Science Curriculum Collaboration

I had the opportunity to work with an 8th grade science teacher who was concerned about teaching a difficult ninth grade strand to her honors students.  Working together, we were able to develop a plan of action for delivering instruction and determine the most appropriate and beneficial resources to help her students master the strand.  Part of this process including examination of the media for specific alignment to the standard as seen below.

Curriculum Collaboration

Grade Level: 8th

Subject: Science

Topic: Viruses

 

Standard

Ÿ         Arkansas Biology Framework – Strand: Classification and the Diversity of Life

Ÿ         Standard 7: Students shall demonstrate an understanding that organisms are diverse.

Ÿ         CDL.7.B.7: Evaluate the medical and economic importance of virus.

Learner Analysis

Ÿ         Existing Knowledge: Students will have already studied both the medical and economic importance of bacteria; this lesson will follow and build upon that one.  Students already understand how bacterial illnesses can affect humans from an economic standpoint and can connect that knowledge to the study of viruses.

Ÿ         Needed Skills/Knowledge: Students will need to learn what a virus is and how it differs from a bacterium, particularly the unique structure and life cycle of a virus.  They will need to connect this information to their understanding of bacteria to be able to explain how viruses impact humans economically.  They also will need to be able to explain how viruses can help humans, particularly in the way that they are being used to fight other illnesses.

Ÿ         Learning Styles: The teacher has commented that the students are particularly engaged in video learning and learn best overall with videos and structured discussions.  She has also seen positive results with dictated notes or guided notes for films.  As low reading levels are often a problem with her student demographic, individual reading and note-taking is usually not an effective method for learning, especially alone.

Ÿ         Other Factors: The average class size is fifteen students.  The teacher has two sections of identified Gifted/Talented students, with a total of 34 students in this category.  She has three IEP/special needs students.  Student demographic is 99% African American; teacher is African-American as well and has a strong rapport with her students.  Community is small and extremely poor with 100% free lunch served at the school.  Not all students technically qualify for free lunch, but the numbers that do not are so small as to be immaterial.  Student body averages roughly 50% proficient or above in Language Arts on the state benchmarks and less in math.  Student reading levels average approximately two years below grade level in regular classes; honors students have demonstrated proficiency on the state exams and are reading at or above grade level.  Entry into the gifted/talented program does not constitute actual identified giftedness, but does require proficiency and usually involves a high degree of self-motivation and independence.  Students’ home culture does not generally promote education; educational content generally should be placed in a highly engaging or relevant context to encourage motivation and promote comprehension and retention.

Identification of Media Selected by the Teacher

Working together, we have identified three of the resources that will be most beneficial to the teacher’s classroom.  She would like to use the Gizmo Lytic cycle activity, Bill Nye video, and the Secrets of the Dead activity.

How Media Will Be Used

Since the students do extremely well with video and discussion-based instruction, I recommended the Bill Nye video as one of the most appropriate resources for this teacher.  She will have them view the pertinent segments of the Bill Nye video first.  If time permits, she may allow them to watch all of it, since other segments of the video tie in with other standards they are currently learning.  They will watch the video and discuss the most important elements related to the standard with her.  The teacher has access to a Gizmo password and will schedule time for her students to visit the library on the day she teaches viruses.  I suggested that this activity laid out the lytic cycle very clearly in a way that students could interact with the material.  She will use this in place of the notes and lecture she had originally planned, using the student handout to make certain they have worked through and comprehended the required material.  Since many of her students are gifted and most do well with student-centered, small group discussions and activities, this will be an effective use of their class time.  The students will complete an exit slip before they leave so the teacher can assess their learning on the topic.  She will make the Secrets of the Dead links available to students from her class Engrade page and modify the activity so that they can complete it independently; they will use the video, simulation, and Flash elements, but not the UPC code activity.  Students will have the following two weeks to complete this activity and turn it in to her for extra credit.


Curriculum Collaboration: Media Summary Sheet

Description

The topic for instruction is twofold: students will learn the negative effects of viruses both on humans and on other plant and animal species.  Students will also learn how viruses effect our socio-economic structure, including the money we spend to combat viruses that affect us negatively and the money we spend developing technology to find ways to use the special nature of viruses to help combat other diseases.

