1. TITLE OF LESSON
Unit 4; Lesson 4: Chromosomes and DNA Structure
2. CURRICULUM AREA & GRADE LEVEL
9th grade, College-Track Biology
Dr. Rachel Richards
3. STUDENT INFORMATION
A. English Language Learners
All ELL students are CELDT 4 and have been identified as “English proficient”. There are 4 students in Period 5 and 5 in Period 6 (11 total). See Unit 4, Lesson 1 for more information.
B. Students with Special Education Needs
6 students in 5th period and 4 in 6th period. See Unit 4, Lesson 1 for more information. All students have mild-to-moderate disabilities that enables them to learn in an inclusive classroom with some support.
C. Other At-Risk Students:
These are students who are not ELL or SN students but are earning a “D” or lower in the class and have been targeted for intervention (phone call home and mandatory lunchtime tutoring). 3 students, not listed above, are in 5th period and 3 in 6th period. See Unit 4, Lesson 1 for more details.
A. Enduring Understanding
We are beginning a new unit on DNA & RNA. Students should understand how DNA in the nucleus of their cells codes for genes, which give rise to our physical characteristics and traits. In this lesson, students will learn how genes in our DNA are packaged into chromosomes. Students often have difficulties distinguishing between chromosomes, DNA, and genes. This lesson is designed to help students understand the similarities and differences.
B. Essential Questions
What is the relationship between genes, DNA, and chromosomes?
C. Reasons for Instructional Strategies & Student Activities
My classes are composed with freshmen. Most of them don’t like biology, as evidenced by an informal poll on the first day of class. They learn the most from group projects, labs, and hands-on activities, as well as class discussion. I have incorporated an activity or lab following new content to engage students. In addition, students are fascinated by how DNA codes for their individual traits. They also are interested in diseases that occur when mutations occur. Finally, they want to learn about mutations since they’ve been exposed to the concepts of “mutant” and “mutation” in media and entertainment (X-Men, Spiderman, comics, movies, etc.). I will link student backgrounds and interests to this material to help students realize they already understand a lot about DNA already.
5. CONTENT STANDARD(S)
1. Cell Biology: The fundamental life processes of plants and animals depend on a variety of chemical reactions that occur in specialized areas of the organism’s cells.
d. Students know the central dogma of molecular biology outlines the flow of information from transcription of RNA in the nucleus to translation of proteins on ribosome in the cytoplasm.
6. ELD STANDARD(S)
· Use the Writing Process (7ES—Advanced): Use strategies of notetaking, outlining, and summarizing to structure drafts of clear, coherent, and focused essays by using standard grammatical forms.
7. LEARNING GOAL(S) – OBJECTIVES (cognitive)
After introducing students to new content about chromosomes, reading 2 short articles on DNA and chromosomes structure and answering questions on a worksheet, students will be able to explain the similarities and differences between genes, DNA, and chromosomes by writing a 1-paragraph summary.
A. Diagnostic/Entry Level: Students will begin with a warm-up where they summarize their notes from the previous lesson. Three will share their answers with the class. In addition, I will also ask students to informally share their definitions of key vocabulary words, such as chromosomes, chromatin, and histones.
B. Formative – Progress Monitoring:
I will check for understanding by calling on students to answer questions embedded in my PowerPoint presentation. I will circulate as students complete their chromosomes worksheets to check for understanding, which will be graded at the end of class.
Students will have a Unit 4 multiple-choice test at the end of the unit (3 weeks). I will also grade their spiral notebooks at this time.
9. EXPLANATION OF DIFFERENTIATION FOR ELL & STS W/ SP ED NEEDS
A. English Language Learners
1.) Content: Students are arranged into groups of 4 according to current grade so those who need help with note-taking can look at the notes of a partner next to them. I pause to ask for questions to ensure everyone is ready before I advance a slide. New words are put up on a “Word Wall” alongside each unit to help students learn new vocabulary.
2.) Process/Based on Readiness, Learning Profile or Interest: Students are arranged into groups of 4 according to current grade so those who need help with note-taking can look at the notes of a partner next to them. Students are provided with a handout and worksheet to go along with the notes from the PowerPoint presentation and reinforce new ideas. I circulate as students work to informally check for understanding and make sure students are on track.
3.) Product/Based on Readiness, Learning Profile or Interest: Students can see me for assistance in completing their worksheets. They can also rely on each other since they are allowed to work in pairs. I also circulate and check notebooks periodically before they are due to make sure the notes are being taken correctly and content written is accurate.
A. Students with Special Education Needs
1.) Content: Students are arranged into groups of 4 according to current grade so those who need help with note-taking can look at the notes of a partner next to them. I pause to ask for questions to ensure everyone is ready before I advance a slide.
2.) Process: Students are arranged into groups of 4 according to current grade so those who need help with note-taking can look at the notes of a partner next to them. I circulate as they complete their worksheets to give guidance and one-on-one assistance. Finally, I check for understanding frequently through random Q&A. Students have frequent opportunities to hear other student definitions in this way, as well as being randomly assessed.
3.) Product: Students can see me for assistance in completing their worksheets correctly. I also circulate and check notebooks periodically before they are due to make sure the notes are being taken correctly and content written is accurate. During the quiz, students may ask me to read a question orally, or ask me for a definition of a non-vocab word that they don’t know (e.g. “abundance”). Students with IEPs may have extra time on tests, or work in a quiet room in the back upon request.
10. INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES
A. Intro (5 min): Students begin by summarizing their notes on DNA replication from the previous lesson. Three students will be called on randomly to share their summaries with the class. I will present students with the learning goal of the lesson, which they will add to the table of contents in their notes.
B. Instruction/Through (30 min): I will teach students new material about chromosomes using a PowerPoint presentation. I will stop every few slides and call on students to orally respond to questions embedded in the presentation. The questions include:
• What is the shape of DNA?
• What is the shape of chromosomes?
• What do DNA and chromosomes have in common?
C. Guided Practice/Through: I will assist students as they work in their lab groups to complete 2 worksheets on chromosome structure, related to 2 short articles.
11. STUDENT ACTIVITIES
A. Anticipatory Set/Intro: Students will write summaries from their notes on DNA replication as a warm-up. Three students will share their summaries with the class. Students will listen to the learning goal and add “Chromosomes” to the table of contents of their notes.
B. Instruction/Through: Students will take Cornell notes on chromosomes. Students will answer questions embedded in the presentation orally to the class.
C. Guided Practice/Through: Students will work in small groups to read two short articles and answer questions on a worksheet about chromosomal structure.
· PowerPoint on chromosomes.
· Chromosomes readings and worksheets (2 documents).