Sample Instructional Strategies/Assessments

Newton North High School
Science Department
Science 611, 621, 661, 682
Grades 10-11
Sample Instructional Strategies/Assessments
1. read actively, critically and deeply
2. pose articulate questions and use appropriate
and effective research methods and
3. demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving
and decision making skills
4. analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information
to draw conclusions
5. show curiosity about the world and an
understanding of different cultural practices
and perspectives
0. Measurement
0. Measurement
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
 Size of objects under a microscope
 Variation within a species — recognizing subtle
variations in maple leaves from a single species
 Bean plant growth experiments
 Estimating tree height/measuring tree circumference
 Random sampling and population size extrapolation —
herbaceous plants on campus
 Terrapin turtle growth
Summative Assessments
 Students estimate size of organisms under a scope
 Bird biodiversity data analysis
 Bean journals — document growth of a bean plant from
seed to seed
 Tree Diaries — weekly observations and exercises
involving a single tree
 Present turtle growth data at a conference
1. The Chemistry of Life
Broad Concept: Living things are made of atoms
bonded together to form organic molecules.
1. The Chemistry of Life
Students will:
 Explain the significance of carbon in organic
 Recognize the six most common elements in
organic molecules (C, H, N, O, P, S).
 Describe the composition and functions of the
four major categories of organic molecules
(carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic
acids). *
 Describe how dehydration synthesis and
hydrolysis relate to organic molecules.
 Explain the role of enzymes in biochemical
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
 Liver lab — examine function and stability of liver
 Food diaries/ MacDiet computer-based food log and
nutritional calculations
 Biomolecules Placemat — nutritional content of
popular foods
 Calorimeter — burn nuts and other foods to determine
calorie content
 DNA Models — paper and 3-dimensional models of
nucleic acids
 Dehydration synthesis polypeptide exercise — paper
and scissors protein biosynthesis
 Replication/Transcription/Translation paper models
 Soil and water testing (pH, nitrates, phosphates, dO)
 Biogeochemical cycles — discuss, draw, and model
water, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen cycles
Summative Assessments
 Create your own element on the periodic table
 The Food Project — prepare a recipe, research the
ingredients, and make a nutrition label
 Transcription/Translation Game — decode a message
encrypted in a DNA sequence
 Dragon molecular genetics — draw the features of a
dragon based on the decoding of its DNA sequence
 Cycle poster projects and pop-up books
2. Structure and Function of Cells
Broad Concept: All living things are composed of cells.
Life processes in a cell are based on molecular
2. Structure and Function of Cells
Students will:
 Relate cell parts/organelles to their functions. *
 Differentiate between prokaryotic cells and
eukaryotic cells, in terms of their general
structures and degrees of complexity. *
 Distinguish between plant and animal cells. *
 Describe how cells function in a narrow range of
physical conditions, such as temperature and pH,
to perform life functions that help to maintain
 Explain the role of cell membranes as a highly
selective barrier (diffusion, osmosis, and active
transport). *
 Identify the reactants and products in the general
reaction of photosynthesis. Describe the use of
isotopes in this identification.
 Provide evidence that the organic compounds
produced by plants are the primary source of
energy and nutrients for most living things. *
 Identify how cellular respiration is important for
the production of ATP.
 Explain the interrelated nature of photosynthesis
and cellular respiration. *
 Describe and compare the processes of mitosis
and meiosis, and their role in the cell cycle. *
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
• Protist Lab — examine, compare, and contrast a variety of
single-celled organisms
• Prepared slides of tissues — examine, compare and
contrast differentiated cell types
• Liver Lab— enzyme function
• Potato Lab — osmotic balance
• Bubble Membranes — model properties of a fluid mosaic
• Osmotic Egg — investigation of osmosis
• Plasmolysis lab — investigate osmosis and semipermeability of membranes in living cells
• Chloroplast extraction — examination of properties of a
cellular organelle
• Plant color on other planets
Summative Assessments
 Cell City — model functions of cellular organelles
 Cell catalogue — identify structure, function, and
importance of cellular organelles
 Cell specialization posters
 Organelle analogies
• Mitosis and Meiosis Flip books — compare and contrast
these two processes of cell reproduction
3. Genetics
Broad Concept: Genes are a set of instructions encoded
in the DNA sequence of each organism that specify the
sequence of amino acids in proteins characteristic of
that organism.
3. Genetics
Students will:
 Describe the structure and function of DNA, and
distinguish among replication, transcription, and
translation. *
 Describe the processes of replication,
transcription, and translation and how they relate
to each other in molecular biology.
 Describe the general pathway by which ribosomes
synthesize proteins by using tRNAs to translate
genetic information encoded in mRNAs.
 Explain how mutations in the DNA sequence of a
gene may be silent or result in phenotypic change
in an organism and in its offspring.
