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      Strategies: Additional Instruction and Practice

      The following activities are suggestions for working with students who need additional instruction and practice. We hope that the activities spark ideas and conversations among teachers about useful classroom strategies that can supplement existing curriculum.

      Activity 1

      Plant Cell Plasmolysis

      Click here* for "Plant Cell Plasmolysis", a lesson for students to observe the structure and function of Elodea plant cells (Life Sciences, Benchmark A).

      Students will observe plant cell components, including the nucleus, chloroplasts, cell wall and cell membrane and determine the effects of different salt solutions on Elodea cell structure. This lesson encourages students to participate in and apply the processes of scientific investigation (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A). Students should also compare the structure, function and interrelatedness in eukaryotic cells like Elodea and prokaryotic cells.

      Activity 2

      Baby Reebops

      Click here* for teacher and student resources describing the "Reebops" activity from the Center for Biology Education at University of Wisconsin.

      In this activity, students will use concepts of Mendelian Genetics (Life Sciences, Benchmark C) as they construct, interpret and apply a model (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A), an imaginary organism called a Reebop, to explain inheritance. Students will also explain that a gene is a unit of hereditary information and that it comes in different forms called alleles.

      This activity may be modified so that certain Reebop traits are advantageous or detrimental under certain changing environmental conditions, so that students may also explain how variation increases the likelihood that some members will survive (Life Sciences, Benchmark E). For example, students may explain predictions based on knowledge that fewer body segments lends a competitive advantage in an environment where food is increasingly scarce.

      Activity 3

      Natural Candy Selection

      In this activity, students will demonstrate that characteristics may give individuals a survival advantage or disadvantage compared to others (Life Sciences, Benchmark H).

      Students will select from a variety of candies in a dish before the lesson. The candy represents a group with variation in "inherited" characteristics, including flavor, ingredients, size and wrapping. Discuss how a great deal of variation exists in organisms like humans. Students recognize that the variation in the candies has led to some being selected more often than others. Students may describe reasons for not selecting "surviving" candies; these reasons represent advantageous traits. During the discussion, students may also distinguish between observations, such as the number of chocolate candies selected, and inferences, like using evidence to decide whether or not a trait is advantageous (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A). Students can count the candies to demonstrate that the proportion of individuals that have advantageous characteristics has increased. By adding extra candies of the same type as surviving members, students demonstrate how proportions of future generations are affected.

      Click here* for additional strategies for students to understand natural selection.

      Activity 4

      Managing the Everglades Ecosystem

      Click here* for "Managing the Everglades Ecosystem," a lesson for students to describe how human activities can impact the status of natural systems in Everglades National Park (Life Sciences, Benchmark G).

      Using Internet resources, students will make observations of the structure and function of the Everglades ecosystem (Life Sciences, Benchmark F). Students will then describe how evidence has helped the National Park Service understand the impact of fire in the Everglades and, consequently, revise its fire management program. This activity also addresses student understanding of means of comparing the benefits and risks of technology and how science can inform public policy (Science and Technology, Benchmark B).

      *This link contains resources or information that may be useful. These resources were not written to align specifically to Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The inclusion of a specific resource is not an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.

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