Cells vs. Buildings

Created by Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith, Scott Dobrin, Presque Isle, and Judith Roe, this lesson for an intermediate Cell Biology course encourages students to take a big-picture view of the cell by comparing cells to buildings in order to think about the dynamic processes within cells. The lesson utilizes a jigsaw and quick write.The authors write, "Students often enter cell biology thinking that the course will involve a simple march through the organelles. As teachers, we work to develop a broader view of cellular processes as integrated and dynamic. The tidbit uses a familiar item, a building, to inspire creative thinking about the dynamic processes needed to maintain cells. Following this lesson, students will be able to: a) compare cells and buildings with regard to processes required for maintenance and repair, b) identify at least two dynamic processes required to maintain and repair non-motile, non-dividing cells, and c) design an experiment to visualize dynamic maintenance processes in cells. The tidbit involves pairs of students brainstorming dynamic processes which occur in buildings or cells, switching pairs to focus more deeply on cellular processes, and ending with a bridge to experimental approaches. The tidbit is intended as a springboard for further study, which can accommodate a variety of subsequent steps in course plans."

(Text from the Yale Center for Scientific Teaching's Teachable Tidbits).



Below is a sample sequencing:

Steps

Type of Activity

Explanation, notes, suggestions, tips

a. Draw comparisons between cells and buildings   with regard to processes required for maintenance and repair

 2 person brainstorm

See accompanying presentation.

Need: Paper, writing implements, imagination, whiteboard or chalkboard

b. Identify at least 2 dynamic processes required to maintain and repair non-motile, non-dividing cells

 2 person jigsaw pair-share

c. Design an experiment to visualize dynamic maintenance processes in cells

Group Share/ teacher wraps up 

One-minute paper



For a very detailed presentation, see the powerpoint available below.



This activity was contributed by Yale University.

 



static_is_dynamic_tidbit_framework_northeast_2013.docx26 KB
static_is_dynamic_cells_vs._buildings_northeast_2013.pptx1.18 MB