 Differentiate between dominant, recessive,
codominant, polygenic, and sex-linked traits.
 State Mendel’s laws of segregation and
independent assortment.
 Use a Punnett Square to determine the genotype
and phenotype of monohybrid crosses. *
 Explain how zygotes are produced in the
fertilization process.
 Recognize that while viruses lack cellular
structure, they have the genetic material to invade
living cells.
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
• DNA molecular models
• Sex in class (Making babies) — assign genotypes and
phenotypes, mix and match within the gene pool
• Allelic frequencies — collect data on frequency of various
phenotypes; extrapolate genotypes, and discuss HardyWeinberg principle
• Recessive lethal allele Lab — demonstrate persistence of
recessive lethal alleles (probability)
• Gattacca — introduce bioethical issues
• DNA gels — introduction to biotechnology
Summative Assessments
 Dragon molecular genetics — transcribe and translate
stretches of genetic code
 Personal pedigrees — tracae traits in a family
 Disease in a glass — model disease transmission and
reconstruct path of infectivity
 Genetic Disease reports/posters/presentations —
research project requiring application of knowledge of
4. Human Anatomy and Physiology
Broad Concept: There is a relationship between
structure and function in organ systems of humans.
4. Human Anatomy and Physiology
Students will:
 Explain how major organ systems in humans
(e.g., kidney, muscle, lung) have functional units
(e.g., nephron, sarcome, alveoli) with specific
anatomy that perform the function of that organ
 Describe how the function of individual systems
within humans are integrated to maintain a
homeostatic balance in the body
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
 Cell specialization — tissue constituents/ form and
 Skin Lab — investigation of sensory nerves and nerve
 Sensory Lab — investigation of the senses of smell,
hearing, sight, and taste
 Chicken wing dissection — musculo-skeletal system
 MacDiet/Food Diaries — How is the food one eats used
by the body?
 Walk-through heart — build an outline model of a heart
and walk through the model tracing the path of blood
Summative Assessments
 Tests
 Disease posters — research project focusing on a
particular disease; involves application of concepts and
information pertaining to anatomy and physiology
5. Evolution and Biodiversity
Broad Concept: Evolution and biodiversity are the
result of genetic changes that occur in constantly
changing environments.
5. Evolution and Biodiversity
Students will:
 Explain how the fossil record, comparative
anatomy, and other evidence support the theory of
 Illustrate how genetic variation is preserved or
eliminated from a population through Darwinian
natural selection (evolution) resulting in
 Describe how the taxonomic system classifies
living things into domains (eubacteria,
archaebacteria, and eukaryotes) and kingdoms
(animals, plants, fungi, etc.).
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
 Moth Lab — reconstruction of Betularia data toward an
understanding of natural selection
 Owl Pellets — examination of skeletons leads to an
investigation of homologous structures
 Evolutionary Time Line Activity — physical model of
geologic time and major evolutionary events
 Fruit Lab (Homologous structures) — dissection of
 Chicken Wing (Homologous structures)
 Super duper taxonomy power point — pictorial walk
through the major phyla with a discussion of the
sequence of formative evolutionary events
 Naked bunny lab/ Sickle Cell trait — advantages of
Summative Assessments
 Evolutionary Time Line Activity
 Dichotomous tree key – tree identification
 Leaf Posters — investigation of biodiversity; pattern
 Bird biodiversity poster — observation of local fauna;
niche recognition
6. Ecology
Broad Concept: Ecology is the interaction between
living organisms and their environment.
6. Ecology
Students will:
 Explain how biotic and abiotic factors cycle in an
ecosystem (water, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen).
 Use a food web to identify and distinguish
producers, consumers, and decomposers, and
explain the transfer of energy through trophic
levels. *
 Identify the factors in an ecosystem that influence
fluctuations in population size.
 Analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from
natural causes, changes in climate, human
activity, or introduction of non-native species.
 Explain how symbiotic behavior produces
interactions within ecosystems.
Instructional Strategies/Formative Assessments
 Tree diaries
 Compost columns — observation of decomposition
 Compost critter food web
 Bioacoustics
 Terrapin turtles — head starting hatchling turtles; care,
feeding, observation, health assessment; natural history
 Biogeochemical cycles — modeling nitrogen, water,
carbon, and oxygen cycles; examination of
 Owl pellet dissection
 Starvation v Predation and other activities examining
limiting factors in population growth
 Crud cultures!! — examination of basic needs, limiting
factors, and ecological succession in the growth of
bacterial and mold cultures
Summative Assessments
 Biogeochemical pop-up books and posters
 Biome projects (post cards, ecotourism brochures,
 Environmental issues poster — examine two sides of an
issue effecting the environment
 Crud Cultures