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Learning science is a process that is both individual and social. Like researchers, engineers, mathematicians or physicians who work in teams to answer questions and to solve problems, students in science classrooms often need to interact with their peers to develop deeper knowledge of scientific concepts and ideas. The GroupWork activities were developed to foster an environment in which groups of students work cooperatively to:

  • plan experiments,
  • collect and review data,
  • ask questions and offer solutions,
  • use data to explain and justify their arguments,
  • discuss ideas and negotiate conflicting interpretations,
  • summarize and present findings,
  • and explore the societal implications of the scientific enterprise.

The GroupWork environment is one in which students are “doing science” as a team. Suggestions about when to introduce these group activities are included in the Teacher Activity Notes.

Format and Organization of GroupWork Activities

Each GroupWork activity includes teacher activity notes, an activity guide, an individual report, resource materials, and at times, data sheets. The activity guide contains instructions for the group's task and questions to be discussed as students plan for and work on a group product. Resource materials are varied. They might include textual information, visual resources such as photos, drawings, graphs or diagrams, video, or audiotapes. Individual reports by students are an integral part of each activity to be completed in class or as part of a homework assignment. Planning information for the teacher is found on the Teacher Activity Notes page.

Sets of GroupWork activities are organized around a central concept or a basic scientific question-a “big idea.” Ideally, as students rotate to complete these activities, they encounter this central idea, question, or concept in different scientific contexts or in different social settings. These rotations provide students with multiple opportunities to grapple with the material, explore related questions and dilemmas, look at different representations, and think of different applications. Figure 1 shows how students rotate from activity to activity around the “big idea.” The GroupWork activities were designed to be open-ended to foster the development of higher-order thinking skills. Such open-endedness allows students to decide as a group how to go about completing the task, as well as what the final group product might be. Open-ended group activities increase the need for interaction as students serve as resources for one another, draw upon each other's expertise and knowledge, and take advantage of their different problem-solving strategies. When groups are heterogeneous and include students with many different intellectual abilities, the repertoire of strategies and previous experiences is rich and diverse. As students interact with their peers, they learn how to communicate effectively, justify their arguments when challenged, and examine scientific problems from different perspectives. Such interaction scaffolds students' knowledge of scientific concepts and principles.

These GroupWork activities then are quite different from traditional lab activities that include more step-by-step procedures and are crowded with details. In addition to reading, writing, and computing (the traditional academic abilities), students use many different intellectual abilities to complete their task. They make observations, pose questions, plan investigations; they use and create visual models, access and interpret scientific information from different sources and from different media, and convey scientific findings in diagrams, graphs, charts, or tables. The use of a wide array of resource materials provides students with additional ways to access and use information, as well as with additional opportunities to demonstrate their intellectual competence and be recognized for their contributions. We have included in the Teacher Activity Notes a partial list of some of the multiple abilities students might be observed using in these group activities.

When group activities are open-ended, rich, and intellectually demanding, a single student will not be able to complete the task in a timely fashion by himself or herself. Making students responsible as a group to interpret a challenging task and to design a common product or group presentation increases group interdependence. Teachers know, however, that it is also important to hold each student personally accountable for contributing to the group's success and for mastering the concepts or the big idea of the activity. To do so, students are required to complete individual written reports in which they respond in their own words to key discussion questions and summarize what they have learned in the group activity. These written responses can be useful for teachers in gauging and monitoring student understanding and progress.

Role of the Teacher Planning ahead and organizing the classroom for GroupWork is important for the successful implementation of group activities. We suggest that you refer to Elizabeth Cohen's book, Designing GroupWork: Strategies for Heterogeneous Classrooms, published by Teachers College Press in 1994. (See also Lotan, R.A.,J.A. Bianchini, and N. C. Holthuis (1996). “Complex Instruction in the Science Classroom: The Human Biology Curriculum in Action,” in R. J. Stahl, (Ed.) Cooperative Learning in Science. A Handbook for Teachers, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.)

