Students will generate questions about viruses and their effects on the body by exploring the 1918 Spanish Flu via a teacher-provided text or video (suggestions included in Storyline Summary file). Then they will dive deeper into what viruses are and how they “invade” to determine if they could be considered “alive.” Students will develop their understanding of the characteristics of living things before focusing on the cell as the smallest unit said to be alive. They will identify the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and then focus on the structures in eukaryotic cells and their functions.
Students will then move on to body systems -- first participating in a simulation that models the spread of disease and then exploring how the immune system protects the body from invaders. Students move on to the circulatory system - studying its organs and then gaining an understanding of the organization of the body from cells to tissues to organs and organ systems. Through a hands-on lab, students will tie the circulatory system to the respiratory system, collecting evidence that organ systems work together. They will reinforce this idea by looking at six major organ systems and obtaining information about how they work together. They will return their focus to the immune system and its response to viruses to tie back to the anchor phenomenon in preparation for the unit assessment.
The unit assessment addresses elements of MS-LS1-1 and MS-LS1-2 (which were already assessed earlier in the unit) and fully addresses MS-LS1-3. Students are presented with a case of an H5N1 influenza variant and must explain how the virus infected the individual (at the cellular level) and how that infection resulted in the failure of organs and organ systems.