Mary Markowski

Edu 4346: Secondary Education Practicum

Spring 2003

Lesson Plan Outline


Subject area: Biology

Grade: 10th grade

Level: Pre-Advanced Placement / Honors

Number of Students:  22

Time and duration: 8:00am-8:50am, three classes

Topic: Animal Systems: digestive system

Rationale / Purpose of Lesson:  The purpose of this lesson will be to help students understand the function of the digestive system and how it relates to the well-being of the body as a whole. 

Lesson’s position in context of unit: 

Learning Objectives of the Lesson:

Students will be able to:

Introduction of the lesson: (Duration 10 minutes)

(The previous night’s homework, after pre-reading in class, will have been to read the chapter on digestion, found in their basal text, Biology, The Living Science, Texas Edition, by Prentice Hall, pp. 850-860) 

I will introduce the lesson by asking the students:

After discussion, I will then pass out a worksheet to supplement the mini-lesson I will conduct on the system.

Cognitive Content:

The cognitive content will be the actual factual information given to the students from their previous night’s reading and my introductory discussion on the digestive system.  The outline is as follows:    See PowerPoint Presentation

Integration of Aesthetic Content / Motivation:

The aesthetic dimension will be addressed by giving each student a peanut butter cup since they contain carbohydrates, fats and protein.  The students will be instructed to eat the peanut butter cup and think about what is happening to it inside their bodies.    Further, I will continually address the students’ individual schemata by asking the students to speculate, based on their prior knowledge, the path of the peanut butter cup throughout their body in terms of the muscles, organs and glands required to gain nutrients from the candy.  Finally, we’ll discuss as a class any problems that can occur in digestion, such as heartburn or vomiting and their significance.    

The students will also be assessed through a hands-on construction of a digestive system t-shirt in which they will express their understanding through their own creative method of diagramming the anatomy of the system and explaining the function, or physiology of the system, in front of the class through song, poetry, or role playing.  Students must work on the t-shirt project independently but may work on the presentation project either independently or in groups no larger than four.

      These three elements during the students’ introduction and learning of the digestive system should spark their emotions of excitement and wonder as well as make it practical and relevant to their everyday lives.  Students can draw on their own everyday experiences of eating, in addition to times of illness with their digestive system.  I honestly feel that this lesson plan, while addressing the efferent dimension quite thoroughly, has also kept the end in mind and paid much attention to the aesthetic dimension of learning.


Instructional Activities Day 1: (Thursday)


Instructional Activities Day 2: (Friday)

·        Review of yesterday’s learning (10 minutes)

·        Continuation of interactive direct teach (30 minutes)

·        Review directions for assessments in detail / Students may begin working on their ideas and form groups if they so desire related to the creative writing assignment (10 minutes)


Instructional Activities Day 3: (Monday)

·        Students will wear their t-shirts as I go around the room to grade each one while they work in their groups or independently on their creative writing on digestive system that is due Thursday (a week after it was assigned).  As I assess the t-shirt, I will be asking each creative writing group for a list of their goals, ideas, and any tangible work they have created thus far.  In addition, I will make sure each group has a set meeting time outside of class to complete the work.  Also, I will have each group select a contact person with whom I can email questions or concerns.  I will remind them each day until the due date to keep working on their projects.  On Thursday, each student or group has a maximum of three to five minutes of talk time (50 minutes total).


Special Needs / Accommodations:

There is one hard of hearing student that will need me to sign the lesson. 


Resources and Materials:

Peanut butter cups, model of internal human body, basal biology textbook, PowerPoint compatible laptop and projector, extra t-shirts, paints and markers, examples of the t-shirt and of the creative writing assignment, and School House Rock Science video. 


Assessment Plan:

Using magic markers, glitter, iron-ons, or paint, the students will each construct a digestion t-shirt, mapping the organs necessary to perform digestion.  Also, the students will write a creative writing about the processes of the digestive system, tracing what occurs as the body digests food.  The writing can be a song, poem, or role-play.  The t-shirt will be provided by students (or if there are financial situation, the teacher will provide the shirt) and students are welcome to stay after or come before school to use my own collection of paints if they do not have any at home. Otherwise, the students will have the weekend to complete the t-shirt and a week to complete the creative description.   Students will fill out the same rubric as completed by the teacher in order to process and reflect on their own understanding of the digestive system.  Also, exemplars from previous students will be used to show the expectation of excellence. 

View Anatomy T-shirt assessment and rubric

View Physiology creative writing assessment and rubric