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Lesson Plan: Characteristics of Life

Teacher Candidate: Miriah Mertell Date: 06/10/2014

Grade and Topic: 9th and 10th grade Biology Length of Lesson: 47 minutes
Mentor Teacher: N/A School: Bolton High

Understand how society benefits from concepts, engineering skills, and applications of technology.

Understand the characteristics of living things.
Select graphic images that represent one of each of the characteristics of living things.
Understand the vocabulary associated with each characteristic.

CLE 3210.T/E.4. Describe the dynamic interplay among science, technology, and engineering within
living, Earth-space, and physical systems.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-
specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades
9-10 texts and topics.
ISTE-S Standards 3. Research and information fluency. Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use
information. b.) Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a
variety of sources and media.
ISTE-S Standards 1. Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative
products and processes using technology. b. Create original works as a means of personal or group

Connection to the internet to access: MS Clipart gallery
A computer, with a word processor loaded and functional (preferably Microsoft Word)
A printer
Paper and a pen/pencil

Ideally, this lesson should be used as an enrichment lesson following an explanation of the
characteristics of living things.
It will help aid the teacher in evaluating students on whether or not they to understand the concepts of
the characteristics of living things.
This lesson will aid students ability to comprehend complex scientific terminology, and increase their

Introduction/ Problem Statement: Imagine this. You are a member of a local research laboratory. One
afternoon, you receive a box marked, "Handle with extreme care!" You open the box, and inside you
find two green slimy, blobs of material, that kind of reminds you of the movie "Flubber" that you saw as
a kid, except that these masses don't seem to be moving. Each one is approximately 7 cm in diameter.
You also find a note from a local farmer: "I found these jello-like things by my cow pasture, and I don't
know what they are or if they are even alive! Can you tell me if they are and what I should do with
them? They started showing up right after the meteor shower this Spring, there were only a few and now
there's over 50!!"

As the scientist, how do you answer this farmer's question? How do you know if something is alive or
not? That's what we are going to evaluate today, the 8 characteristics of life.

Before the computer (5 minutes): The introduction of the problem statement shouldn't
take more than five minutes. Afterwards, I will tell the students to get out a sheet of paper and a
pen/pencil and ask them to try and recall (write down) the eight characteristics of living things.
After a few minutes, I will direct them to their textbook and the page where they can find the
correct charcteristics.
At the computer (25 minutes): Have students open both a MS word document and an
internet browser. Direct students to the MS Clipart Gallery website. Students will then create a
table with three columns in MS word (I will assist as needed). In the first column, I will direct
them to type the eight characteristics of living things. In the middle column, I will direct them to
copy and paste their image representations of the characteristics of life. (They found these using
key words as searches in the MS Clipart Gallery.) In the third column, I will direct students to
write a brief rationale for why the picture represents the characteristic. I will remind them to save
work frequently and check for any spelling errors, and to use either times new roman or Arial
font, size 12. Then, I will direct the student to print a copy.
Closure/After the computer (15 minutes): The students will discuss with their peers
around them why they chose a particular picture to represent each characteristic. We will then
discuss as a class whether or not the "blobs" are alive.

Product: The students will turn in a printed copy of a MS word document, on which they have created a
table with three columns. The left column will have a heading along the lines of "Characteristic of
Living Thing", The middle column will have a heading along the lines of "Picture Representation", and
the third column will have a heading along the lines of "Why I chose this picture". Following that, will
be typed on characteristic per row in the left-hand column, one picture representation in the middle
column, and the student's interpretation of the picture as a representation on the right-hand column.
Assessment: The student's will be graded on (a) the way that the graphic images represent each
characteristic of life and (b) their rationale for using the graphics. Four levels of quality will be
observed: (1) Below Basic (2) Basic (3) Proficient (4) Advanced

For any student in which accommodations must be made, I will allow extra time to finish the
assignment. they will be allowed to e-mail/save on flash-drive their characteristics and finish it
Example of a Student Product for The Characteristics of Life representation assignment.
The characteristics of life Picture Representation Rationale for Picture
Living things are made up of units
called cells

Each of these circles are individual
cells, or compartments, that make
up an organism. they can function
to do all things an organism does,
alone and without help.
Living things reproduce

This picture represents a tired
father with a newborn baby, proof
that he is capable of reproducing,
or creating more organisms.
Living things are based on a
universal genetic code

This is a picture of DNA, the
"code" of nucleotides that all
organisms are based on.
Living things grow and develop

This is a picture of a plant that has
grown from a seed, the increase in
size from the single cell to a
multicellular organism shows that it
is alive.
Living things obtain and use
materials and energy

This picture shows a person
drinking a glass of milk, to get the
nutrients he needs to grow, in effect
he is "using energy" from the cow
that made the milk.
Living things respond to their

All living things respond to their
environment, even if they cannot
physically move. These sunflowers,
for example, will turn to face the
sun, in effect "responding" to the
Living things maintain a stable
internal environment

All living things must maintain a
stable internal environment. If they
do not, they do not survive. Like
this person who is sick, if he does
not return his temperature back to
normal, he will die.
Taken as a group, living things
change over time

This picture represents evolution,
which is the essence of things
changing over time.