Many teachers have realized that when students work in groups, direct instruction is no longer practical. The teacher can't be everywhere at once, telling students exactly what to do and how to do it. Thus, teachers delegate authority to students and students take responsibility for their own behavior and their own learning. Rather than constantly turning to the teacher for help, students talk with each other to find out what they should be doing and to solve the challenging problems assigned to them. Teaching students to work collaboratively and to be responsible to one another as a group is an important prerequisite for successful GroupWork. Students also Support the smooth operation of groups when they have learned to play different roles in their groups effectively. For example, the facilitator sees to it that everyone in the group knows what has to be done and gets help when necessary. The recorder keeps notes of the group's discussions and checks to see if individual reports have been completed. The materials manager sees to it that the group has all the equipment necessary and that the tables are cleared at the end of the lesson. The reporter presents the findings of the group during wrap-up time. When the activity involves hazardous materials, a safety officer might be needed. Every student must have a role to play, and roles rotate so students learn how to perform each role competently.

Delegating authority doesn't mean that the teacher withdraws from the class or completely stays out of the action. Instead of being the focal point of the classroom, the teacher carefully observes the students as they work in the groups, stimulates and extends their thinking, and provides specific feedback.

Equalizing Participation among Members of the Group Making sure that all members of the group have access to the materials and that one group member doesn't take over or dominate the group while another withdraws are among the principal challenges of GroupWork. Teachers can increase participation of students by explaining how the different intellectual abilities are relevant to the successful completion of the task. The teacher states that while no one group member has all the abilities, everyone in the group has some of the intellectual abilities necessary to complete the task successfully. Furthermore, after careful observation of the students' work in groups, the teacher can publicly acknowledge those students who have made relevant contributions and explain specifically how these contributions made the group move forward and become more successful. It is important that the teacher be able to notice the intellectual contributions of students who have low academic or peer status, and who are frequently left out of group interactions. These strategies are particularly relevant in untracked classrooms, where students have a wide range of previous academic achievement (mainly in reading) or where significant proportions of students are English-language learners. Teachers, classmates, and the low-status students themselves need to understand that when many different intellectual abilities are necessary to complete a task successfully, everybody's contribution becomes critical to the success of the group. As more previously low-achieving students feel and are expected to be competent, their participation in the group increases, and subsequently their learning achievements increase as well.

Rachel A. Lotan, Ph.D.

School of Education, Stanford University

Figure 1: Activity Rotation in GroupWork

Activity Estimated Time Materials Activity Summary
1. Orientation Activity: A Model of the Circulatory System 50\;\mathrm{minutes} To be determined. Materials to keep on hand for this and other creative activities include poster paper, construction paper, glue, cardboard, milk containers, straws, scissors, egg cartons, cans, markers, and toilet paper tubes. Students are asked to create a model of the circulatory system. They are expected to carefully consider how the structure of the circulatory system is related to its primary purpose: the transport of nutrients and gases.
2. The Importance of Blood 40\;\mathrm{minutes} Prepared slides of human blood (stained), 2 microscopes, props, and art supplies-markers, paper, poster board, and paints. Students explore the structure and function of one component of the circulatory system-the blood. They are asked to create a cartoon showing the structures of blood and their function.
3. Experimenting with Capillaries 50\;\mathrm{minutes} Dialysis tubing (at least 25\;\mathrm{mm} in diameter and 25\;\mathrm{cm} long), string, starch and water solution, funnel, iodine solution, graduated cylinder, 250\;\mathrm{ml} beaker, and art supplies. Students first experiment with dialysis tubing, starch and iodine solutions to learn about the process of diffusion. They then create a model of a capillary/cell system to demonstrate how gases and nutrients are transported to and from capillaries and cells.
4. An Excellent Adventure 45\;\mathrm{minutes} Art supplies and large poster paper or poster board. Students explore the structure and function of the circulatory system from a unique perspective-from inside the system.
5. Portrait of a Killer: Cardiovascular Disease 40\;\mathrm{minutes} Video clip on heart disease, VCR, and art supplies, such as poster paper, scissors, glue, markers, and crayons. Students investigate, via video, the causes and consequences of cardiovascular diseases. They apply this information to create a pamphlet or print advertisement encouraging others to be “heart smart”.
6. Atherosclerosis 50\;\mathrm{minutes} Clear rubber tubing, funnel, 2 beakers, water (with red food coloring added if desired), butter, straw or pipe cleaner to use as a spreader, and art supplies, such as clear rubber tubing or toilet paper rolls, clay, scissors, glycerin on corn syrup, glue, markers, and cotton. Students examine the causes and physical manifestations of atherosclerosis. They create physical models of a healthy and unhealthy artery.
7. Culminating Activity: You're The Doctor 50\;\mathrm{minutes} For Activity Guide: Reference materials on the anatomy of the heart, cardiovascular disease, and medical solutions. For Activity Guide 2: Scissors, glue or stapler, and blue crayon. For Activity Guides 3,4, and 5: Art supplies and/or paper may be necessary. Students imagine they are a team of doctors. They must decide the best treatment for a patient with cardiovascular disease.

