment. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- A place to write down their main point(s)
- Topic sentences (the first sentence of each body paragraph that will reveal the point of the paragraph and will connect to the paper's overall main point)
- Specific evidence from the text for support in each body paragraph
- Ideas for transition words
- Ideas for use of academic vocabulary
- Ideas on how to wrap up their piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- will take students to a site by Your Genome and has a section on targeting diseases. There are a variety of articles and activities on malaria as well as other infectious diseases.
- The article mentions how the dengue virus also "hijacks" immune system processes. Have students research this idea and then compare what is known about the hijacking done by the dengue virus vs. the malaria parasite.
- Have students explore the relationship between contracting malaria and sickle cell disease.
- Have students explore the idea of drug-resistant malaria in depth. The following short video from Nature titled "Malaria: A Race Against Resistance" provides insight on this topic.
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Computers for Students, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Ellen Muse
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.