High School Science Reading: Cat Brain Parasites Cause Bad Driving? - Sub Plan

Rated 4.87 out of 5, based on 67 reviews
67 Ratings
Science With Mrs Lau
Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
9 pages
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Science With Mrs Lau

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This was a great resource for my students. Very interesting way to introduce bacteria. Great real world examples that was engaging to 15 year olds!
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  1. As a science teacher, I know how hard it is to find a meaningful sub plan that a substitute can complete with your class. Why not choose science literacy reading strategies as the lesson goal every time you have to be out of the classroom?This Bundle contains all six of my best selling science read
    Price $18.40Original Price $23.00Save $4.60


Use this lesson to help teach science literacy reading strategies to high school students at their level! It can be also used as a sub plan. Students will analyze data from a study in Europe that examined the driving habits of people infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma.

Good science reading at the high school level is difficult to find! Science teachers struggle to find lessons a substitute could help students do and here is a lesson they can!

In this lesson, students will read an actual open access research article that I have adapted to a high school reading level!

They will read about Toxoplasma gondii, a parasitic protozoan that infects many warm-blooded vertebrate animals including humans. Scientists have made very intriguing discoveries that suggest that this parasite can affect behavior. This article will fascinate you and your students. In my class, this topic always brings up some great discussions about parasites, behavior, and the limits of science.

There is no specific vocabulary that your students need to understand first, but it might help if you explain what a protozoan is.

Good science reading at the high school level is difficult to find!

As more focus around the country is put on science literacy, I am working to improve my students’ science reading abilities by adapting literature articles, creating shorter articles at the high school reading level. This article is 3 pages long and is calculated by several online reading level calculators to be at the 9th/10th grade reading level. I purposely space the reading out onto 3 pages to give students room to underline, circle, and write in the margin.

I meant this reading to be challenging for my students. There are 11 text-dependent questions designed to engage and encourage deeper thinking about the topic.

When I work with my students on science literacy, I do the following in order:

First, I review some basic vocabulary words they have already seen and are necessary for the lesson. This lesson does not have any particular vocabulary required before reading.

Next, I read the passage out loud as students follow along.

Next, I ask them to read the passage silently to themselves and make marks in the margins, circling new words, underlining key ideas. (Each reading page has space on the right hand side for notes)

I then go through each question and encourage students to volunteer answers. I also have used techniques like think-pair-share to encourage more student participation.

I know as a science teacher, I often struggle to find a lesson a substitute can complete with them. This works as a great substitute lesson! Substitute teachers can read the article with the students and help them answer the questions. An answer key is also provided to help you (or your substitute).

Lesson Contents:

Pages 1-3: Reading Passage and Graph/Data Table

Pages 4-5: Close Reading Text-Dependent Questions (11)

Pages 6-7: Answer Key

Page 8: Teacher Instructions

Page 9: Terms of Use and Illustrations Credit

This lesson also comes in a bundle of 6 science readings! Click here to see the money-saving bundle!

If you want more Science Literacy Readings, check out my other readings!

Are there Prions in our Milk?

H1N1 Virus on an Airplane!

How Identical are Identical Twins?

Zombie Ants and Fungal Parasites

Great White Shark Transcriptome

Contact Us!

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us on the question and answer section of my store and we will get back to you quickly!

Terms of Use:

Purchasing my teaching resources allows you to:

* make copies for your own classes only.

* place this file on your own password-protected class page or server (Blackboard, Google Drive, etc) AS LONG AS no other teacher has access to that class webpage. This resource is for you, the purchaser, alone.

You are not allowed to distribute this digital resource to other teachers or post this resource on any webpage or server that is available for public view. If you and a team of teachers would like to use this resource together, please purchase additional licenses on the resource purchase page.

Failure to comply with these terms of use is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license.

Files are partially or fully non-editable to protect the images that are copyrighted and purchased through licenses. Thanks for understanding!

© Bethany Lau 

All Rights Reserved.

Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9–10 texts and topics.
Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.


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