Grade 10 Academic Biology Unit

I have a plan… and when I’m working through things and need to consolidate my plan, I turn to my blog… Hoping to get some feedback.

I’m am currently teaching Grade 10 Science. We are doing the biology unit next . I saved “my favorite” for right before Christmas knowing that my passion for the subject will help carry us to the break. I also wanted my students to have a base-level of technological skills and experience self-pacing and demonstrating their learning in a variety of ways before heading into the biology unit.

My plan for the unit involves case studies. I’m aiming for problem-based learning. At the beginning of the unit, I will do a short mini-unit on cell-division. This will involve a couple days of microscope work. After this mini-unit we will move into small groups for the case-studies. I am thinking that partners will work best, but perhaps groups of three will work as well. I have quite a few students in my class considering medicine as a career destination. Students are aware of my plan and have been given the option to provide input to the unit design.

Here is my rough plan:

  • discuss this journal article on problem-based learning at McMaster Medical school
  • have someone who has gone through McMasters or NOSMs medical school Skype in and answer questions about the process
  • review the biology curriculum expectations as a class so that we all know which ones are left to cover
  • review 10 different case studies in class. I am thinking this book will make a good resource in helping me finalize my 10 case studies. Groups will choose a case study that interests them.
  • students will work on their case study to explain the reasons for the patients symptoms and/or illness in addition to possible courses of action. Included in their case study presentation (or other format of project they decide upon), they will include:
    • ethical issues around the case
    • medical imaging used in the case
    • public health issues connected to the case
    • use a microscope to investigate specialized cells pertaining to their case (comparing cell structure to other cells types to show structural differences)
    • explain the primary function of the body systems involved and explain the interactions between them

I am hoping that some groups will formulate more creative projects other than simply presenting their case to their class, but that will be the baseline. Perhaps some groups will want to actually create a public health campaign around an issue, or a working model of something. Take action somehow. It will depend on how they relate to the case studies.

I’d love to get input and ideas on this.

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