Lesson Plans

Symbiosis in the Soil

In this project, students will assume the role of citizen scientists—helping researchers answer questions about how dandelions acquire beneficial symbiotic microbes from different soil types. Students will collect and transplant dandelions, conduct experiments on dandelion growth and microbe growth, and then submit data to scientists at the Genomics and Microbiology Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The researchers will use these data to supplement DNA and RNA sequencing efforts. Students will receive results from the genetic analyses from a limited set of classrooms whose dandelions had previously been sequenced. By maintaining a connection with researchers, students will have an active, hands-on role in current science. Besides aiding scientists with research, students will also create their own inquiries.

Symbiosis in the Soil has curriculum alignments for grades 6-8. The introductory lesson, Diggin’ Dandelions, is a prerequisite for other lessons. This activity should take place in a single day to make sure dandelions will remain viable. Students will grow the dandelions for one month in the classroom, collecting data weekly. For the time frame of other lessons, refer to the individual lesson plans.

 

Authors: Arthina Blanchard, Laura Cochrane and Amy Lawson, 20104-15 Kenan Fellows


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Citizen Science
  • Earth Science
  • Science

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Evolution Today?

Evolutionary changes are occurring all around us. In the news, we hear about new strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria such as “super bugs”. We have also learned that when we use the same pesticide for several years, it will no longer effectively treat the targeted insect. Like the bacteria, the insects changes over time because of selection which changes the genes or genome of the species over time. Our food crops have also changed overtime. These changes have caused our fruit and vegetables to change color and flavor as a result of our taste preferences. This focus on cultivating plants and raising livestock has caused many organisms to change over the last 12,000 years.

The purpose of this lesson is to research artificial selection. During this lesson, we will use fast growing plant crossing to model traditional agricultural practices and we will use Punnett squares to predict plant crossing outcomes. We will also use online simulations to learn about current biotechnology techniques used to make genetically modified crops. We will compare traditional agriculture to current biotechnology techniques that are being used to create pest resistant crops. We will discuss how artificial selection such as selective breeding and genetic engineering can impact organisms over time.

Author: Kelly Sears, 2014-15 Kenan Fellow


Content Area
  • Agriculture
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Science

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The Camera Trap Stakeout Project

By surveying mammal biodiversity in and around school yards using camera traps, students will discover how mammals have adapted to and are living in human-modified landscapes. Preliminary research shows that developed areas can be good habitat for mammals. Students will assess habitats around their schools and analyze data on mammalian activity patterns, use of different habitats, and seasonal effects, including school-use patterns, on mammals.

Authors: Kelsie Armentrout, Dave Glenn and Dayson Pasion, 2014-15 Students Discover Kenan Fellows


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Science

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Shark Teeth Forensics

Lesson 1

Shark teeth are the most commonly preserved fossils from sharks. In this lesson, students will learn how to identify parts of shark teeth and how to measure shark teeth using one of two methods (fitting teeth into circles or using a paper ruler). This is a prerequisite skill for Lesson 2 where students will sift through sediment to find shark teeth. Students will also read and discuss a story about interpreting fossil discoveries.

Lesson 2

In this lesson, students will sift through sediment to find shark teeth. They will measure the teeth using the measurement card from Lesson 1. They will record measurements on the board for the class to see. Once all data are collected, the class will create a bar graph to depict how frequently teeth of certain sizes are found. The shark teeth and data will be sent to Dr. Bucky Gates at the Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Authors: Kimberly Hall, Juliana Thomas and Kerrie Albright, 2014-15 Students Discover Kenan Fellows


Content Area
  • Earth Science
  • Forensics
  • Science

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Shark Teeth Forensics Case Studies

In this intensive sixth grade 17-day lesson students will travel to the Aurora Fossil Museum in North Carolina to hunt for fossils and visit the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. Students will be real scientists throughout the project, taking all the steps scientists do when working to answer a specific question. This project engages students in constant research as they work in groups. It integrates all subjects, just like researchers in their field do, including science, math, social studies, ELA and technology.

Authors: Kimberly Hall, Juliana Thomas and Kerrie Albright, 2014-15 Students Discover Kenan Fellows


Content Area
  • Earth Science
  • Forensics
  • Science

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“Eye See, You See:” Problem Based Learning Unit (PBL)

Introduction:
A hospital is an integrated system of physicians, other hospitals, outpatient services, and more. Each element is connected and significant in providing an exceptional healthcare experience. Through a series of lessons, students will serve as members of the hospital team, utilizing the mission, vision and values of the healthcare system to solve a patient puzzle.

Author:
Rachel Lawrence, 2014-15 Kenan Fellow


Content Area
  • Health Care
  • Science

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Assembly Required and the Design Process Too!