Curriculum Standards

Ÿ        Arkansas Biology Framework – Strand: Classification and the Diversity of Life

Ÿ         Standard 7: Students shall demonstrate an understanding that organisms are diverse.

Ÿ         CDL.7.B.7: Evaluate the medical and economic importance of virus.

Teacher Goals

The teacher particularly wants students to have a clear understanding of both the positive and negative uses and effects of viruses.  She believes it is very important for them to understand that viruses are bad not only for humans but also for other animals and plants.  However, she is also interested, particularly for her gifted students, in making certain they understand the ways scientists are using viruses positively to help fight harmful bacteria and other serious illnesses.  Students should be able to explain the impact viruses have on humans from an economic standpoint, again from both a negative and a positive viewpoint, i.e. viruses cost us money in time lost from work; virus research is expensive but creates jobs and can save money in treating people ill with E.coli.

Estimated Unit Time

Students will have one class day with the material, and will have an extension exercise over the next two weeks for extra credit.

Media Information

v     Babcock, Viki. 2006. “Identifying Viruses.” Secrets of the Dead. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/lessons/lp_virus.html

(Accompanying video can be streamed in full from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/episodes/preview-of-killer-flu/222/ and additional resources are located at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/case_killerflu/index.html)

Description

This website contains an interactive lesson plan that gives students a background on the 1918 flu epidemic, teaches them about viruses and their infectious process, and takes them through a guided simulation in which they analyze viral “fingerprints” in order to locate and identify viruses.  The website contains instructions, a supply list, and links to video resources, along with a prepared questions handout for video viewing.  The accompanying video is available full-length (about 55 minutes) or as several clips that can be viewed individually.

Rationale

I think this is a very helpful resource because it addresses both parts of the standard and it presents information in a variety of ways.  It integrates technology into learning and engages students in a hands-on simulation that allows them to first view material and then recreate it to come to a better understanding of the material.  It contains video, computer interactives (simulations) and a hands on simulation with UPC codes, and could really be used to teach all components of the standard with nothing else needed.  It contains both teacher- and student-centered elements and requires learner participation, both components of the ASSURE model.

Suggestions

This resource should be used by the teacher to prepare the lesson in question.  Students can access the resource itself online either to view the clips and answer questions or after viewing the full film in order to participate in the interactive simulation and the Flash activity.  Students will be viewing, listening and discussing or writing answers when interacting with the video.  They will explore and interact with the simulation and discuss it, then will create their own DNA fingerprints during the Flash activity.  Finally, they will use materials the teacher has prepared to analyze viral fingerprints and determine the identity of an unknown virus.  The video covers the socio-economic impacts of viruses as it discusses the 1918 flu epidemic.  The simulation and other activities help students understand how viruses work from a medical standpoint.

Limitations

The video is very long in full, and may take more class time than the information is worth.  If combined with the simulation, it will definitely take more than one class period.  The clips are beneficial, but the video questions will not be usable unless modified and some important information is lost through not using the entire presentation.  However, the video clip site does have questions pertinent to each clip which could be used in lieu of the video questions sheet.  The handout will need to be printed ahead of time in whichever form the teacher chooses, and the video will require a computer with Internet access and a projection screen, of which both should already be present in the classroom.  The teacher will need to accumulate and prepare several sets of UPC product codes in advance, and will need access to several computers in order for students to run the interactive simulations and the Flash animation activity.  The best solution would be to schedule use of the library media center for the first day and show the film or film clips there, then let the students use the library computers to proceed through the rest of the material.

 v     Bill Nye, the Science Guy: Germs. 2003.  Disney Educational Productions [DVD].

Description

This resource is a DVD.  It includes a 26-minute film on germs, split into segments that can be used individually.  It is closed captioned and contains both English and Spanish versions.  It includes a pre-made quiz based on the episode, a full teacher’s guide, Internet links for additional information, and bonus features such as an interview with a surgeon, a clip on mold, and outtakes.  The program covers the function of white blood cells and other bodily defenses against germs, the immune system, the way germs enter the body and cause illness, and a special section focused on how viruses behave in the human body.  PDF file contains a student Know/New handout, an experiment recording sheet, vocabulary flashcards, the quiz and the answer key.