Groupwork 1: Teacher Activity Notes

Orientation Activity - A Model of the Circulatory System

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students create a model of the circulatory system. They are expected to carefully consider how the structure of the circulatory system is related to its primary purpose: the transport of nutrients and gases.

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • create a model that accurately represents the circulatory system.
  • explain the purpose of the circulatory system.
  • compare the model with actual circulatory system.

Student Materials

To be determined. Materials to keep on hand for this and other creative activities include poster paper, construction paper, glue, cardboard, milk containers, straws, scissors, egg cartons, cans, markers, and toilet paper tubes.

Multiple Abilities

  • Making connections between ideas/concepts, logically analyzing the problem (reasoning ability).
  • Drawing an idea, creating a model (spatial/visual ability).
  • Organizing the group, breaking a task into its parts, focusing on a goal (ability to make plans).
  • Thinking of new uses for familiar objects, conceiving of an idea for an illustration (artistic/creative ability).

Estimated Time 50\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use

This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

IMPLEMENT

  1. Students need the resource that provides a city as a model of the circulatory system. Note that the city model is somewhat incomplete. For example, there is no explanation for what part of the city represents the heart. On the one hand, if students know they are expected to fill in gaps in the city model, the model's incompleteness may foster additional discussion and debate among group members. On the other hand, if students are uncomfortable with such uncertainty or lack sufficient background knowledge about the circulatory system, you may want to create a more detailed drawing or description of the city model and place it on a resource card.
  2. Before students begin this activity, discuss how models are used in science to learn about and explain phenomena. One example of the important role models play in science can be found in James Watson's book, The Double Helix.

Extension Questions

  • What other models did you reject before settling on this one? Why?
  • Would you use your model to explain the circulatory system to third graders? Why or why not?
  • Why do scientists use models?

ASSESS

Use the group discussion, group presentation, and individual report to assess if students can:

  • identify the parts of their model and how each represents a part of the circulatory system.
  • explain the primary purpose of the circulatory system.
  • evaluate the strengths and lin1itations of their model.

Groupwork 1: Activity Guide (Student Reproducible)

Orientation Activity - A Model of the Circulatory System

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Introduction

Scientists often use models to simplify their work. They compare something that is difficult to understand to something familiar. For example, on your resource card the circulatory system is compared to a city. What other model might you use to learn more about the purpose of the circulatory system?

Materials

  • To be determined

Procedure

1. As a group, study the city model described on your resource card. Answer the following questions:

  • According to this model, what is the circulatory system's primary purpose?
  • What part of the city represents the body cells? The blood vessels? The red blood cells? The heart? Oxygen? Carbon dioxide? Explain.

2. What are the strengths and limitations of the city model? Based on your discussion, fill in the table on the data sheet.

3. Build or draw a different model of the circulatory system and present it to the class. In your presentation be sure to include:

  • the primary purpose of the circulatory system and how your model highlights this purpose,
  • the parts of your model and what each part represents, and
  • the strengths and limitations of your model.

Groupwork 1: Resource (Student Reproducible)

Orientation Activity - A Model of the Circulatory System

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Groupwork 1: Individual Report (Student Reproducible)

Orientation Activity - A Model of the Circulatory System

TABLE OF STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS (Add additional rows it necessary.)
Strengths Strengths Limitations Limitations
City Model Your Model City Model Your Model

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

1. What part of the city represents the body cells? The blood vessels? The red blood cells? The heart? Oxygen? Carbon dioxide? Explain.

