In this 5E Model activity bundle, students explore the characteristics of life to launch a unit that addresses NGSS standards MS-LS1-1, MS-LS1-2, and MS-LS1-3. In the first explore activity, students participate in a card sort to activate prior knowledge about the characteristics of life. Students complete three additional explore activities, utilizing web resources (videos) to investigate viruses. Students then utilize a text and/or video resource to make sense of the characteristics of life, participating in an explain activity. Students elaborate on their learning by applying newfound knowledge and complete a formative assessment writing task to evaluate their understanding of the characteristics of life.
This activity is part of the middle school unit Organization of Living Things: Body Invaders and is designed to launch the unit. It is followed by the explore/explain/elaborate activity bundle, Discovering Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells and the explore/explain/elaborate activity bundle, Exploring Plant and Animal Cells.
This activity bundle is part of a complete unit that builds towards these standards:
Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.
Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways the parts of cells contribute to the function.
Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
5E Model Phase: Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (Formative)
>> Students will identify some characteristics of living things.
>> Students will apply their understanding of the characteristics of life to evaluate whether viruses are living or not.
>> Students will construct an argument based on evidence to support or refute the claim that viruses are alive.
>> I can identify some characteristics of living things.
>> I can use the characteristics of life to determine what is living and what is non-living.
>> I can construct an argument based on evidence to answer the question: Are viruses alive?
Science and Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Engaging in Argument From Evidence
This activity does not require any specific prior knowledge.
Teacher Guide (10 pages)
Student Activity Sheets (19 pages)
includes Answer Keys
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