Rationale

I believe this resource will assist in the learning process because of its high engagement factor and straightforward delivery of information, along with its many everyday analogies and demonstrations.  The video also includes several demonstrations that can be replicated easily in the classroom, allowing a hands-on experience with the material, and parodies a popular song using lyrics that contain important information from the video.  By keeping the students interested through demonstrations, humor, and music, and providing the opportunity for participation and hands-on learning, it engages the student through multiple learning styles and increased motivation as suggested in Smaldino’s text (89). The video includes a complete section on how viruses invade and reproduce in the body as well as how the body fights them off, a central component to achieving the selected standard.

Suggestions

This resource is primarily designed to be viewed in class by the students.  It can be shown as an entire piece or can be split into clips and the most pertinent sections can be viewed – the video is designed for this type of use, and offers a section in its resources that identifies the concepts in each video clip.  The teacher can also replicate several of the demonstrations shown in the video with her students to allow them a more complete understanding of the material. The learner will watch and listen to the resource.  The learner may further be invited to interact with the material using the discussion starters, experiments, or graphic organizers included on the DVD-ROM in the teacher’s section.  Ideally, students should have the opportunity to raise questions, discuss observations and answers, and consider material shown to them at intervals throughout the viewing.

Limitations

The DVD is available through the school library.  An updated version of this DVD entitled Safety Smart Science with Bill Nye the Science Guy: Germs and Your Health is scheduled for release on April 18, 2011, and is available through Amazon for $29.99. Teacher should preview the film ahead of time to determine which clips are most appropriate for class, and how to integrate student discussion or demonstration. Teacher may wish to print out the quiz and have students use it for notes or as a follow-up to viewing the film.  Teacher will also want to view the teacher’s .pdf file in advance.  A DVD player or computer with a DVD drive and a projection screen will be needed to use this resource, and should already be present in the classroom.  No other materials are needed unless experiments or demonstrations from the video will be repeated in class.  Copies of vocabulary cards or handouts may be desirable.

 v     Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility. 2005.  Nanocure. National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. http://www.nanooze.org/games/nanocure.html

Description

This video game involves using various types of nanobots to stop invading viruses from killing a patient.  Players must balance their resources to build nanobots into the patient’s system to protect it.  Meanwhile, they must also do research in order to upgrade their nanobots.  They must protect the patient against fifty waves of viruses, each more difficult and more resistant to the bots that have already been used.  Bonuses can be gained through answering virus and measurement trivia questions, and virus facts are available through the game website.

Rationale

This is a fair supplemental resource related to the topic.  While it would not be good as a primary teaching tool, it does reinforce some of the medical components of the standard and requires critical thinking and planning on the part of the student.  For students who finish other work early, it is a better use of their time than doing nothing and could be viewed as a reward, while still containing an educational component.  It involves problem solving as students must plan ahead and think critically in order to keep their patient alive. 

Suggestions

I think this would be a great resource as a finish-early reward, or as one station if the teacher chooses to use stations in the classroom while studying viruses.  If it is used in the classroom, questions should accompany it that help the student focus on the principles the game reinforces.  It would also be good to post on the teacher’s or the library Web page for access during off times or at home by students.

Limitations

The game can be difficult to figure out, and the instructions are not easy to find.  The teacher or librarian should create an instruction sheet beforehand to assist students, particularly if their game play time is limited.  While the game does demonstrate some principles related to the standard, such as viral ability to become resistant to certain drugs, these are not explicit and will need effective integration techniques in order to be beneficial. It requires a computer with Flash 8 and Internet access for every student planning to play.

v     Derkins, Susie. 2001. Insider’s Guide to the Body: The Immune System. New York: Rosen.

Description

This book discusses the immune system.  Using kid-friendly language and a lot of microscopic photography, it discusses and shows how the immune system works, its components, some of the major diseases that can affect it, how they are treated, and practical steps people can take to keep their immune systems healthy.  The book also contains a glossary, index, further reading bibliography, and list of other informational sources including websites.

