Get you students thinking like scientists with this lesson and unit plan for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Use as a stand-alone lesson to apply natural selection concepts, or revisit it throughout your evolution unit with a final project at the end. Since most students have had some kind of experience with illnesses and medicines, this topic is directly related to their lives. Bacteria that are immune to all medicines? Scary!
This lesson gives middle school students an exciting, real-world introduction to evolution by natural selection without giving away all the answers. Students will get their curiosity flowing and practice constructing explanations of phenomena in the natural world, just like adult scientists do. As they learn more about evolution in class, they will be able to refine their explanations and ultimately, unlock the mystery! A “summary chart” gives them the chance to keep track of new learning and apply it to figuring out the mystery. At the end of the unit, the “final explanation” allows them to develop a graphic display to ultimately answer the question of how normal bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
Included with this download:
: Students gather background information about antibiotics and resistant bacteria with a short reading, a student-friendly news clip, and a graphic organizer. They then develop their own ideas about how bacteria can become immune to antibiotics and record them on the "initial explanation" handout, which provides great scaffolded questions to get students developing and communicating sophisticated explanations. Detailed lesson plan, powerpoint warm up, and all handouts are included. Optional adaptations for interactive notebooks are included as well.
: Designed to let you revisit this topic throughout your unit of evolution and natural selection. This can be used with any classroom activity or lesson that you use as part of your unit. At the end of an activity, students answer three questions: “What did we do?” “What did we learn?” and “How could this be related to the antibiotic resistant bacteria?” This helps them keep track of their learning and improve their ability to apply it to another concept.
: Students answer key questions to guide their explanation, then add to their answers after a partner talk. Finally, they create a graphic display (including writing and drawings) of their explanation of how normal bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
Teacher directions and examples of student work are also included.
Evolution Word Wall Cards with definitions
Introduction to Evolution with Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
by Katie MacDiarmid
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License