2. Describe your team's model of the circulatory system.

3. In your model, where does the exchange of gases (carbon dioxide and oxygen) occur?

Groupwork 2: Teacher Activity Notes - The Importance of Blood

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students explore the structure and function of one component of the circulatory system—the blood. They are asked to create a cartoon that illustrates the structures of blood and their function.

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • identify the three components of blood.
  • explain the structure and function of each component of blood.

Student Materials

Prepared slides of human blood (stained), two microscopes, art supplies-markers, paper, poster board, paints, and props.

Multiple Abilities

  • Drawing carefully and precisely and/or creating a cartoon (artistic/creative ability).
  • Explaining clearly and fully, using words precisely (communication skills).

Estimated Time 40\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use

This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

IMPLEMENT

If neither microscopes nor stained slides of human blood are available, use the resource card provided.

Extension Question

What should you consider about your readers as you plan your cartoon?

ASSESS

Use the group discussion, group presentation, and individual report to assess if students can:

  • identify the three components of blood.
  • explain the specific function of each component of blood.
  • compare and contrast the structure and function of the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Extensions

  • Why are blood banks needed? First, ask students to research what blood banks do and why they exist. Then either take them to visit a nearby blood bank or ask a blood bank representative to speak to the class.
  • You may want to obtain brochures, articles, or information packets from local blood banks about the importance of blood donations and the important role blood banks play in the community.

Groupwork 2: Activity Guide - The Importance of Blood (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Introduction

You already know a lot about blood. You know what blood looks and feels like: At some point blood has oozed from a scratch on your finger or a cut on your knee. You also know that blood is necessary for human life. You probably have seen requests on the news for people to donate blood after a large disaster. In this activity you take a closer look at blood's structure and purpose.

Materials

Prepared slides of human blood (stained), 2 microscopes, props, and art supplies-markers, paper, poster board, and paints.

Procedure

1. Examine the prepared slides of human blood under the microscope. Discuss and record on your data sheet:

  • what red blood cells look like and what they do.
  • how does the structure of a red blood cell help it perform its function?
  • what white blood cells look like and what they do.
  • what platelets look like and what they do.

2. Create a cartoon strip that illustrates:

  • the structure and function of the three major components of blood.
  • where and how the exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs.
  • why each component is important.

Groupwork 2: Resource - The Importance of Blood (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Red blood cells have no nuclei. Their shape resembles a flattened donut.

White blood cells are fewer in number than red blood cells.

All white blood cells have nuclei. Some may also have fine granules within them.

Platelets are smaller than red blood cells. Although platelets are round or oval in shape, they often appear clumped together in blood smears.

Groupwork 2: Individual Report - The Importance of Blood (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

1. How are red blood cells different in appearance and function from white blood cells?

2. Why is knowledge of the composition of blood important? Give one example from real life.

3. How do all the parts of the blood help maintain homeostasis in the body?

Groupwork 3: Teacher Activity Notes - Experimenting with Capillaries

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students first experiment with dialysis tubing and starch and iodine solutions to learn more about the process of diffusion. They then create a model of a capillary/cell system to demonstrate how gases and nutrients are transported to and from capillaries and cells.

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • simulate the process of diffusion using dialysis tubing, starch solution, and iodine solution.
  • explain how nutrients, gases, and waste products diffuse across capillaries and body cells.

Student Materials

Dialysis tubing (at least 25\;\mathrm{mm} in diameter and 25\;\mathrm{cm} long), string, starch and water solution, funnel, iodine solution, graduated cylinder, 250\;\mathrm{ml} beaker, and art supplies.

Multiple Abilities

  • Solving a problem experimentally, making connections between ideas, hypothesizing (reasoning ability).
  • Creating a 3-dimensional object from a 2-dimensional diagram (spatial/visual ability).