Rationale

While focused on a slightly different topic than the standard, the immune system is the body’s defense against viruses, and therefore related to the medical importance of viruses.  For students to understand how a virus operates in the body and impacts it, they will also need an understanding of the immune system and how it works.  This book contains short, readable sections that can function independently of each other.  Perhaps its best feature are the striking photographs which actually show the different cells of the body, and show how viruses affect the cells and parts of the body at a microscopic level. 

Suggestions

The book could be used in several ways.  Pages can be copied for students in accordance with the fair use policy.  Photographs can be displayed via an Elmo or scanned into a PowerPoint presentation.  The book’s resources can be used to compile other materials for classroom use, or it can be used as part of a collection offered to the students as research material for report writing or presentations.  To use this resource, students will need to be able to view the text and photographs either personally or via a projector. 

Limitations

The book may be difficult to obtain.  If the school library does not have it, it can be purchased through Amazon at a wide variety of prices from about $3 to $27.  The book will require creative integration into the classroom since copies will probably not be available for all students.  Equipment needed to use this resource most effectively include an opaque projector, a computer and a projection screen.  The teacher will need to decide ahead of time which sections she intends to use and either have copies made or reserve an opaque projector.

 v     “Fizzies Virus.” 2011. Kidzone. http://www.kidzone.ws/plans/view.asp?i=100

Description

This resource is actually a lesson plan posted online that explains a hands-on experiment to demonstrate the spread of a virus, important for both medical and social/economic reasons.  It involves the sharing and transferring of liquid in paper cups; one is full of hydrogen peroxide, which will be spread out and diluted by the other cups, all full of water.  The peroxide represents a “virus” that is spread to other students as they meet the student with it.  At the end, every student’s cup will be tested with bleach; those whose cup fizzes when bleach is introduced have caught the “virus;” their cup has some amount of peroxide in it.  Students then must try to determine the original source of the infection.

Rationale

This resource is extremely appropriate for helping learners to meet the standard because it targets specific information they will need to evaluate the impact and importance of viruses from both perspectives in a high-interest, authentic way.  The experiment can easily be carried out in class at minimal cost and students can quickly see the results for discussion and analysis.  It is superior to most similar “viral spread” labs because the results are not limited to students writing names down or having names drawn out of a hat.  Like real viruses, each student has a cup of solution that must be tested to determine if it is infected at the end of the experiment.  This type of active learning engages students in a “meaningful experience” allowing Smaldino’s “shift from passive transfer of information to active problem solving and discovery” (11).  They are “learning by doing,” which will help them gain a better understanding of material, retain it longer, and think critically about it.

Suggestions

The media will be used by the teacher to guide her direction of the students in the activity.  The Website itself contains several lesson plans, printables, and other resources for both students and teachers; however, most may not tie in to this particular standard.  Students will only interact with this media indirectly, although the teacher may choose to provide a link to the site to students for optional exploration at home.  The students will carry out the experiment as directed by the teacher, using materials in the classroom.  Students will each be given a cup of solution and will pour solution into each other’s cups, following the pattern outlined by the teacher.  They will keep track of who they have interacted with.  At the end of the experiment, all cups will be tested – one initial cup contained a solution that will react to bleach, and students will be able to see how many cups were “infected” over the course of the experiment.  The resource also contains a high-interest extension for students to complete individually outside of class, in which students must examine their own interactions and the results to try and determine who had the original “infection.”

Limitations

This experiment takes two class periods, which may cause time difficulties.  Materials include small cups for each student, water, a sharpie marker, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and an eyedropper.  Materials will need to be obtained in advance.  Safety precautions will need to be taken when handling the chemicals, although the teacher is the only one who will directly handle the undiluted bleach.  Students may have trouble creating the organizer to try and determine the original source of the infection.  The instructions and handouts are available free on the website; the only cost will be for the materials, which are common household items that cost very little.

v     Gizmo: Virus Lytic Cycle.  2011. Explore Learning.  http://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=cResource.dspDetail&ResourceID=448

Description

This interactive Web resource runs a simulation of a viral infection in the cells.  It depicts how viruses destroy cells and spread to others.  It also includes bar, table, and graph functions showing how many cells are destroyed, infected or uninfected, and a series of mini slides showing the stages of the lytic cycle. It includes a downloadable Student Exploration Guide, which asks initial questions and then leads the students through a series of guided explorations with the gizmo, including extensions connected to authentic situations, such as the spread of AIDS. It can be used as a full experiment, as the student paperwork doubles as a lab sheet and follows the scientific method for investigation. 

