This product is designed to be an extension unit to cover homeostasis in further depth than is traditionally required in an introductory biology course. This homeostasis unit is a supplement or add-on that is designed to be used at the end of the year, after the 7 core biology units included in my biology curriculum. It is perfect for digging deeper into homeostasis if you or your students are passionate about the topic, or if you need hands-on student-driven curriculum to use after state testing. Content covered includes: regulation and feedback mechanisms, cell signaling and communication, and an overview of human body systems and their interactions. This product includes notes, a packet of student handouts for all activities, and a free-response quiz to use as a summative assessment. The student packet comes in a paperless digital version that can be used in Google Drive™ and/or Microsoft OneDrive™. Note: The content in this mini-unit is not provided on differentiated levels for CP and Honors like the 7 core units.
Note: This is as add-on extension mini-unit in my Biology Curriculum Full Year Bundle. You can buy this unit for 20% off if you purchase it as a part of the full year bundle.
What content is in this unit?
Feedback mechanisms – positive and negative loops
- Cell communication – autocrine, paracrine, juxtacrine, and hormone signaling
- Signal transduction pathways
- Overview of human body systems, with specific focus on their interactions in order to maintain homeostasis
What standards are covered?
- HS-LS1-2: Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.
- HS-LS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
What prior knowledge is necessary for students to have before using this unit?
What is included?
- 15 pages of teacher implementation notes + editable unit plans for 20 days of lesson plans (including both 50-minute and 90-minute block pacing guides)
- 27-page PDF packet with all student handouts for the entire mini-unit including:
- Unit outline with objectives and vocabulary terms for each concept covered for students to use to make their own study guides from
- Notes outlines for each of the three main concepts in Cornell Note format – now including completely filled in AND fill in the blank versions!
- Lab Stations: Safety and Equipment (+ editable version)
- Inquiry Lab Investigation: Feedback Mechanisms
- Research and Report Activity: Regulation and Response
- Project: Cell Signaling Molecules
- Activity: Cell Communication Breakdown
- Project: Body System Interactions
- Access to ALL of the materials in the student packet in a digital paperless format that can be used in Google Drive™ and/or Microsoft OneDrive™
- 3 fully animated PowerPoints of notes (54 slides)
- Links to YouTube video lectures for each of the PowerPoint notes – perfect for absent students or flipped classrooms!
- 1 quiz for the summative assessment with 4 NGSS 3-dimensional free response questions, including a detailed answer key!
What types of files are included?
What materials are needed in addition to the resources provided?
How many class periods will it take to teach this unit in its entirety?
This unit covers 20 50-minute class periods 13 90-minute block class periods. However, if you don’t have that much time available you can cut out some of the activities, have students do one of the projects at home, or use the YouTube lecture videos that come with the unit to implement a flipped classroom style.
How is this resource distance learning compatible?
What is so great about the digital student packets that are included?
You can go PAPERLESS in your classroom if you want – no more dreaded mornings at the copy machine!
You still get all of the organization of my packet strategy, just now in digital format too!
Students will be able to access their packets ANYWHERE. No more, “I forgot my binder so I couldn’t do (fill in the blank)”
Students can print their filled in packets or an extra blank copy easily from home
You can now have a mixed classroom with some students paperless and others not. You can also start with just doing a few units digitally and others on paper. Whatever works best for you and your students. The point here is that you now have OPTIONS!
You have increased flexibility for students to easily learn and be connected outside the walls of your classroom.
A built in opportunity to help students grow in their digital literacy.
Why use a “packet” instead of an interactive notebook?
I started creating packets for my students over six years ago, and I love them so much more than interactive notebooks. While interactive notebooks are great resources that work for many teachers, I have found the packet strategy to be a more appropriate tool for using in the secondary classroom setting with my students. I love using the packet for many reasons:
- I only have to make copies one time each unit instead of copying handouts every day. Even though it takes a while to copy the packets for each student, it saves so much time on a day to day basis. (Also I’ve often recruited seniors to be my “Teacher’s Aide” and have trained them to copy all of my packets for me. I haven’t seen a copier in YEARS and it’s glorious!) You can also now go DIGITAL and PAPERLESS with the Google Drive™ version of the packet, if you prefer!
- It puts responsibility back on the students to maintain their A&P binder with their packet, while also aiding them in practicing organization skills. It has been incredibly effective for my lower level students especially. Even though it is a lot of papers to receive at once, I can watch them put it in their binder and leave it there, rather than having to hang on to numerous individual papers passed out each day. It has really eliminated the need for a textbook too, so students really only have to remember to bring ONE thing to class – their binder with their packet!
- It makes it so easy to be absent last minute. If you or your child gets sick, sub plans are a breeze. You don’t have to send your teacher neighbor to make copies for you – because your students already have everything they need. You just have to tell the sub which pages the students need to work on for the day. It was especially helpful for my long-term substitute when I was on maternity leave!
- The structure of the packet provides a more helpful method than interactive notebooks in preparing students for college – which should be one of our goals as high school teachers. The packet helps students learn how to structure notes (one of the reasons why I love teaching them how to write Cornell notes) and how to stay organized.
- They are a time saver in so many ways – no more time wasted regularly passing out handouts or having to cut and paste things into a notebook.
- Students do a better job keeping up with returned graded work because every page is numbered, so they can put graded assignments right back into the packet where it came from, setting them up to more likely refer back to graded work as they study.
- You no longer need a filing cabinet – you can keep all of your curriculum and keys organized in binders!
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
This activity-based, student-driven mini-unit is the perfect resource to use at the end of the school year to expand on homeostasis, further than traditional standards would go. It can be used for the full 20 days that are detailed in the unit plan, or some of the activities can be cut out to shorten it to fit in that strange period of time after state testing before the end of the year. It is also unit that can easily be used to implement a flipped classroom, with students using the lecture videos to complete notes at home so class time can be maximized for all of the different activities and projects. This is designed to be used at the end of the school year where students have had a full year growing in autonomy and NGSS skills, but doesn’t have to be if your students are ready.
Designing curriculum for an entire unit that is engaging, activity-based, and standard-aligned can be exhausting. I’ve spent over 5 years creating my biology curriculum and have had amazing results. I had a 96% pass rate on the State standardized End-of-Course exam for Non-Honors students and a 100% pass rate for honors students. This was at a South Carolina Public School with over 50% of the students being below the poverty line. My average score on the EOC (all 200+ students combined that I taught over 2 years) was a 90%. I believe this success is due to multiple factors, but I attribute a lot of it to the packet curriculum I have designed, and the fact that all of that all of my traditional tests are cumulative (which you would see in units that come with tests!) Honestly, I could go on and on about the packet as a resource and why I love it so much, but I think you will find as you use it that you will fall in love with it too. Last but not least, this product comes with links to video lectures for each set of notes. This resource + all of the detailed lesson plans makes this product perfect for teachers new to this subject, going on maternity leave for a long-term sub, or using a flipped classroom strategy.
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