Estimated Time 50\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

Background Information

  • Diffusion is the movement of molecules from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration, until the concentration everywhere is the same. How does diffusion occur? The molecules in a gas or liquid are in constant motion. Moving molecules continually collide and the higher the concentration of molecules the greater the number of collisions. These collisions cause the molecules to change direction and to spread out until they eventually become uniformly distributed. Diffusion is responsible for the movement of a large volume of substances, such as gases and cellular waste, into and out of cells.
  • Osmosis is the diffusion of water through membranes. Water may constantly pass into and out of cells through their plasma membranes. For example, if a living cell is placed in a solution that has a concentration of water lower than that inside the cell, water diffuses out of the cell from higher to lower concentration and the cell shrinks. A good example of this phenomenon is what happens when you sit in the bathtub too long-you begin to look like a prune!

IMPLEMENT

  1. It is important to know that the dialysis tubing is a selectively permeable membrane. Starch will not pass through it. Water, iodine, and glucose will pass through. In order to speed up the process of diffusion and allow starch to pass through, you need to prick tiny holes in the dialysis tubing with a pin.
  2. Model lab safety by pointing out the safety rules and by wearing goggles. Iodine dust and vapors are toxic and irritating. Avoid body contact and inhalation. Should body contact occur, flush immediately with water. Caution students about using iodine safely. If you use procedural roles (e.g., facilitator, materials manager, etc.), you might choose to have a safety manager whose job is to keep track of the iodine and ensure it is being used safely.
  3. The starch solution can be made by dissolving 100\;\mathrm{grams} of corn starch in 250\;\mathrm{ml} of distilled water, forming a paste. Pour the paste into 650\;\mathrm{ml} of boiling (distilled) water. Cook for several minutes, stirring constantly. Cool and refrigerate.
  4. The iodine solution can be made by dissolving 10.0\;\mathrm{grams} of potassium iodide and 3.0\;\mathrm{grams} of iodine crystals in 1\;\mathrm{liter} of distilled water. Store in brown bottle or other glass container that shields the liquid from light.
  5. You will most likely need to introduce or follow-up this activity with a discussion about diffusion. Many students have difficulty with the concept of diffusion. Some, for example, do not realize that individual molecules can move back and forth across a membrane several times during the process of diffusion. Other students do not realize that higher versus lower concentrations of materials are determined by the type of molecule. If oxygen and sugar molecules are both found in a cell, oxygen molecules will move from higher to lower concentration irrespective of the sugar molecules and vice versa. You could demonstrate diffusion by placing a drop of food coloring in water, a drop of perfume in one corner of the room, or a lump of sugar in a glass of water. In each of these instances, the molecules will soon be evenly distributed through the medium.

Extension Questions

  • Regarding the dialysis tubing experiment, explain what would happen if there were an equal concentration of starch inside and outside the tube. What if the dialysis tubing was placed in a salt solution?
  • Why do only certain molecules diffuse into or out of a cell? Why, for example, don't DNA molecules diffuse out into the capillaries?
  • What are the limitations of your capillary/cell system? What are its strengths?

ASSESS

Use the group presentation, individual report, and group discussion to assess if students can:

  • construct a diagram model to demonstrate how gases and nutrients are transported across cell walls.
  • explain the process of diffusion and its importance in circulation.

Groupwork 3: Activity Guide - Experimenting with Capillaries (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Introduction

Every second, blood full of oxygen and nutrients flows past the cells in your body through the capillaries. Nutrients, gases, and waste products are exchanged between the capillaries and cells by diffusing across the cell membrane. In this activity, you learn more about the purpose and process of diffusion.

Materials

Dialysis tubing (at least 25\;\mathrm{mm} in diameter and 25\;\mathrm{cm} long), string, starch and water solution, funnel, iodine solution, graduated cylinder, 250\;\mathrm{ml} beaker, and art supplies.

Procedure

SAFETY CAUTION: Iodine dust and vapors are toxic and irritating. Avoid body contact and inhalation. Should body contact occur, flush immediately with water. Always wear goggles when working with substances, such as iodine and use the iodine carefully and safety.