Rationale

I believe that this resource will help the learner achieve the standard because it is a very accurate simulation of viral replication within the cells of a human body, a central component to understanding the medical importance of viruses. It requires learner participation, as suggested by the ASSURE model, and incorporates several other science and math standards, making it cross-curricular.  The Gizmos are considered “online virtual manipulatives” as stated on their Website, www.explorelearning.com. The ability to interact with them encourages students’ exploration and curiosity as questions are raised and answered through “playing” with the module.  The lab is set up to help students use the technology to answer higher-order questions, critically analyze data, and make predictions based on their results.  This allows students to use the technology to solve problems posed to them around the standard, a strategy recommended by the NETS-S (Smaldino, 107)

Suggestions

This resource is designed to be used by the students online.  It could be carried out in a computer lab with all students working individually or in groups of two or three.  It could also act as one station in a classroom with one or two computers, allowing students to experience the module as one section of many going on in class simultaneously.  Its off-campus use is limited, because it requires a subscription (or a 30-day free trial), and is otherwise restricted to five minutes of use.  Ideally the learner will work with a partner at a computer.  They will have a whole-class discussion to generate interest, discuss lead-in questions, and cover or review viral anatomy before beginning the simulation.  The learners would then use Internet-connected, subscribed computers to run the simulation and complete the guided lab using the accompanying printable materials.  The students will be able to view the reproductive process of the virus within a host, define the steps of the lytic cycle, and chart data regarding viral increase or decrease within a host.

Limitations

The gizmo and accompanying handouts are available through the website online.  However, initial use is limited to a five minute trial. A thirty-day free pass is available, which could serve for the purposes of this unit; however, to be used repeatedly, a subscription to the service may have to be purchased.  Subscription information is only available through speaking with a representative, who creates a custom plan for each customer.

v     Nye, Bill. 2005. Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs. New York: Hyperion.

Description

This book expands on the original DVD.  It contains a wealth of information, visuals and hands-on activities to teach students about germs.  It includes experiments that demonstrate the spread of germs, their actions within a cell, how immune systems deal with germs, and even some classic experiments from scientists like Louis Pasteur. 

Rationale

I think that this resource would be particularly engaging to the students because it can be used by the teacher to provide hands-on activities.  Smaldino mentioned that “Learners are most likely to remember and to apply knowledge that is authentic and presented in a real-world context,” and that “learner participation increases the probability of learning” (18). Experiments and simulations conducted by the students will allow them to “discover” the knowledge related to standards for themselves and give them concrete experience with and memories of the information.

Suggestions

This resource would be used by the teacher.  She can select activities based on the particular focus of instruction and the time involved.  Some that may be of particular interest are growing germs, viral entry into a cell, germ division, alcohol and germs, glitter germs, and germs in the air.  The students will not interact directly with the resource itself, although the teacher may choose to use reading passages or visuals from it for class instruction.  This resource is especially useful because it contains information that addresses both the medical and the socio-economic impact of viruses. 

Limitations

The book may be difficult to obtain.  It may be in the school library.  If not, it can be purchased on Amazon for under $9.  Due to the low purchase price and the usability of the resource, it would be advisable to purchase it rather than paying for a nonresident library fee, unless a nonresident card has already been obtained.  The book will need to be ordered in time to arrive before the scheduled instruction days.  Other materials will be needed to conduct the experiments, most of which are low-cost household items like toothpicks, balloons, cups, foil or glitter.

v     “Outbreak.” 2009. Teach With Movies. http://www.teachwithmovies.org/guides/outbreak.html

Description

This site contains lesson plans and suggestions for teaching material using movies to support the curriculum.  For this particular standard, the site contains material designed to use the film Outbreak to teach about the spread of viruses.  Outbreak is a feature film starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman in which an unknown virus arises in Zaire that has a 100% mortality rate and kills people within three days.  The site information includes discussion questions, helpful Internet links and assignment and project suggestions to go along with the movie.

