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UNLV/Department of Teaching & Learning

Introduction to Cells

UNLV Student: Broc Christensen PSMT Name: Derek Leino

Course & Grade: Science 6th Grade Lesson Topic: Cells Intro
Date: 03/07/18 & 03/08/18 Estimated Time: 1 hour 20 mins

1. State Standard(s):
2. MS-LS1-1: Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are
made of cells; either one cell or many numbers and types of cells.
3. Drag
a. Science and Engineering Practice: Asking questions and defining
problems; planning and carrying out investigations; engaging in argument
from evidence
b. Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; structure and function
4. Teaching Model(s): Cooperative Learning/ Inquiry Based
5. Objective(s):
a. Students will be able to categorize living and non-living things based on
fundamental characteristics of each.
6. Materials and Resources:
a. Large mason jar with lid
b. Mountain Dew
c. Large golden raisins
d. Shipping box
e. Power-Point on living vs non living things
f. ISN
7. Instructional Procedures (Engage)
a. Introduction: 5 min:
i. A warm up question will be asked during attendance in a think, pair,
and share. “How would you distinguish living things vs non-living
things?” (5mins)
b. Activities or Learning Experiences: (70 mins)
i. Set up notebook for notes on living vs nonliving things
ii. Start the power point and complete the first couple slides before
introducing the next activity.
iii. Have teacher bring in box and pause class acting like it is a
surprise that it came
iv. Show the students the contents while referencing the story and
have them set up a t-chart in their ISN. One side will be living the
other nonliving. When appropriate have them record evidence from
the observations to support whether it is living or non-living.
v. Use the following script to engage students
1. Begin by telling the students some variation of the following
story: “A friend of mine, Dr. Lou Densmore from Texas Tech
University sent me something via UPS today that he thought
I would like to share with you. During sewer construction at
Tech, workers found a most amazing insect – a mutated
form of a familiar insect: the louse. I suppose the most
famous form would be the human head louse, Pediculus
humanus capitus, a parasite sometimes found in people’s
hair. However, these lice have evolved into a very weird
creature. They are as much as 100 times larger than normal
and are no longer parasitic – they live by eating
sewage. They’ve gotten so lazy that they can only swim and
not walk. All they seem to do is to swim down into the sewer
water to eat and swim back to the surface to breathe. Would
you like to see them?”
2. Go into a prep room (or position yourself where the students
can’t see what you are doing), pour about 500 ml of your
carbonated “sewer water” into the glass jar and drop in about
a dozen raisins. Bring out the “sewer lice” and continue the
story, but keep your distance from the students.
3. Hold it up and say “Do you see them swimming? Can you
see them breathing?” You’ll be surprised how many will say
that can, in fact, see them breathing and swimming; they
even see their little legs moving or their mouth opening and
4. Continue your story.”My friend has done some research on
these lice. He said that they could possibly help to solve two
of mankind’s biggest problems, hunger and pollution. These
lice have been found to contain an easily digested protein –
they are edible!”
5. Have a student (with whom you have made secret prior
arrangements) eat one of the raisins. The other students will
go nuts! Then tell them that “Not only are they edible, but
when they eat the sewage, they apparently purify the
water!” Have your student then taste a sip of the “sewer
6. Explanation:
a. The wrinkles on the raisins catch the carbon dioxide
bubbles released from the carbonated
beverage. When enough bubbles have gathered on
the raisin, it will “swim” to the top, where they will
break and the raisins will sink or “swim” back down.
c. Closure: (5 mins)
i. Students will mix around the room pair and share whether they
think the sewer lice is living or nonliving. They will use evidence
from their observations to support their claim.
d. Extension and Contingency Plans:
 If time persists, students will answer the following question in their ISN “Provide
specific evidence that the sewer lice are living.”

8. Accommodations and Modifications

 ELL students will be placed in a group with a student that is fluent in their L1 to
help translate or clarify any instructions.
 Students with troubled vision will be allowed to sit closer to the board.
 A microphone will be used to ensure students with auditory deficiencies can hear
instruction and content.
 Accelerated students will complete an additional worksheet.
 IEP students will be accommodated based on their plan.

9. Assessment and Evaluation of Learning:

a. Formative: Students will be asked a series of Plicker questions.

10. Homework Assignment:

a. N/A
11. Lemov Strategies
a. Technique 12: The Hook
1. I used this technique to hook my students on the new unit we are
starting, cells.
b. Technique 21: Take a stand
1. I used this technique to challenge students to take a stand and to
use evidence to decide whether the sewer lice were living or
12. Reflection:
a. This was my favorite lesson I have ever taught before. The students were
so amused and into it and actually asked some insightful questions. If I
were to do this again I would want the students to each have a jar at their
table so they could get a closer look. I also think that this would be great
for a lesson on making close observations at the beginning of the year for
any grade level. I have never seen my students so engaged.