As teachers it is important to interject real-world applications with science and math whenever possible.  Students often do not connect the principles to the career opportunities.  In our society, advanced manufacturing is creating many exciting careers that incorporate these scientific principles and provide excellent salaries.  This project will require students to determine and design methods that will move a selected product in a designed assembly process.

Introduction:
Students in middle and high school must be made aware of the opportunities, processes and careers paths that are available in advanced manufacturing.  Throughout this capstone project, teams of students will document (photographically/written) and sketch (hand drawn/computer generated) the reverse engineering of a project, the selection of a part and the designing of a mock-up assembly process for reassembly.

Author:
Henrietta Juston


Content Area
  • Engineering

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Genetic Research in the Media

This lesson is designed for an IB Language and Literature course, Year 1, Part II (“Mass Media”).  Students will connect knowledge from other courses while analyzing how language and mass media influence public perception of genetic research All lessons are designed for 90 minute blocks.

Introduction:
Students will have the opportunity to analyze their own views regarding genetic research and complete research on the topics that interest them most. The assessment for this unit will be an advertisement and written justification as part of cross-discipline project.  In their biology class, students will be developing a plan for a start-up business that relates to genetic research in some way and addresses a student-identified problem.  In English, students will create an advertisement for their start up that clearly communicates its goal and demonstrates understanding of the key components of visual rhetoric.

Author:
Michelle Hicks, 2014-15 Kenan Fellow


Content Area
  • Biology
  • Language Arts

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An Analytical Chemist, a Biochemist, an Animal Scientist, and an Oncologist Walk into a Lab…No Joke

Introduction:
In this project, much of the learning responsibility is placed on the individual students within the project team, and also on the team acting as a cooperative unit.  Students will be provided with some basic background and will have some avenues to investigate and present as a team (polar vs. nonpolar compounds and surface area, hydrophilicity vs. hydrophobicity, the history of mass spectroscopy, the advantages and disadvantages of longitudinal studies, the specialization of scientific fields, and the importance of collaboration between experts in different scientific fields.

Author:
Brian Cartiff, 2014-15 Kenan Fellow


Content Area
  • Chemistry
  • Science

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Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Energy: Which way should we go?

Introduction:

This is an introductory middle school science lesson which compares and contrasts renewable vs. nonrenewable energy sources. The end product is a presentation to a lower grade level science class.

Author:
Cindy Bullard, 2014-15 Kenan Fellow


Content Area
  • Earth Science
  • Science

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A Facilitator’s Guide to Making Math Count

A project from the Kenan Fellows Program in conjunction with the NC Department of Public Instruction

This professional development series was designed to implement with a Professional Learning Community/Team. The intent is that a group of colleagues work together through the 3 Chapters. The team should have a facilitator, and the facilitator should go through the training materials prior to the whole group training. It is recommended that the series be done in 4 sessions- Chapter 1, Chapter 2 Day 1, Chapter 2 Day 2, and Chapter 3. After the 4th session, a follow-up should be offered to the group in order to support implementation of this type of assessment and instructional strategies.

Curriculum Author:

Alexandra Humphries, Christina Lowman and Katherine Phelps


Content Area
  • Math

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Introduction to a Flight Computer

This series of lessons focuses on exposing high school math students to relevant applications in the aviation industry. This is the first in the series for the Integrated Math 2 level. This can be taught in conjunction with Unit 1 Lesson 2 – Reading Airline Maintenance Graphs but can also be a stand-alone lesson. In this lesson, students will explore the use of a Flight Computer (E-6B) to solve Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) problems.

Curriculum Author:

Allison George


Content Area
  • Math

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Literacy in Biology

Literacy is an important aspect of science. To be literate in science means students are able to understand, read, and write in terms of science. This lesson is designed to get students to think critically about real world application.

The lesson incorporates technology and Bloom’s highest level of thinking, creativity. Students will learn about writing scientific names of organisms and classifying organisms, how organisms interact with each other and their environment, and the impact of natural disasters.

Curriculum Author:

Sheena Hamilton


Content Area
  • Biology

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I Declare Math

In this activity students will compare one digit numbers and two digit numbers.

Students will be able to define greater than, less than, or equal to another number. Students will be able to define numbers using symbols.

Curriculum Author:

Tomika R. Altman-Lewis


Content Area
  • Math

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1 Fish, 10 Fish, Many Fish, Few Fish

A Unit developed to understand the relationship of numbers and how numbers relate to the base ten number system.

A students understanding of number sense and number sense in regards to base ten typically develop along the same continuum. When looking at the progression continuum, students need to know the skills listed previously prior to moving on to more advanced skills.

Curriculum Author:

Kimberly Marone


Content Area
  • Math

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