Rationale

While this resource does have some questionable points, if it is able to be used, it also has some clear benefits.  The infectious path of a virus is clearly shown, along with the ability of viruses to often move from animal to human hosts.  Both the medical and socio-economic impacts of a deadly virus are clearly shown in an engaging and entertaining way.  The film is a feature starring well-known celebrities of multiple races.  Students will enjoy the film, which will raise engagement and motivation for learning.  The guides contain discussion starters to target some of the more thought-provoking elements of the film, and the realism of the film should encourage students to think deeply about the content, particularly the effects of viruses on mankind.  The guide also contains several extension assignments and projects to allow the students to pursue the material in several hands-on ways.  This allows the presentation of material using tactics that address multiple learning styles and offer information multiple times to assist comprehension and retention.

Suggestions

After permission has been obtained, and the teacher has decided whether to show all or parts of the film, students should view the film.  Discussion questions should be given ahead of time so that students can consider the film’s content based on the questions they will be asked to discuss.  After the film and discussion, students can be assigned follow-up assignments or projects, depending on the amount of time the teacher chooses to spend on this aspect of the lesson.  The teacher may even choose to give students a choice of assignments to allow them some self-direction.

Limitations

The first major limitation is that Outbreak is rated R, so permission would have to be obtained to show the film from parents, and preferably administration.  Language is the only reason the film is rated R; however, the teacher should preview the film ahead of time and determine its appropriateness for her class.  The TeachWithMovies site is subscription-based and costs about $12 annually for access to the full guides for this movie.  The movie can be obtained easily through Netflix.

 v     Rosen Publishing Group. Epidemics: Deadly Diseases Throughout History. Book series. New York: Rosen.  Includes titles on polio, smallpox, AIDS, influenza, malaria, and others.

Description

This series of books covers many of the most deadly viruses known to mankind, with a title for each one.  It includes viruses like smallpox, polio, West Nile, measles and many others.  While the books vary in specific content, most contain an overview of the virus itself, its symptoms, and how it is spread, along with a history of its effect on mankind, including deaths, treatments, discovery of prevention, and sometimes eradication.  The books are written in easy to read text with grade-appropriate language and interesting facts along with the basic information.  They also include historical paintings or photographs, a glossary of terms, and outside resources specific to the disease being discussed.

Rationale

The books are particularly useful for targeting the second half of the standard.  While many resources explain the medical impact of viruses, learning the historical and economic significance often takes a back seat.  This resource includes in-depth information about the socio-economic impact of each virus in an age-appropriate way.  Many books contain graphic organizers like captioned photos and timelines to help appeal to other learning styles.  Smaldino et al point out that visuals can “present information in a different modality, giving some learners a chance to comprehend visually what they might miss in text format” (p. 57). Although many students do not prefer books, reading comprehension and research for text information is a critical skill to be successful at higher levels of education.  This resource can provide that at a level that will not be too intimidating for most readers, and an index will further assist them in locating desired information.

Suggestions

These books would be useful for individual or small group research into specific viruses.  Students could work individually or in pairs or threes to research and present a specific disease and how it affected or affects mankind.  While middle-school research is not complete with only one source, these books would be a great jumping off point because they target individual viruses in so much depth.

Limitations

Obtaining these books may be difficult.  If they are not available through the school library, they can be purchased as a set from Amazon for about $150.  Several individual titles can be found through Ebay at various price ranges.  Several titles can be checked out from the Memphis library, which requires a $50 annual fee for nonresidents to obtain a library card.  The Central Arkansas Library System also requires a nonresident card for $60 a year, but has all the titles in the series and is able to obtain interlibrary loans as needed.  The books would need to be obtained well in advance, particularly if they had to be procured from an outside library system.  Some low-level readers may be deterred by the text in these books.  No other equipment is needed to use the books, although a computer and projection screen might be useful if students are to present research results.

v     Sullivan, Jim. 2010. “Oh Goodness, My E.Coli Has a Virus!” Cells Alive. http://www.cellsalive.com/phage.htm

Description

The most useful page of this site for the listed standard is the URL named above.  This page contains a very simple description and several illustrations and animations that show a virus attacking and destroying a bacteria.  This is the correct lytic cycle required by the standard in “medical importance” although it is not used in the context of a human cell.  Since the process is the same, students can still benefit from this resource.  Other resources on the site include the “HowBig” link, an interactive animation that allows students to explore relative sizes of several near-invisible and microscopic organisms.  The site also contains puzzles and a quiz covering both bacteria and viruses.  A longer animation of the viral attack is available for free download.