1. To learn more about how diffusion works, do the following:

  • Before you start this experiment, you'll need to know a few facts:
  1. Iodine changes from a yellowish color to blue when it comes in contact with starch (a form of sugar).
  2. Dialysis tubing is selectively permeable (like a cellular membrane) in that it has tiny holes that allow certain things to pass through.
  • In order for nutrients, gases, and waste products to get to and from the cells in your body, they need to pass through the capillary and cell membranes. You can see how some things flow across these membranes by observing how starch passes through dialysis tubing with the additional holes poked through it. Dialysis tubing is not normally permeable to large starch molecules. Set up the following equipment:
  1. Fill the beaker with about 75\;\mathrm{ml} of water and add about 75\;\mathrm{ml} of iodine.
  2. Tie a tight knot at the bottom of a piece of dialysis tubing. Open the other end of the tubing and fill it with the starch and water solution. Tie the other end with a string.
  • Predict what will happen when you place this dialysis tubing full of starch solution in the beaker of water and iodine. Come to a group consensus as to what will happen and why. Write your prediction and explanation on the data sheet.
  • Then try the experiment. Observe what happens when you put the dialysis tubing in the water. Then describe what happens and why on your data sheet.

2. The above experiment is a model of the diffusion that occurs between your cells and the capillaries. In this model, what does the starch represent? What does the dialysis tubing represent? What does the water represent?

3. As a group, construct a diagram or model of a capillary system. In your presentation:

  • identify the different parts of the model or diagram.
  • illustrate how and where gases are exchanged.
  • illustrate how the structure of the capillary membrane allows this exchange to take place.

Groupwork 3: Data Sheet - Experimenting with Capillaries (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

1. Prediction: What do you think will happen?

Explanation: Why?

2. Observations: What happened?

Explanation: Why?

Groupwork 3: Individual Report - Experimenting with Capillaries (Student Reproducible)

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

1. What is diffusion?

2. How is this dialysis tubing model like a capillary system? Complete the following by filling in the part of the capillary system that is represented by each part of the model.

Model Human Capillary System
Starch
Dialysis tubing
Water
Beaker

3. Capillaries allow food, water, and oxygen to pass from the blood to the body cells. They also allow the body cells to release carbon dioxide and waste into the blood. How does the structure of the capillary membrane allow these exchanges to take place?

4. What gases pass through your cell membranes? In which direction? Why?

Groupwork 4: Teacher Activity Notes - An Excellent Adventure

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students explore the structure and function of the circulatory system from a unique perspective-from inside the system.

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • trace the path that blood takes starting and ending at the heart.
  • identify the structure of a major component of blood and emphasize its importance in the circulatory system.
  • predict what would happen to the rest of the circulatory system if the component they studied failed to function properly.

Student Materials

Art supplies and large poster paper or poster board.

Multiple Abilities

  • Taking the role of an imaginary person and creating a dramatic role and vivid dialogue for a skit (creative/dramatic ability).
  • Visualizing the circulatory system from a different perspective (spatial/visual ability).

Estimated Time 45\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

IMPLEMENT

  1. There are three activity cards. They differ only in the “vehicle” that students use during their adventure. In A, students are asked to enter a red blood cell-in B, a white blood cell-in C, a platelet.
  2. A storyboard is a type of presentation commonly used in ad agencies. It is a large board divided into smaller panels or boxes. The smaller panels are shown chronologically. Each contains a picture and script. Together, they are intended to represent the major scenes of a commercial, video, or show. Therefore, students might first show a picture of the inside of the heart (right side), then the pulmonary artery, the lungs, the pulmonary vein, the heart again (left side), the aorta, an artery, a vein, etc. The pictures and descriptions should be from the point of view of someone in or on a red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet.

Extension Questions

  • If you were in the circulatory system of a person with clogged arteries, how might your experience be different?
  • How does this “inside” perspective differ from the perspective provided in the text? How is each useful in learning about the structure and function of the circulatory system?

ASSESS

Use the group presentation, individual report, and group discussion to assess if students can

  • trace the path that blood takes starting and ending at the heart.
  • identify the structure of a red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet and its importance in the circulatory system.
  • predict what would happen to the rest of the circulatory system if the component they studied failed to function properly.

Extension

Students might “act” out their journey based on the storyboard they create.

Groupwork 4: Activity Guide 1 - An Excellent Adventure (Student Reproducible)

Introduction

The text and activities provide a wealth of information about the structure and function of the circulatory system. In this activity, you investigate the circulatory system and its parts from a unique perspective—from inside the body. Prepare yourselves for an excellent adventure.

