Task 11 – Layers of the Atmosphere

Image Source: Windows to the Universe
Image Source: Windows to the Universe

Task 11: Adopt A City – Layers of the Atmosphere

  1. Record today’s Weather, yesterday’s Hi/Lo/Precipitation, & Astronomy Data (link) (excel).
  2. On your mini-map (pdf) record the following:
    1. WSM – add it to the classroom map of the USA (pdf)
    2. Precipitation (Rain – green, Snow – blue)
    3. H/L/Fronts (link)
  • Use the resources below to learn about the layers of the atmosphere and complete your notes (pdf).
    • Study Jams – Atmosphere (link)
    • BrainPOP – Atmosphere video (link)
    • Weather Guide pgs. 34-37 & 44-47
    • Interactive – where does it go? (link)
    • Layers of the Atmosphere NOAA (link)
  • Once you have completed your notes (pdf):
    • Complete the illustration by adding an object to each layer and color each layer lightly.
    • Add the miles to each layer.
    • Can you add the Ozone Layer and the Ionosphere to your diagram?

Sheep Heart Dissection

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

As part of the 7th graders current unit on the heart and circulatory system, we had a current parent come in (Dr. C – a Cardiac Electrophysiologist) to give a presentation to the whole 7th grade about the heart, pacemakers, heart health, and perform a dissection on the sheep heart. We set up a camera and projected it onto a large screen so that all the students could see to the dissection from anywhere in the room. Dr. C gave a wonderful presentation and we were lucky to have him share his experience and knowledge with us!

The next day, students had an opportunity to dissect a sheep heart and examine the structure and function of the heart up close. The students used sheep hearts that were frozen and then thawed prior to use instead of using preserved specimens. In my opinion, this provides a more realistic experience and is easier for the students to dissect. Since the heart was fresh, the cardiac muscle, arteries, valves, and veins were much easier to see and handle this way.

Sheep Heart Dissection
Sheep Heart Dissection

Materials:

  • goggles
  • gloves
  • lab coat/apron/old shirt
  • disinfecting wipes
  • scalpel
  • pins
  • scissors
  • pre-made labels using sticky notes or masking tape
  • probes
  • dissecting tray

Resources:

  • Which way to the heart? Students learned about Heart Anatomy and Blood Flow (blog entry)
  • Pickle Dissection – Students learned how to use dissection tools (blog entry)
  • Teach Engineering: Sheep Heart Dissection (link)
  • Carolina: Sheep Heart (link)
  • BioEd Online (link)
  • Biology Corner (link)
  • PBS Learning Media (link)

Which way to the heart?

Source: Wikipedia Commons
Source: Wikipedia Commons

This is an updated version of an activity I have used with my 7th graders in the past. To get a true understanding of how blood circulates through their body, and to review the parts of the heart, I have the students sort the cards and place them in the right order starting and ending with the right atrium.

Students work in pairs placing the cards into the correct sequence on their desks. When they are ready to have their work checked, I start at the right atrium and go until I find a card out of place, then I stop and have them figure out what should come next and I’ll come back to check later. It will take several tries until they complete it correctly. When they are done, students can quiz each other using the cards or they can try the activity individually and have their partner check their work. Students can also use the Google Slides to review at home or print out a color set for their own use.

Resources

  • Heart Coloring Page – this is a great diagram of the heart. We color this together step-by-step in class when introducing the parts of the heart. Students can use pink and blue highlighters or colored pencils. (link)
    • We use blue only to distinguish deoxygenated blood from oxygenated blood in diagrams
    • I have the students hold the diagram in front of them and face each other so that they can see the right side of the heart matches their right side, but when the diagram is on their desk, the right side of the heart is on their left.
    • When we are done coloring, using their pointer finger, students trace the path of blood through the heart as I say each part in the correct sequence
  • Google Slides – (Public Link)
  • Cards to cut apart (pdf)
    • Need one set of cards per 2-4 students
    • Can laminate and reuse each year, store in a zip-top bag
  • BrainPOP – Circulatory System Video (link)
  • Circulation Song – catchy song (link)
  • School House Rock – circulation song from my younger days (link)
  • Study Jams – Circulation Video (link)
    • This video has a simplified explanation, but is incorrect in stating that deoxygenation blood cells look blue, which adds to the common misconception students have about their blood being blue when it is in their veins.
    • You can ask them if they ever had their blood drawn, it doesn’t come out blue, it comes out maroon-ish or dark-red instead of bright red like when they get get a paper cut or scrape their knee.
    • Horseshoe crabs have blue blood (link)

Adopt A City: Wind & Air Pressure

Adopt a City

Task  10 – Wind & Air Pressure (Updated)

  1. Record today’s Weather, yesterday’s Hi/Lo/Precipitation, & Astronomy Data (link) (excel).
  2. On your mini-map (pdf)
    • record the WSM and add it to the classroom map of the USA (pdf)
    • color in the precipitation
    • draw the fronts (using blue and red dotted lines), along with H and L, for today (link)
      • go to the WunderMap, click “U.S. Fronts” and “Weather Stations” (link)
      • What do you notice about the temperatures on either side of the fronts and the location of the precipitation?

