Cells Galore

General Science, Grade 8 Science Add comments

I am just beginning my cells unit with my grade 8 students. This year, I want to cover a little of the basics, but then I want to dive into the hearty issues that will require my students to really think and to make judgments about where they stand on some controversial issues.

As my school is an IB world school, we will be exploring this unit with the following question in mind: How do we use biotechnology to meet our needs?

We well begin by covering some of the basics, such as:

  • Cell Theory
  • Plant and Animal Cells (for this I am planning on having the students do an analogy assignment where they compare the parts of the cell to parts of cities, factories, houses, schools, airports…you get the idea)
  • Use and Care of the Microscope
  • Osmosis and Diffusion

The following sites support learning in the topics listed above:

Camilla Senior Cells Page

Science Spot Microscope Links

Teachnology Cells Page

Intel Cell-to-Cell Page

CREATE for Mississippi Microscopes and Cells

Internet4Classrooms Cell Structure and Function

Lesson Corner’s Diffusion Page

Lesson Corner’s Osmosis Page

Lesson Corner’s Cell Biology Page

The following are some assignments that I have used in my unit which support the topics above:

Use and Care of the Microscope

Cells Lab

Plant and Animal Cell Scavenger Hunt

Cell Superheroes Assignment

Modelling and Observing Diffusion

Modelling and Observing Osmosis

And then we will move into an exploration of critical thinking issues, such as:

  • Cloning

Learn.Genetics Cloning Page

International Debate Education Association

How Stuff Works:  Cloning

  • Genetically Modified Food

Health Canada

Center for Food Safety

International Debate Education Association

CBC Digital Archives

World Health Organization

  • Stem Cells

Learn.Genetics Stem Cells Page

National Institutes of Health

Science Daily

How Stuff Works

  • The Donation, Selling and Harvesting of Human Organs

International Debate Education Association Page 1

International Debate Education Association Page 2

Santa Clara University:  Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

  • Prenatal Selection of Gender and Genetic Traits

Washington Post

New York Times

Legal Affairs

International Debate Education Association

I have developed a Cell Debate which incorporates the above critical thinking topics.

And finally, for some additional websites to support the study of cells, please check out my cells page.

I am always looking for new ideas to incorporate into my cells unit….would love to hear from you.

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