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Lesson Plan & Assessment

I. Subject, Grade Level, Topic of Lesson:

Life Sciences High School

HS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity Observing how environmental
factors and stimuli effect the movement behavior of a model organism in order to
understand environmental adaptation.

II. Curriculum Standard:

HS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. Students who demonstrate

understanding can:

HS-LS4-4: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection

leads to adaptation of populations. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on using
data to provide evidence for how specific biotic and abiotic differences in
ecosystems (such as ranges of seasonal temperature, long-term climate change,
acidity, light, geographic barriers, or evolution of other organisms) contribute to a
change in gene frequency over time, leading to adaptation of populations.] (New
Jersey Student Learning Standards 2016).

III. Objectives and Assessments:

Learning Objectives Assessments

SWBAT design and conduct TWBAT assess students ability to take
experiments examining the responses of observations and data from
isopods to various environmental factors experimental designs to reach
during a full lab session (at least 2 evidenced-based conclusions on
periods). behavioral adaptation via a partner lab
report. ELL/ESL students may make use
of an electronic translator, may ask for
additional support from the teacher, or
work with an English proficient
classmate as a partner. Gifted students
may be encouraged to research other
organisms that display taxis.

IV. Materials:

Woodlice (an isopod), also known as sowbugs or pillbugs (at least 10 per
partnership) should be purchased from districts science supplier
Choice chambers or petri dishes (at least 1-2 per partnership)
Plastic bowls
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At least 6 of the following variables cold pack, warm pack, ice, warm water,
flashlight, dark construction paper, aluminum foil, HCl, NaOH, vinegar,
baking soda, soil, sand, bark, cedar, gravel, ammonia, perfume, lemon juice,
potato, fish flakes
Paper towels
Stopwatch or clock
Pen/Pencil (students)
Notebook (students)

V. Pre-Lesson Assignments, Prior Knowledge, or Skills:

Students should understand the principal of cause and effect from previous discussion
of the scientific method and experimental design (CCC HS-LS4-2). Specifically,
students should recall that empirical evidence is required to differentiate between a
cause and a correlation. In addition, students should be able to construct tables and
graphs based on previous lab reports or examples in the textbook. Students should be
proficient in writing their own hypothesis based on review of the scientific method.
Lastly, students should be able to differentiate between a qualitative and a
quantitative observation. Prior skills students will be drawing from include: writing a
hypothesis, collecting data, making observations, transforming data into meaningful
information, pattern finding, and drawing conclusions using evidence. Before coming
to class, students should read a brief handout created by the instructor regarding how
to handle and rear woodlice. Previous lessons in the unit will have covered
evolutionary theory, natural selection and gene variation in a population, and

VI. Lesson Beginnings/Hook:

On the front board or using your computer and projector, display a T-chart with the
left side labeled Stimulus and the right side labeled Reaction. On the Stimulus
side write the following in a list format: direct sunlight, strong chemical odor, dead
carcass, desert, excessive heat, excessive cold, room temperature, perfume, and
vinegar. Ask them to recreate the T-chart in their notebooks and ask them to fill in the
right side. For each Stimulus, ask them to write whether they would (A) turn away
from the stimulus (negative association) or (B) turn towards the stimulus (positive
association). Give students 5 minutes to come up with their responses, at the end of
which call out each stimulus and take an informal vote of which reaction was favored
by the class. Use this to introduce the lesson into the study of animal behavior (or
ethology). Explain how in todays lab they will be focusing on a specific behavior
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called taxis, which is when animals body turns toward or away from a stimulus. Just
like humans turn towards and away from certain stimuli, animals do the same thing.

VII. Instructional Plan:

1) Pass out the lab packet and go over the lab report assignment in detail. Provide a
general overview of what students will be doing in the lab. Make sure they have a
copy of the lab rubric (Appendix XI) to refer for their report.
2) Direct students to find a partner for the lab or continue using assigned lab
partners. If an odd number of students in the class, allow a group of 3.
3) Have everyone gather around one lab table. Show students how to handle the
woodlice without hurting them, and explain how the choice chamber works. Do
this by doing a demo for the students that will model their lab experiment.
A. Wet several small squares of paper cloth. After wetting, place on one choice
chamber side so that the entire floor of the chamber is moist. Leave the other
chamber completely dry. Leave the tube connecting the two chambers dry.
B. Next place 5 woodlice on each side of the choice chamber (5 in the wet
section and 5 in the dry section).
C. Every 30 seconds for 2 minutes count the number of woodlice on each side in
a pre-formatted table.
D. Make a hypothesis that the woodlice will favor the moist environment over
the dry environment when the data from the observations are analyzed.
Explain how the movements of the woodlice may seem random when each
observation is considered independently, but that patterns emerge after
making many observations.
E. After 2 minutes, clean up the choice chamber and place the woodlice back in
their container of dirt. Discuss how to analyze the tabulated data and ask
students to determine whether your original hypothesis was correct or
4) Next, explain that each group will be conducting the same experiment using
different variables (stimuli) than moist/dry and will be collecting data for 10
minutes rather than 2 minutes.
5) Explain to students that they must select their stimuli, design their experiment,
collect 10 woodlice from the dirt container, take 2 choice chambers, and take a
stopwatch. Remind students that they must have a control group (no stimuli) in
order to follow the scientific method.
6) Before any group can proceed to conducting their experiment, they must get
approval from you. Check that they have a hypothesis, a valid experimental setup,
and have created a table to record data.
7) Monitor each group and check-in with each group on a fixed schedule (no more
than 3 minutes), in order to mitigate any experimental errors or mishaps. Make
sure at least one student is recording data and one student is checking the
stopwatch every 30 seconds for 10 minutes.
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8) With at least 20 minutes left in the period, confirm with each group that they are
done or almost done. Then have each pair cleanup and return their supplies to the
designated locations.