Materials

  • Art supplies and large poster paper or poster board.

Procedure

1. Imagine you and your teammates have shrunk to microscopic size, boarded a red blood cell, and are now riding inside it. In other words, imagine you are traveling through a person's circulatory system.

2. Discuss the path you would take through the circulatory system if you started and ended your trip in the right ventricle of the heart. Answer the following questions as part of your discussion:

  • What major parts of the circulatory system do you pass through?
  • What do you see, hear, taste, smell, and/or feel at each point?
  • What does the red blood cell do when it's at the lungs? Near a body cell?

3. Create a storyboard that shows your team's incredible journey and present it to the class. Each piece of the storyboard should:

  • provide a picture and a written description of each part of your journey.
  • show when and how the red blood cell exchanges gases.

Groupwork 4: Activity Guide 2 - An Excellent Adventure (Student Reproducible)

Introduction

The text and activities provide a wealth of information about the structure and function of the circulatory system. In this activity, you investigate the circulatory system and its parts from a unique perspective—from inside the body. Prepare yourselves for an excellent adventure.

Materials

  • Art supplies and large poster paper or poster board.

Procedure

1. Imagine you and your teammates have shrunk to microscopic size, boarded a white blood cell, and are now riding inside it. Imagine you are traveling through a person's circulatory system.

2. Discuss the path you would take through the circulatory system if you started and ended your trip in the right ventricle of the heart. Answer the following questions as part of your discussion:

  • What major parts of the circulatory system do you pass through?
  • What do you see, hear, taste, smell, and/or feel at each point?
  • What does the white blood cell do when an infection occurs in the body?

3. Create a storyboard that shows your team's incredible journey and present it to the class. Include in your storyboard:

  • pictures and written descriptions of each part of your journey.
  • descriptions of what the white blood cells do when an infection occurs in the body.

Groupwork 4: Activity Guide 3 - An Excellent Adventure (Student Reproducible)

Introduction

The text and activities provide a wealth of information about the structure and function of the circulatory system. In this activity, you investigate the circulatory system and its parts from a unique perspective—from inside the body. Prepare yourselves for an excellent adventure.

Materials

  • Art supplies and large poster paper or poster board.

Procedure

1. Imagine you and your teammates have shrunk to microscopic size, boarded a platelet, and are now riding inside it. In other words, imagine you are traveling through a person's circulatory system.

2. Discuss the path you would take through the circulatory system if you started and ended your trip in the right ventricle of the heart. Answer the following questions as part of your discussion:

  • What major parts of the circulatory system do you pass through?
  • What do you see, hear, taste, smell, and/or feel at each point?
  • How do you know what part of the circulatory system you are in?
  • What does the platelet do if the person starts to bleed?

3. Create a storyboard that shows your team's incredible journey and present it to your class. Include in your storyboard the following:

  • pictures and written descriptions of each part of your journey.
  • descriptions of what the platelets do when a person starts to bleed.

Groupwork 4: Individual Report - An Excellent Adventure (Student Reproducible)

1. Describe the path you took as you traveled through the circulatory system.

2. What role does the “vehicle” your team traveled in-red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet—play in the circulatory system?

3. What would happen to the rest of the circulatory system if your “vehicle” failed to function properly? How do you know?

Groupwork 5: Teacher Activity Notes

Portrait of a Killer: Cardiovascular Disease

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students investigate, via video, the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease. They apply this information to create a pamphlet or print advertisement encouraging others to be “heart smart.”

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • identify the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease.
  • explore ways to become heart smart.
  • consider the obstacles people face in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Student Materials

Video clip on heart disease (any videotape on heart disease), VCR, and art supplies, such as poster paper, scissors, glue, markers, and crayons.

Multiple Abilities

  • Writing persuasively (conventional academic ability)
  • Conceiving of ideas for illustrations (creative ability)
  • Careful choice of words, explaining clearly and fully (ability to be precise).

Estimated Time 40\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use

This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

IMPLEMENT

Any film or video that explains what cardiovascular diseases are and how they can be prevented can be used. However, make sure the clip is approximately 10\;\mathrm{minutes} long.

