|This mini-collection includes several lessons that can help address the following life sciences misconceptions and related problems:|
Research indicates that students are reluctant to let go of misconceptions they may hold. Even after formal education, students often cling to misconceptions rather than adopt scientifically accurate views.
- Food is anything useful taken into the body including, water, minerals, carbon dioxide (plants), sunlight.
- Plants have multiple sources of food (heterotrophic as well as autotrophic).
- Carbon dioxide, water, and minerals are food.
- Plants feed by absorbing food through their roots.
The misconceptions listed here and additional life sciences misconceptions can be found in ORC# 9944, "Students Naive Conceptions in Life Science."
- Identify misconceptions prior to instruction. This can be done with carefully planned activities designed to expose misconceptions. These activities could include discrepant events, demonstrations, conversations in which students share their thinking about the topic, etc.
- Use formative assessment strategies frequently to determine if students are modifying their thinking to a more scientifically accurate view. Journaling, exit slips, concept maps, electronic response systems or other immediate feedback strategies (thumbs up, sideways, or down), etc. can all be effective formative assessment tools. Probing questions in which students must provide evidence-based responses provide teachers with information that can be used to adjust instruction to meet the students’ needs.
- Revisit the topic after a period of time to confirm that a scientifically accurate conception has been adopted. This can be done when related topics are introduced, as part of long-term projects, or as part of ongoing journal activities.
|Where Do Plants Get Their Food? (ORC#: 9938)|
This promising practice lesson engages students in thinking about the historical development of the scientific method as well as photosynthesis. Students are asked to design an experiment that replicates van Helmont's and are then asked to improve upon the procedure by considering how light is involved in photosynthesis.
Along with designing an experiment, this activity includes two excellent extensions that incorporate both writing and critical thinking skills. (author/cb)
|Food Webs in the Bay (ORC#: 453)|
The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with a type of ecosystem (the submerged aquatic vegetation of a bay) and how the different organisms of that ecosystem compete with one another for resources. Students research plants and animals that live in the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) of a bay area. After researching the organisms, students do class presentations and create a food web using pictures of all of the organisms. At the end of the lesson, they discuss ideas of organisms sharing food, space, water, air, and shelter. This lesson makes use of the Chesapeake Bay as an example, but could be adapted as necessary to make use of another bay area of interest. The lesson includes several components (research, oral reports, creation of a food web, and discussion), and will most likely take 3-4 class periods to complete. (author/kct)
|Illuminating Photosynthesis (ORC#: 9939)|
This content resource takes a look at the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle and at the process of photosynthesis. The interactive Flash presentation features three sections: The Cycle, Atomic Shuffle, and Three Puzzlers. The Cycle section has an animation that illustrates the flow of carbon dioxide and oxygen between a plant and the surrounding environment. The Atomic Shuffle section has an annotated stepwise animation that explains the basics of photosynthesis. The Three Puzzlers section has three "big picture" questions with explanations.
This resource is not a complete lesson. It could be incorporated into a lesson or unit on photosynthesis or the carbon cycle. (author/ts)