Rationale

This resource represents a very simple explanation of a complicated process.  Since students process information differently and some students with lower reading levels or other special needs may have difficulty accessing some of the more advanced resources, this is a good tool to have on hand for differentiation as needed.  Since Smaldino included considering individual differences as an essential component of effective instruction, and includes “cover[ing] different materials, and even participat[ing] in different activities” (18) in that category, it is necessary to have at least one or two resources on hand to help meet that need.

Suggestions

This resource can be projected onto a SmartBoard for whole class instruction, or accessed by students individually or in small groups as needed.  Students can view the explanation, although the online version of the movie will probably not be beneficial.  The interactive HowBig component is extremely helpful and would be a nice station for students or discussion starter on the SmartBoard.  As a station, students could interact with it themselves, rather than simply viewing it.

Limitations

A computer with Internet access is needed for every student or small group needing to use this resource.  Because of its simple nature, it may not be the best resource to use for whole class instruction (on the other hand, it may if students seem to generally be struggling with the concept or a simple breakdown is needed during instruction).  The information on the site is limited and most resources will require a knowledge of both bacteria and viruses in order to be used effectively by students.  The media can be obtained online and is free to use.  The teacher will need to decide ahead of time how she intends to incorporate the resource.  If all students or many students will require access to the resource, reservations will need to be made in advance with the library or computer lab.

 

MEDIA ALIGNMENT TO THE STANDARD

Arkansas Biology Framework – Strand: Classification and the Diversity of Life

Standard 7: Students shall demonstrate an understanding that organisms are diverse.

 CDL.7.B.7: Evaluate the medical and economic importance of virus.

 (I selected an Arkansas standard because I am collaborating with a teacher from the school I taught at last year in Arkansas.  She identified the above standard as one she needed assistance with, and I will be doing my ASSURE model collaboration with her around this standard.  I am familiar with the Ohio standards, but am hoping to work in Oklahoma upon completion of my degree and do not expect to be working predominantly with either set of standards. )

 Related Media Resources:

Selected Resources and Rationales

Bill Nye, the Science Guy: Germs DVD

o       I believe this resource will assist in the learning process because of its high engagement factor and straightforward delivery of information, along with its many everyday analogies and demonstrations.  The video also includes several demonstrations that can be replicated easily in the classroom, allowing a hands-on experience with the material, and parodies a popular song using lyrics that contain important information from the video.  By keeping the students interested through demonstrations, humor, and music, and providing the opportunity for participation and hands-on learning, it engages the student through multiple learning styles and increased motivation as suggested in Smaldino’s text (89). The video includes a complete section on how viruses invade and reproduce in the body as well as how the body fights them off, a central component to achieving this standard.

o       This resource is primarily designed to be viewed in class by the students.  It can be shown as an entire piece or can be split into clips and the most pertinent sections can be viewed – the video is designed for this type of use, and offers a section in its resources that identifies the concepts in each video clip.  The teacher can also replicate several of the demonstrations shown in the video with her students to allow them a more complete understanding of the material.

o       The learner will watch and listen to the resource.  The learner may further be invited to interact with the material using the discussion starters, experiments, or graphic organizers included on the DVD-ROM in the teacher’s section.  Ideally, students should have the opportunity to raise questions, discuss observations and answers, and consider material shown to them at intervals throughout the viewing.

