Teacher Guide for Amplify Cell Structure and ¢â‚¬› amplify-assets...

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  • S1-1© 2014 Amplify Education, Inc.

    Teacher Guide for Amplify Cell Structure and Function Module


    The guide provides you with extra support for teaching certain key topics in Session 1.

    Key goals for Session 1

    • Discuss the context for why we should learn about cells

    • Develop questions that will drive student investigations throughout the module

    • Engage students in the investigation

    • Get students comfortable with the simulation

    We recommend that Session 1 (including the pre-assessment) be taught over two days (a total

    of approximately 1.5 hours of class time).


    • Quick student refresher on cell theory

    Students will benefit from prior exposure to cell theory. This warm-up provides an

    opportunity to review some cell theory, including (i) what makes something living or non-

    living; (ii) that cells are the basic unit of life and that everything is made of cells; and (iii)

    various misconceptions.

    Introduction to Cells

    • Develop driving questions

    Lead a discussion with students to develop driving questions that will guide their subsequent

    investigations in the module. Allow students to brainstorm as much as possible and guide

    the conversation. Ultimately the goal is to develop overarching driving questions about the

    connection between the organism and the cell, including such possibilities as:

  • S1-2© 2014 Amplify Education, Inc.

    » Why does the health of our body rely on the health of our cells?

    » Why do we need to eat and breathe?

    » What happens in our cells when the body is sick?

    » Why does our body get sick when our cells can’t fulfill their functions?

    Emphasizing the connection between the cell and the organism drives student engagement

    in the module and reminds students that they are studying the cell in service of

    understanding the organism.

    • Why do we eat and breathe?

    Once the class has a general overarching question (or several) about the cell’s connection to

    the body, let students know that they’re going to start exploring this connection by focusing

    on why we need to eat and breathe.

    Begin by asking students why they think humans need to eat and breathe. Students often

    respond with something like “the body needs nutrients from food” or “the body needs

    oxygen.” Probe students with questions like “What do you mean by the body?” or, “What in

    the body needs oxygen and nutrients?”

    Students then tend to identify organs like the lungs or the stomach. Push further, asking

    questions like “Why do organs need oxygen and nutrients, which come in the form of

    molecules?” to guide them to tissue. Eventually, students will suggest the connection

    between eating and breathing and cells.

    » You might want to push even further: “Well, why do cells need oxygen and sugar? How

    do they use them? And what are they?” This is a good opportunity to introduce students

    to molecules and organelles.

    » Repeat this process for both eating and breathing

    » This conversation allows students to explore the concept of scale, and puzzle out

    important connections. Capture and group students’ ideas on the board (organism >

    organ > tissue > cell > organelle > molecule) to facilitate their mastery of scale.


    • Get students thinking about cells

    As students watch the video, you may want to point out when the video transitions from

    outside of the cell to inside of the cell. It is also helpful to note that all of the activity they are

    observing in the video is happening inside of their cells right now.

    Note: You will return to the video in Session 2 after students know more about the cell system.

  • S1-3© 2014 Amplify Education, Inc.

    • Discussion

    After the video concludes, invite students to point out anything from the video that they

    found new, interesting, or surprising. As they share, emphasize the cell system and begin

    pointing out the organelles and their functions. The purpose of the video and this discussion

    is mostly engagement and setting the stage; they will discover much more about these

    organelles in the next session.

    Simulation Tutorial

    • What is a simulation?

    Discuss that a simulation is a way for us (and scientists) to investigate complex systems that

    are not easy to examine directly. Let students know that simulations are one way to represent

    the cell system. Although simulations are extremely helpful for studying complex systems,

    the rules underlying the simulation – the model – are always going to be simplifications in the

    case of something as complicated as the cell system.

    • Introduce the tutorial/simulation

    Let students explore the simulation on their own for a few minutes before checking in to see if

    they understand what they are seeing. At this point you want students to understand:

    » The simulation shows a cutaway of a single cell

    » The cell is surrounded by other cells that are not “cut away” (this is why they look

    different and we can’t see inside of them)

    » At the top of the screen is a blood vessel (its walls are made of other cells) which carries

    blood with nutrients and red blood cells

    • Exploration/Tutorial

    The goals of the tutorial are to familiarize students with the features of the simulation:

    » Trace molecules

    » Control molecules

    » Hide/show molecules

    » Turn organelles off/on

    You may want to start discussing the purpose of these simulation features. For example, why

    is it useful to turn an organelle off or why is it helpful to trace or control a molecule?

  • S1-4© 2014 Amplify Education, Inc.

    Exploring the Cell

    • Introducing organelles and molecules

    Using the simulation, show and emphasize the difference between an organelle and

    a molecule. Consider noting that the objects they see in the simulation are another

    representation of the organelles and molecules they saw in the video.

    • Vesicles

    Let students know that a vesicle is an organelle that carries proteins around and out of

    the cell (in the simulation, you can see the protein inside the vesicle) and not a molecule.

    Students often assume that vesicles are molecules not organelles, and fail to notice that they

    are carrying proteins. This should also help students in Session 2, when they think about

    outputs of the cell system. Note that vesicles coming out of the endoplasmic reticulum are

    green and vesicles coming out of the Golgi apparatus are purple but both carry protein.

    • Focusing on certain organelles

    Once students have completed their inventory of molecules and organelles, tell students

    that while the cell has a number of organelles (and perhaps they know of some like the

    lysosome or Golgi apparatus), they will focus on the mitochondria, nucleus, ribosome, and

    cell membrane during this module.

    Note: The module focuses on these organelles because they tell the story of energy

    transformation and protein synthesis, and because the NGSS specifically calls for students to

    learn about the mitochondria, nucleus, and cell membrane.


    • Organism’s connection to the cell

    This is an opportunity to remind students that cells are connected to the organism via a

    series of intermediate systems—organs, tissue, etc. Mastering the scale relationships is an

    important foundation for the rest of the module.

  • S2-1© 2014 Amplify Education, Inc.

    Teacher Guide for Amplify Cell Structure and Function Module


    This guide provides you with extra support for teaching certain key topics in Session 2.

    Key goals for Session 2

    • Reinforce the concept of a system

    • Investigate the cell system using the simulation

    • Develop and draw a model of the animal cell system

    • Understand the basic functions of the mitochondria, ribosomes, the nucleus,

    and cell membrane

    We recommend that Session 2 be taught over two days (a total of approximately 1.5 hours of

    class time). Students generally need two class sessions to complete their investigation of the

    animal cell system, develop their model, and then draw it.

    Day 1

    Investigating the Cell System

    • Frame vocabulary

    Begin a discussion by asking students “What is a system?” Ask students to suggest a

    familiar one—perhaps they’ll suggest a school or a city—and then discuss how a system

    works, how different parts have distinct functions that keep everything working, and how

    these parts are often interdependent. Remind students that they are investigating the cell

    system in service of the larger goal: Understanding the connection between the organism

    and the cell and, in particular, learning why humans need to eat and breathe.

    • How to investigate the cell system

    Ask students how they might use the simulation to investigate the cell. This is an