Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: superbug, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, bacteria, evolution, natural selection, coevolution, plasmid, infectious disease, colistin, E.coli, text complexity, lesson plan
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Describe the conditions of natural selection that cause bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant.
- 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.
- Determine the central ideas of the text.
- Construct a written argument 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?
- Basic knowledge of natural selection will allow students to fully understand the article. The following resources can work as a review if needed:
- General familiarity with antibiotic resistance and antibiotic mechanisms will allow students to fully understand the article.
- This SciShow 10-minute video is a great review of how bacteria can become antibiotic-resistant. It also discusses the mechanisms used to eliminate the bacteria. This can be used for review or as a great general introduction to the topic.
- This 10-minute video is not as entertaining, but is well designed for an advanced class. The video discusses the different ways bacteria transfer genes for antibiotic resistance and how different antibiotics are able to disrupt the reproduction of the pathogenic bacteria.
- 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.
- Students should understand the term "central idea" and be able to distinguish central ideas from key details.
- "Central idea" means the same thing as "main idea." The central idea is the author's main point about the topic or topics in a text. The central ideas are the dominant, most important, or chief ideas that emerge from all the ideas presented in a text. Students should be aware that the author can have several main points he or she wants to make.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in the Live Science article include the title, heading, photograph, and caption.
- 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.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- Why isthereconcernaboutsuperbugs in the United States?
Superbugs are antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are resistant to our last line of antibiotics. We have always had some bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant, but doctors always saved a couple of antibiotics as "last resort" medications so that we would have a way to fight off pathogens. Superbugs are now resistant to some, not all, of those last resort antibiotics. Because bacteria can share their genes so easily, doctors and scientists are concerned that they will soon become resistant to all antibiotics.
- How do doctors plan on treating bacteria that are resistant to a number of antibiotics?
They may try using combinations of antibiotics or doses that are stronger than normal. However, these options can have a negative impact on the kidneys and liver of patients.
- What can citizens do to slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
People should only use antibiotics when it is absolutely necessary.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin by posing a general question to the class: "Have you ever taken any antibiotics? If so, what were they prescribed for?"
- Students are likely to say yes; most people, by the time they are 15, have taken an antibiotic for one reason or another. Many will not know why they took the antibiotics if they were young. Students may suggest a cold, the flu, or an infection.
- Next, ask students: "Are antibiotics effective against both viruses and bacteria?"
- Student answers will vary. It is very important that student learn that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria.
- Then, ask the class: "Have you everheardofMRSAorasuperbug?"
- At least some students will have heard of MRSA, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, because it can be commonly transmitted in sports and gym lockers.
- Explain to students that some types of bacteria have developed defenses against antibiotics.
- Show students the following 4-minute film ?
- Next, group students into pairs. Ask the groups to discuss how bacteria and humans are linked in reference to evolution.
- Call on students to discuss their results. Student answers may center around adapting to new changes, coevolution, or survival of the fittest.
- End the discussion by informing students that they will be reading an article that addresses superbugs and how they may affect humans in the future.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Provide each student with a copy of the article "" For the class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. They can also number the sections (for example, Section 1 follows the title and Section 2 has the subtitle "The end of the line?").
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide (attached).
- 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.
- Note: based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students must 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.
- If students struggle with determining the meaning of the selected academic vocabulary, teachers should refer to the definitions in the sample answer key (attached).
Formative assessment: (How will you 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.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key (attached) to help them assess students' answers.
- 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:
- Antibiotics can cure a cold.
Most people, even adults, believe antibiotics will help "kill" whatever is causing their cold. Colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics have no effect on them whatsoever.
- Students in the U.S. do not understand what it would be like to have a pandemic.
There are diseases that have no cure, but that doesn't mean they cause a rapid death toll like the Black Death.
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 (attached) 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.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key (attached) 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?
- 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.
- After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response (attached) 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:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph; have students identify the main point of the piece. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- Have students examine each of the body paragraphs and explain how each supports the main point of the piece. Have students identify where the writer effectively uses textual evidence from the article for support of his or her points.
- Have students identify the use of transition words or phrases that make the ideas flow.
- Ask students to identify where domain-specific vocabulary is used accurately and effectively.
- Have students read the final paragraph to see how the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to the main point established in the introduction.
- As a final option, teachers might want students to use the rubric (attached) to provide a score for the sample response and have them justify the score they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a 4.
- Place students in groups of 3-4. Inform students that they will be creating a small poster to educate people about public health. The poster must include tips on how people can reduce the danger from superbugs.
- If time permits, allow students to present their posters to the class. Discuss.
- 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.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric (attached) and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- 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:
- Prompt: When organisms are ecologically intimate and influence each evolution, biologists call that coevolution (example: predators and prey). Using evidence from the text, explain how superbugs and humans demonstrate coevolution.
- 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:
- is a detailed and entertaining video that explains how bacteria become resistant and has almost a direct correlation to the article. This could be shown before students read the text or after.
For readers struggling with the note-taking guide:
- Teachers might want to fill in some answers on the graphic organizer for paragraphs 1-4, leaving students to fill in a few of the blank boxes in between the provided answers.
- For paragraphs 5-8, teachers might want to fill in one or two of the steps and have students complete the steps in between. In the remaining paragraphs, teachers can modify as needed to accommodate student needs.
For readers struggling with the text:
- It might benefit students to chunk the text. Have students independently read paragraphs 1-4, then have several strong readers read section one aloud.
- Then, have students highlight vocabulary they are confused about. Work with students 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.
- Then, have students complete the note-taking guide (attached) for the rest of paragraphs 1-4. When students are ready, have them share out their answers and provide corrective verbal feedback as needed, allowing students to make corrections to their work. Then repeat this process for the other sections of the text if needed. Or, at least have students complete the graphic organizer for the next section and receive feedback on their work before they move on.
For struggling writers:
- It might help struggling writers to provide them with an outline to help them structure their response. 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 selected vocabulary
- Ideas on how to wrap up their piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- Have students write and design a comic strip educating other students about what antibiotics are and how they work.
- Encourage students to research specific antibiotics, especially ones they know they have been prescribed before. Each student should develop a PowerPoint or some type of presentation and include the following:
- Name of the antibiotic
- How is works, specifically
- What type of bacteria does it affect?
- Side effects associated with the antibiotic
- Common dosage
- Availability throughout the world
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, 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: Jennifer Heflick
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.