Research Lesson Plan
Science Grades 9-12
This lesson uses multiple activities which engage students in learning
general information about cancer as well as an examination and evaluation
of a case study in cancer research.
Two 90-minute periods
- Develop and
discuss an analogy for the relationship between general science and
- Discuss how cancer
has effected most student's lives in some way
- Determine some
current statistics on the incidence of cancer
- Identify basic
information about cancer including types, causes and treatments.
- Comprehend the
implications involved in cancer research by role playing the experiences
of the people involved.
- Evaluate cancer
research - the need as well as the human and financial cost.
to National Science Standards:
Power Point software
Strips of paper
Part 1: Engage
1. Students will
construct a Mobius strip to use as an analogy describing the relationship
between general science and public health. A Mobius strip is a one-edged,
one-sided loop. The directions for making it can be found at:
2. Discuss how a
Mobius Strip works together in class. Then in groups of 4 have students
determine why it is a good analogy for comparing general science to
public health. What are the similarities and what are the differences?
Then have the group report out to the whole class.
3. Current research shows that approximately 1 in 3 Americans will have
cancer sometime in their life. Thus many students may already be personally
involved with it in some fashion. Please realize this may be a delicate
subject for some so watch your students for signs of this and then provide
appropriate support. Ask students to raise their hands if they have
had some experience with cancer with a family or friend. Give any student
the opportunity to share it with the class.
4. To show some statistics on cancer, have students number off in sets
of 6. Ask all students who number 1 and 2 to stand. Tell them that if
this class population is representative of the American population,
about 2 in 6 of the people in this room will develop cancer sometime
in their life. Does this surprise them? Why or why not?
5. Have students now number in sets of 4. Ask all number 4's to stand.
Explain that one-fourth of the American population will die of cancer.
Tell students that scientific research over the years has widened the
gap between the number of people who get cancer and the number of people
who die from it. Discuss with students what other factors might be contributing
to this widened gap. Are their also factors which might be narrowing
the gap in the other direction?
Part 2: Explore/Explain
1. To allow students
to acquire or review the basic, yet essential information about cancer
they should access the following Web site:
2. Divide the class
into groups of 6. Each group will be responsible for researching preparing
and presenting a Power Point presentation on basic cancer information
using this Web site. In the group of 6, 2 students should be the researchers,
two should be the "technos" who prepare the Power Point presentation
and the last two should be the presenters. Each group of 6 should be
provided a different topic(s) on basic cancer so as to puzzle the information
to the class. For example, one group might cover what cancer is and
possible causes and prevention. Another group could be assigned screening
and early detection as well as symptoms of cancer. Other groups could
cover diagnosis and treatments.
Part III: Evaluate/Extend
1. Now that students
have this basic background we will look at some current cancer research.
Students should access the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer report:
2. Assign students
to read each of the 8 roles in this discussion and read the selection
aloud in class. These roles are:
Lee Ann Mitchell
Dr. Chris Rossbach
Dr. Judah Folkman
Dr. Gerald Soff
Dr. Ralph Weichselbaum
3. Next, ask each of the readers how they felt about their role and
what they read. If time permits go to the link "Preventing Colon
Cancer" and do the same strategy with this reading selection.
4. Divide the class
into groups of 4. In each group assign a leader. The leader will then
assign roles to the other 3. These roles are:
Using these roles,
students should then discuss cancer research from their perspective
of their assigned role. When completed the group should complete a Cost/Benefit
Analysis chart to be reported out to the class by the leader. To facilitate
this assignment, students should visit this Web site:
Power Point presentation
Cost/Benefit Analysis Chart
to National Science Standards:
Science as Inquiry
CONTENT STANDARD A: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students
should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry and understandings
about scientific inquiry.
CONTENT STANDARD C: As a result of their activities in grades 9-12,
all students should develop understanding of the cell.
Science and Technology
CONTENT STANDARD E: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students
should develop abilities of technological design, understandings about
science and technology.
Science in Personal
and Social Perspectives
CONTENT STANDARD F: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students
should develop understanding of personal and community health, natural
and human-induced hazards, science and technology in local, national,
and global challenges.
History and Nature
CONTENT STANDARD G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students
should develop understanding of science as a human endeavor, nature
of scientific knowledge.
Author Sue Rippe has taught various science classes at Northwest
High School in Wichita, KS for 13 years. She currently serves as department
chair. Sue also serves as adjunct professor of science methods at Friends
University. In 2000 she was selected as the Kansas Teacher of the Year.
To find out more about opportunities to contribute to this site,
contact Leah Clapman at firstname.lastname@example.org