|Grade span:||6 to 8|
|Duration:||Several 45- to 60-minute sessions|
Description:This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice Exploring Science Through Projects and Problems. In this activity, students receive a mysterious case study about a girl who fainted. Using clues in the case study and additional research, students discover the problem and learn about diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment.
- Work collaboratively to solve a problem
- Use the inquiry process—hypothesizing, questioning, researching, analyzing data, and communicating results
- Understand health issues, specifically diabetes and nutrition
- Problem-based learning case study, What Happened to Mya? (PDF, 80K)
- Notebooks and pencils
- Computers for Internet research, word processing, and presentations
- Familiarize yourself with the case study and information about diabetes
- Identify and search Internet Web sites or other sources to guide student learning about Mya's symptoms in general and diabetes in particular.
What to Do:
- Engage students in the story of Mya by reading aloud the scenario for Day 1. On day 2 read the second scenario that will give the students more clues.
- Explore what happened to Mya. Discuss Mya's symptoms and list the data or clues provided in each scenario, as well as any questions students want to research. Working individually or in small groups, students should use computers or previously copied articles to find the answers to their questions. Remind students to take notes and cite the Web sites where they found answers. Monitor students and ask questions as they do research. By the second day, students should be able to focus their research on diabetes, its symptoms, and types. The following questions also appear on the handout. Ask students to answer each question and record their answers.
- Why do people faint?
- What is glucose, and what happens if you don't have enough?
- What are the symptoms of diabetes?
- What is the difference between type I and type II diabetes? What is the cause of diabetes? What is pre-diabetes?
- What is insulin, and what happens when a person has too much or too little?
- What kinds of exercise and nutrition are helpful in controlling and preventing diabetes?
- What do diabetics do to monitor their glucose levels?
- What complications are associated with diabetes?
- What can you do to prevent diabetes?
- How can you help a person with diabetes?
- Explain findings. Using the questions students asked and the notes they took, students should present their findings. Leave time for questions and answers, encouraging students to explain their answers and how they found them.
- Extend learning if time allows. Ask students to present the case and findings to younger students. Invite someone who is diabetic or who works with diabetics to talk to students about nutrition and diabetes. Have students plan healthy snacks for the afterschool center based on their new understandings. Collaborate with a local hospital or clinic to plan a family health night and include information on diabetes as well as free glucose testing.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Students working together to problem solve
- Answers that reflect students' ability to make hypothesize (guess) what happened to Mya and develop follow-up questions to research
- Reading and research skills that help students find answers to their questions
- Good note-taking
- Presentations that reflect an understanding of diabetes and how it relates to Mya's symptoms
Learn More:Learn more about the 5Es.