VIII. Wrap Up/Conclusion:

With at least 5-10 minutes left in class, have students go back to their seats and sit
with their partner. Ask one student from each partnership to explain what stimulus
they tested with the woodlice, their hypothesis for the results, what data they
collected, and whether the data supported or refuted their hypothesis. Check to see if
there are any remaining questions about the purpose of the lab or the results found. If
time permits, ask the students to consider why the isopods show these specific
behaviors to these specific stimuli. What is their evolutionary advantage? If students
are unsure, guide them by asking them to consider the role of evolution, natural
selection, and adaptation.

IX. Follow-Up Activity:

Have students synthesize the hypotheses, observations, data, and conclusions made
during the course of the lab into a formal lab report. Use the summative rubric
provided in Appendix section XI to grade the reports. Copies of the rubric should be
provided to each student. Although the lab was completed with partners, each student
is still responsible for handing in a separate lab report. Students may collaborate
however in writing the report by (for example) sharing observations and data
collected. The lab report will include the following sections: background information
(should explain taxis, environmental adaptation, and basic facts about the model
organism used for the experiment), objectives (purpose of the experiment), pre-
experiment observations (how did the woodlice behave before any stimulus was
applied), and student-designed experiment (will include description of the stimulus,
experimental setup, hypothesis, data collection, and results). In addition, students
should answer two related questions: (1) from an evolutionary point of view what is
the advantage of the behavior observed, and (2) how could the experiment be
improved with additional time or resources. Give students at least 1 week to complete
lab in case they have questions about formatting, how to write a specific section, or if
students would like to have extra time to complete a part of the lab after school.

X. References:

United States, State of New Jersey Department of Education. (2016). New Jersey
Student Learning Standards. Retrieved October 5, 2017, from
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XI. Appendix:

Lab Report Grading Rubric

Category Exceeded (4) Met (3) Adequate (2) Needs Work (1)
Background Accurate, Detailed, met all Less detailed, Minimal details
taxis, specific, requirements, missing 1 or major
environmental research based, retold in own requirement, inaccuracies,
adaptation, retold in own words copied from lab missing more
woodlice words material than 1
copied from lab
Objectives Connected lab Stated all Missing 1 Missing more
objectives to relevant lab objective, copied than 1 objective,
background objectives, retold from lab copied from lab
material or unit in own words material material
Observations Differentiated Included both Only qualitative Few if any
between qualitative and or only observations,
qualitative and quantitative, qualitative major
quantitative detailed but observations, inaccuracies
observations, mostly superficial, less
went beyond superficial detailed or
superficial characteristics inaccurate
detailed and
Student- All requirements All requirements 1 requirement More than 1
Designed met, detailed met, some missing, few requirement
Experiment explanations references to references to missing, few
with references data, used data, no graph or references to
to collected data, graphs or tables, tables provided, data, no table or
used graphs and did not consider did not consider graphs, did not
tables to experimental experimental consider
illustrate points, errors errors experimental
considered errors
errors in data
collection or
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Evolutionary Explains Less detailed, Incorrect Incorrect

Advantage evolutionary correct explanation but explanation,
advantage of explanation of provided very little details
observed advantage, some detailed answer, and supporting
behavior, evidence attempts to use evidence, not
provides textual provided, unit themes or attempt to use
evidence, uses attempts to use concepts, unit themes or
unit themes or unit themes or evidence concepts
concepts concepts provided is used
Improvements At least 5 viable Between 4-5 Between 2-3 Only 1 viable
resources and and high-quality viable viable improvement
time improvements improvements improvements,
addressing both addressing both may not address
resources and resources and both resources
time time and time
Format Data tables Most data tables No data tables No data tables,
labeled, no labeled, some labeled, several many
major grammatical or grammatical or grammatical or
grammatical or spelling errors, spelling errors, spelling errors,
spelling errors, clear headings, no headings, late no headings, late
clear headings, on-time, submission (up submission
on-time, attempts to 1 day) no (more than 1
citations for text citations but citations for day), no
or web formatted references citations
references inaccurately
Assignment Comments:

Accommodations (TEACHER-ONLY): Note the following grading considerations for special

need, ESL/ELL, and gifted students.
1. Special Needs offer additional lab time before or after school where you may be able
to provide more individualized support or guidance. Consult students IEP if necessary.
2. Gifted ask select students to research additional examples of taxis in other organisms
and to share their research findings in their lab report as a separate section
3. ESL/ELL if their English-speaking skills are better than their English-writing skills,
offer them the opportunity to do an oral lab report instead (change the format category
in the original rubric to presentation quality). If their English-speaking skills are worse,
offer additional lab time before or after school.