A Sample Unit Plan Using Sketch Notes-Cellular Molecular Biology (Cell Size, Chromosomes, Cell Cycle, Meiosis)

Cellular Molecular Biology Unit-

What does a unit plan look like in my classroom incorporating Sketch Notes?

I have just completed a large Cellular Molecular Biology Unit with my students. (They test within the next couple of days since we are on alternating block schedule and I only see them every other day, plus we’ve been out a couple of days for weather) During this unit, I used Sketch Notes for a laboratory demo (Cell Size Lab with potatoes and iodine instead of agar) See the blog post here https://ateacherontheedge.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/using-sketch-notes-with-the-cell-size-lab-potato-iodine-version/ and with classroom discussion.  First, with our discussion of Chromosomes. Get these Sketch Notes here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Chromosomes-Sketch-Notes-Doodle-Notes-WTeachers-Guide-Student-Notes-3561794

Then, with our discussion of the Cell Cycle. Get these Sketch notes here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cell-CycleMitosis-Sketch-Notes-Doodle-Notes-WTeachers-Guide-Student-Notes-3577552

Finally, with our discussion of Meiosis. Get these Sketch Notes here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Meiosis-Sketch-Notes-Doodle-Notes-WTeachers-Guide-Student-Notes-3589780  This unit, however, I also tried using them a different way… We used them to investigate a “tissue sample” in order to determine if it was cancerous or healthy tissue (Tissue Biopsy for Mitosis).

I searched and searched for a student activity for the Cell Cycle that didn’t involve simply looking at/preparing onion root tip cells to examine under the microscope.  While this is a perfectly good activity, I really wanted my students to APPLY what we had been discussing in class about the cell spending most of the time in Interphase and not in active cell division. I found something related to plant cells, but I actually wanted something I could use in my Anatomy class as well.  So, since we studied Cancer in the context of the Cell Cycle, I adapted the plant cell activity and made it into an animal cell one. Overall, it was a big hit with the students.  They had to color code the different phases of the Cell Cycle the cells in our “tissue sample” were in.  Then, they had to analyze them and determine if the “tissue sample” differed from what was expected in a healthy tissue sample.  If there was a difference seen (more cells were in active cell division), then our “tissue sample” was cancerous.  Pretty straightforward, but the addition of the color-coding really helped the students visualize that most cells should be blue (Interphase) and they weren’t.  I’ll definitely be using this little activity next year when I teach this unit. Get it in my TPT store here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Tissue-Biopsy-for-Mitosis-Activity-Using-Sketch-Notes-WTeachers-Guide-3612044

For review, I like for my students to compare Mitosis and Meiosis (get these Sketch Notes here https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mitosis-vsMeiosis-Sketch-Notes-Doodle-Notes-WTeachers-Guide-Student-Notes-3596358). To me, a comparison is just easier for students to remember.  Then, we are on to genetics 🙂   

Don’t forget to check out all of my Sketch Notes in my TPT store!   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Drm

NEW! Make sure to visit my website at www.biologysketchnotes.com

About Edgy Instruction

Science Teacher (Biology, AP Biology, and Forensic Science), Anatomy Professor, and former Instructional coach.
This entry was posted in biology, Sketch Notes, Strategies, T.I.P Theory Into Practice, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Sample Unit Plan Using Sketch Notes-Cellular Molecular Biology (Cell Size, Chromosomes, Cell Cycle, Meiosis)

  1. Lisa Durden says:

    I really like the idea of using the visuals to help the info stick. I noticed that there was a typed, highlighted copy with the colored sheets. Is this something that you give the students and have them highlight in addition to the sketch notes or do they just have the sketch notes for info? Thanks!

  2. Janet says:

    Simplified notes or draft on psychology and health in early childhood education

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