Gizmo: Virus Lytic Cycle

o       This interactive resource contains an online simulation module, complete with material overview and breakdown, multiple graphing features to graph the outcome of the simulation, and a .pdf file with introductory questions, preparatory material, and a guided observation chart for students to use during the simulation.  It can be used as a full experiment, as the student paperwork doubles as a lab sheet and follows the scientific method for investigation.  I believe that it will help the learner achieve the standard because it is a very accurate simulation of viral replication within the cells of a human body, a central component to understanding the medical importance of viruses. It requires learner participation, as suggested by the ASSURE model, and incorporates several other science and math standards, making it cross-curricular.  The Gizmos are considered “online virtual manipulatives” as stated on their Website, www.explorelearning.com. The ability to interact with them encourages students’ exploration and curiosity as questions are raised and answered through “playing” with the module.  The lab is set up to help students use the technology to answer higher-order questions, critically analyze data, and make predictions based on their results.  This allows students to use the technology to solve problems posed to them around the standard, a strategy recommended by the NETS-S (Smaldino, 107)

o       This resource is designed to be used by the students online.  It could be carried out in a computer lab with all students working individually or in groups of two or three.  It could also act as one station in a classroom with one or two computers, allowing students to experience the module as one section of many going on in class simultaneously.  Its off-campus use is limited, because it requires a subscription (or a 30-day free trial), and is otherwise restricted to five minutes of use.

o       Ideally the learner will work with a partner at a computer.  They will have a whole-class discussion to generate interest, discuss lead-in questions, and cover or review viral anatomy before beginning the simulation.  The learners would then use Internet-connected, subscribed computers to run the simulation and complete the guided lab using the accompanying printable materials.  The students will be able to view the reproductive process of the virus within a host, define the steps of the lytic cycle, and chart data regarding viral increase or decrease within a host.

“Fizzies Virus” Online Lesson Plan

o       This resource is actually a lesson plan posted online that explains a hands-on experiment to demonstrate the spread of a virus, important for both medical and social/economic reasons.  It is extremely appropriate for helping learners to meet the standard because it targets specific information they will need to evaluate the impact and importance of viruses from both perspectives in a high-interest, authentic way.  The experiment can easily be carried out in class at minimal cost and students can quickly see the results for discussion and analysis.  It is superior to most similar “viral spread” labs because the results are not limited to students writing names down or having names drawn out of a hat.  Like real viruses, each student has a cup of solution that must be tested to determine if it is infected at the end of the experiment.  This type of active learning engages students in a “meaningful experience” allowing Smaldino’s “shift from passive transfer of information to active problem solving and discovery” (11).  They are “learning by doing,” which will help them gain a better understanding of material, retain it longer, and think critically about it.

o       The media will be used by the teacher to guide her direction of the students in the activity.  The Website itself contains several lesson plans, printables, and other resources for both students and teachers; however, most may not tie in to this particular standard.  Students will only interact with this media indirectly, although the teacher may choose to provide a link to the site to students for optional exploration at home. 

o       The students will carry out the experiment as directed by the teacher, using materials in the classroom.  Students will each be given a cup of solution and will pour solution into each other’s cups, following the pattern outlined by the teacher.  They will keep track of who they have interacted with.  At the end of the experiment, all cups will be tested – one initial cup contained a solution that will react to bleach, and students will be able to see how many cups were “infected” over the course of the experiment.  The resource also contains a high-interest extension for students to complete individually outside of class, in which students must examine their own interactions and the results to try and determine who had the original “infection.”

Epidemics: Deadly Diseases Throughout History. Book series.

o       This resource (or set of resources) is appropriate for helping the students meet the objective because it helps students gain a better understanding of some of the social and economic impacts of viral epidemics worldwide.

o       The resource sets itself up well for a small-group project in which groups of two or three students select a disease of particular interest to them.  The books could then be used as a jumping-off point for some research into the sociocultural impacts the particular virus has had.  The books also contain Web links to sites that focus on the spotlighted virus for further research by students.  Small group research and presentation would allow all students the opportunity to consider issues related to the standard, but also gives them a degree of choice in both their topic and the way they choose to present the information.  An advantage to this type of project and resource is that it encourages cooperative learning and teamwork, so that students can work together to help each other learn and succeed (Smaldino, 29).  This is particularly important in the middle school years, when interaction with peers become an dominant part of a student’s development.

 o       The learners will select one of the series which they are most interested in exploring and use the text and pictures to begin researching their topic.  Learners can be given a set of guiding questions to help focus them on the economic and other sociocultural impacts of the virus as opposed to just the basic science of the illness.  Learners can also use the information in the back of the books to pursue their research online, and can work together to present their learning to the class.  Freedom of choice in presentation will help the students take ownership of the project and encourage their creativity. 

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