A) Wind & Air Pressure

  1. Use the following resources to learn about wind and air pressure to complete your worksheet (pdf)
    1. BrainPOP – Wind (link)
    2. Study Jams -Air Pressure & Wind (link)
    3. Pages 53-59 in your Weather Guide about Wind
    4.  Pages 124-125 in your Weather Guide about the Beaufort Wind Scale
    5. Pages 60-67 in your Weather Guide about High and Low Pressure

B) Bernoulli’s Principle – try it out!

  1. Bernoulli’s Principle (link): complete 3 of the activities posted (I will supply the materials) and write 3-5 sentences for each activity using google doc or lined paper describing what you did and what you learned by doing each activity.
  2. How does wind and air pressure allow us to fly? BrainPOP Flight Movie (link)

How are frequency, amplitude, and wavelength related?

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In this interactive tutorial, students can explore how frequency, amplitude, and wavelength are related. Students can create 16 different scenarios, make observations, & take notes for each scenario. What patterns did they notice? How does changing the frequency affect the wavelength? How does changing the amplitude affect the shape of the wave? What happens to the boat in each scenario?

Resources

  • Interactive website (link)
  • BrainPOP – Waves (link)
  • Study Jams – sound waves (link)

Interactive Weather Maker

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Adopt a City Task #9 (link)

How do air masses create weather?

  • Study Jams Video – Air Masses and Fronts (link)
  • Using this interactive website (link), find out how air masses interact to create different types of weather
  • Worksheet (pdf)

What days are the busiest in the Maternity Ward?

baby_twins

Description

This lesson can be used as part of your unit on reproduction, a stand alone lesson to practice collecting and analyzing data, or as part of a math lesson on statistics. This lesson can be extended in several different ways: you can add graphing, plotting data using a stem and leaf (link) for the dates, finding min, max, mode, averages, etc…

The students enjoy this lesson because it is a fun way to analyze their birthdays and many students didn’t know what day of the week they were born on.

Resources

  • Google Sheets for data collection (public link) and (pdf)
  • Perpetual calendar – make a calendar for any year (link)

Blog Updates via Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, & Email

Lesson updates are now available via:

I am also tagging the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for each blog post to help teachers find lessons more easily.

Cow Eye Dissection

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The cow eye dissection is a great lesson to use as part of your unit on the nervous system and the five senses. There are several different ways you can use this lesson in the classroom.

Video & Model Only – share and discuss the video above. Using diagrams and clay/playdoh, students can create a model of the eye or use a scientific model to identify the structure and function of each part of the eye. Some students may be very uncomfortable watching the video and they can either turn around and listen or may have to leave the room.

Video, Model, and Demonstration – In addition to above, students can observe a cow eye demonstration. I like to use fresh specimens whenever possible, visiting your local butcher or farm is an option to look into instead of the preserved specimens, and generally are less expensive. Dispose of specimens properly.

Video, Model, Demonstration, and Dissection – In addition to above, students can work in small groups to perform a cow eye dissection. I like to use groups of 3 or 4 per dissection, this saves on specimens and it allows students to work at their own comfort level. Some students will only want to observe, some students want to do a little bit of the dissection, some will dive right in, and others will not take part at all and will have to do either the video/model only or the video/model and then observe your demonstration from a distance. Dispose of specimens properly.

Exploratorium Links

  • Video Home Page (link)
  • Interactive Eye Diagram (link) and printable version (link)
  • Step-by-step Instructions (pdf)

Additional Resources

  • BrainPOP Video – Eyes (link)
  • Study Jams – The Senses – Seeing (link)
  • Teen Health – Eyes (link)
  • Kid’s Health in the Classroom Teacher’s Guide – Vision (pdf)
  • See all you can see – The National Eye Institute (link)
    • Anatomy of the Eye – handout (pdf)
  • The Cow Eye – iBook (link) for iPads or Mac

Liberty Science Center: Traveling Science Workshop – Have LSC (or a local science museum) come to your school to conduct the lesson with your students.

Cow’s Eye Dissection | Grades: 6 – 10
Follow light on its journey through the eye. Led by a Liberty Science Center educator, students will pair off to perform cow eye dissections and in the process gain a deeper understanding of the structure of the human eye.
NJCCCS: 5.1 C, 5.1.D, 5.3.A
NGSS: LS1A: Structure and Function

Download Cow’s Eye Dissection pre-visit activity packet (link/pdf)

NatGeo Map Maker – free maps to use in your classroom

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Download and Print Maps for Free

NatGeo has a wonderful website that allows you to select any US state, foreign country, continent, or geographic region and download/print maps for free.

How can you use maps in the science classroom?

  • Earthquakes – assign each student a region and plot real-time Earthquake data
  • Tornadoes – select a state and research tornado activity
  • Hurricanes – track current hurricanes or research historic hurricanes
  • Mining – where are coal mines located? salt mines?
  • Weather – plot current weather, fronts, isotherms, etc.
  • Biomes – color in the biomes for your selected state or country
  • Animal habitats – where do animals make their homes?
  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map – what zones are in your state? what types of plants can grow there?
  • Rainfall maps – does the amount of rainfall differ across your state?

NatGeo – Map Maker (link)