Integumentary System Modeling Task- Skin Color, Sun Exposure, & Cancer

Rated 4 out of 5, based on 1 reviews
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Grade Levels
10th - 12th
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  1. These are my favorite resources for Anatomy & Physiology! I've taught the class since 2010, and it's been an ongoing goal to take a class that can be super heavy lecture-based and make it more interactive as often as possible. This bundle has some video guides for Crash Course videos that I use
    Price $88.00Original Price $123.00Save $35.00


I love this activity because it REALLY requires students to understand important aspects of the integumentary system. Prior to this activity, my A&P students have learned about all the layers of skin (epidermis, dermis, hypodermis and the sub-layers of each), some accessory structures (eccrine & apocrine sudoriferous glands, sebaceous glands, hair, nails), and diseases/aging related to skin. They’ve also done a little work on data analysis related to UV penetration, skin cancer/melanoma rates, and skin color.

In this NGSS-style activity, students must create a model to explain one of two tasks-

  • Why are people with albinism at greater risk for skin cancer from sun exposure?
  • Why are people with darker skin at lower risk for skin cancer from sun exposure?

both which are pretty much the same thing, but it gives them the choice of focusing on albino people vs people with dark skin. I don't let them make a PowerPoint or Slideshow; I want them to be creative (I get many large-scale drawings, but I also get some pretty creative things, like Lego structures and cakes).

In answering the larger question, the students have some smaller tasks to complete, using their model. Students must provide information about the layers of skin, accessory structures, melanocytes/melanin, UV radiation, skin cancer, and how people with light vs dark skin are impacted differently by UV radiation. They also must provide reliable data in their model--such as a relevant, related graph or data table--to support their information, or take what they have further.

I do not let them put descriptions on the models, only labels. I require them to discuss the rest with me by memory (this counts as their test for me).

I have included an NGSS-style rubric for grading. I require students to "conference" with me when done--they explain their model and I ask questions as needed to have them clarify concepts or to push their learning and understanding further. Students will learn VERY quickly that a task like this really requires them to know their stuff—they can’t just skate by on minimal knowledge or memorization and hope to ace it.

Product includes:

- Suggested schedule

- How I grade these

- Student information sheet

- Student research sheet

- Rubric

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Answer Key
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Teaching Duration
1 Week
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