Extension Questions

  • What happens to the body during and after a heart attack? Why?
  • Why is cardiovascular disease often called a “killer”? What are reasons such a word is used?
  • Do you think scientists know more about cardiovascular diseases than they did twenty years ago? Explain.
  • Do you think people know more about cardiovascular diseases than they did twenty years ago? Do you think they are generally healthier? Explain.

ASSESS

Use the group presentation, individual report, and group discussion to assess if students can:

  • explain how a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet contributes to cardiovascular disease.
  • identify ways to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • describe the obstacles people face in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Extensions

How heart smart are students right now? To help answer this question, students can keep a record of their daily diet; have their blood pressure, cholesterol level, and percentage of body fat measured by a nurse; and test their fitness level by performing various exercises. They also can research the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease in greater detail.

Activity Guide

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

Introduction

Cardiovascular diseases often strike people when in their forties or older. However, the process of disease starts early on. What current behaviors increase your risk of heart disease? What can you do right now to lead a healthier life? In this activity, you explore the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease, as well as steps you can take to prevent its development.

Materials

  • Videotape, VCR, and art supplies, such as poster paper, scissors, glue, markers, and crayons.

Procedure

1. Watch the video clip on cardiovascular disease.

2. As a team, discuss the following questions:

  • How does a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet contribute to a heart attack or stroke?
  • Many people have a hard time changing harmful eating habits. What eating habits do you have that you might want to change to protect your cardiovascular system?
  • What are ways to become more heart smart? What would help you adopt these healthy behaviors?

3. Create an eye-catching pamphlet or print advertisement to inform others about cardiovascular diseases and how to prevent them. Present it to the class, making sure to include the following:

  • information about the causes and consequences of cardiovascular disease,
  • reasons for your approach to cardiovascular disease prevention, and
  • discussion of how convincing you think your pamphlet or ad will be to others.

Individual Report

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

1. How does a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet contribute to a heart attack or stroke?

2. Do you think you are at risk of developing heart disease? Why or why not?

3. Briefly describe your team's pamphlet or advertisement. How did you encourage people to change their behaviors?

Groupwork 6: Teacher Activity Notes - Atherosclerosis

Big Idea: Why and How Does Blood Circulate?

PLAN

Summary Students examine the causes, consequences, and prevention of atherosclerosis. In preparation for their presentation, they create physical models of a healthy and unhealthy artery.

Group Size 4 to 5 students

Objectives

Students:

  • compare and contrast blood flow through clogged and unclogged arteries using a model.
  • apply what they learned from the model to what happens in their circulatory system.
  • identify the causes, consequences, and prevention of atherosclerosis.

Student Materials

Clear rubber tubing, funnel, 2 beakers, water (with red food coloring added if desired), butter, straw or pipe cleaner to use as a spreader, and Art supplies, such as clear rubber tubing or toilet paper rolls, clay, scissors, glycerin or corn syrup, glue, markers, and cotton.

Multiple Abilities

  • Interpreting a 2-dimensional picture of a 3-dimensional object (spatial/visual ability).
  • Observing carefully and accurately (ability to be precise).
  • Creating a model, thinking of new uses for familiar objects (creative ability).

Estimated Time 50\;\mathrm{minutes}

Suggested Use This set of activities works well near the end of the unit.

IMPLEMENT

The butter must be sufficiently soft so that students can spread it on the inside of the clear tubing. The straw or pipe cleaner must be of sufficient length for students to reach the middle of the tube.

Extension Questions

  • What do you think is the most effective way to convince people to become healthier? Why?
  • What are some reasons people adopt at-risk behaviors in the first place? What role does the family play? The media? Culture? Scientific information?
  • As a result of this activity, are you planning to eliminate any of your at-risk behaviors? Why or why not?

ASSESS

Use the group presentation, individual report, and group discussion to assess if students can:

  • identify the causes and consequences of atherosclerosis, as well as ways to prevent the development of this disease.
  • compare and contrast blood flow through clogged and unclogged arteries using a model.
  • explain the consequences of decrease blood flow on the body.

Extension

To extend Procedure 2 of this activity ask students to compare the volume of water that flows through the tube holding time constant or the amount of time it takes water to

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