Inquiry-Style Learning & Lesson Plan Term Paper

Grade Level: 3rd


Lesson: The Cell (3 Day Lesson Series)

Background Concepts

The study of living things is known as Life Science. Since the basic unit of all living things is the cell, all things like plants human beings and animals have cells. As the basic unit of life, cells represent the foundational underlining that drives scientific research. In emphasizing their importance to the study of living things, cells abound the composition of life, and embody a key to new advancements in science. Elementary understanding and familiarity with this basic life unit gives school-aged students the exposure and fundamentals to help their learning of Life Science. Early introduction to understanding the function and parts of the cell helps students move toward more advance cellular topics and concepts in Life Science.

Goals & Learning Outcomes

The following statements encompass the learning outcomes for this lesson.

• Students will gain early exposure to biological concepts, and demonstrate understanding for the definition and role of the cell.

• Students will recognize a select set of vocabulary words associated with cellular parts and functions.

• Students will be able to identify several parts of the cell.

• Student will associate cellular functionality with common life items or entities.

• Students will demonstrate the ability to make a distinction or distinguish between animal and plant cells.

• Students will recognize the general size of a cell.

Learning Style

The students will use an inquiry-style to attain the learning outcomes. According to the West Virginia Department of Education (2014), “Student understanding is the central focus of inquiry learning. Students actively participate in inquiry learning experiences by developing questions and investigating to find solutions. Teachers facilitate learning as students engage in active problem solving, the construction of meaning and the communication of new understandings to students, teachers or other important adults.” The structured activities of this lesson plan will allow student to form questions and investigate: the scientific content lends itself to “to students asking questions and investigating as they develop a deep understanding of the concepts developed (West Virginia Department of Education, 2014). The teacher, however, should be aware that an inquiry-style process is not homogeneously initiated by student investigative inquires: “teachers guide student learning by selecting, designing and planning learning tasks, asking probing questions, observing students at work to identify misconceptions and planning follow up experiences (West Virginia Department of Education, 2014).”

Day One

Framing the Lesson Plan: Opening

The teacher opens the lesson with a slide show with various large, highly visible images of living cells, with no labelings or wording. The teacher simply tells the students to view the slides and to hold any questions, until further direction. Upon completion of the slides, the teacher will then circulate five three-dimensional models of a cell structure that can be opened as cross-sections. In tandem, the teacher will distribute two three-dimensional cross sections of a cell. The teacher may expect to hear the word, “cell” as the students view the models. However, as the students view or investigate the three-dimensional models, and have likely become inquisitive as to what they…

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