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Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

Body Systems | NGSS

Body Systems | NGSS

~20 40 to 50 minute class periods

How do we know if a medicine is safe and effective?
Students investigate questions about how systems in their bodies work together and what happens if one of those systems isn’t working properly. They also develop and use models to describe how their bodies turn food into energy that their bodies can use.

PE Assessment Example: Imagine you just dipped your foot into a swimming pool. You expected the pool to be warm, but it was ice cold! Which of your body systems help you gather and synthesize information to react to this situation? Explain the cause and effect sequence that leads to your reaction.

Body Systems is part of Issues and Science three year middle school program, designed by SEPUP at the Lawrence Hall of Science. This four week unit anchors the lessons around the the socio-science issue: How do we know if a medicine is safe and effective? Investigative phenomena within the 14 activities connect back to the issue and storyline. This unit builds towards and assesses PEs LS1-3, LS1-8, plus part of LS1-7.


Content in Body Systems | NGSS is organized into 14 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
1. The Pellagra Story View and Reflect Students learn about how scientists gather evidence on the functioning of the human body through a video segment on pellagra and a short reading about modern clinical trials.
2. Parts of a Whole Modeling Students begin to learn about major organs and systems in the human body. First, they complete an activity that exposes their current knowledge and ideas about the sizes and locations of specific organs. They then create a three-dimensional model of selected organs and structures and revisit their ideas about the human body.
3. What's Happening Inside? Investigation Students learn about systems in the human body and their functions. Students group Organ or Structure Cards into systems and explore the function of organs and their associated body systems.
4. An Absorbing Tale Reading Students read about functions and structures of the human digestive system. The reading also introduces the idea of system interactions between the muscular and circulatory systems.
5. Food Breakdown Modeling Students use information provided in the text to develop physical models of proteins and carbohydrates. They use these models to explore the breakdown of food during digestion and the use of the resulting subunits as building blocks for human proteins (in the case of amino acids) or for generating usable energy (in the case of sugars). They create drawn models to represent the use of food as a source for matter and energy.
6. Observing Organisms Laboratory Students investigate the behavior of living organisms (blackworms) in response to touch (stimulus response).
7. Can You Feel the Difference? Laboratory In Part A, students explore their individual sensitivity to touch. They test their abilities to feel the difference between one and two points on different parts of their hands and arms. In Part B, students further investigate human sensitivity to touch by determining the smallest distance at which they can still feel two points. This experience reinforces the concept of sensory limitations and explores the phenomenon of variation among individuals.
8. Finding the Nerve Reading Students read more about the human nervous system, how it functions, and how it interacts with other systems in the human body.
9. Heartily Fit Laboratory Students collect data on their heart and respiratory rates by measuring their pulses and breathing rates before and after moderate-impact exercises. They analyze the data to establish the relationship between circulatory and respiratory function during exercise. As an Extension, students can measure the effect on recovery time of regular exercise performed over a month-long period.
10. Gas Exchange Laboratory This activity explores the role of the respiratory system in the regulation of gases in the blood. Students investigate how to quantitatively measure the amount of carbon dioxide in their exhaled breath by using an indicator to perform a titration.
11. Interacting Systems Reading Students use the Stop to Think strategy as they read about levels of organization in the circulatory and respiratory systems, and how these systems and subsystems interact with each other and the digestive system to maintain life.
12. The Circulation Game Modeling As a class, students model the path of blood as it travels through the human circulatory system to the lungs and other organs. The activity emphasizes the transport function of blood, particularly the transport of gases, nutrients, and wastes, and how the circulatory system interacts with other body systems.
13. Testing Medicines: A Clinical Trial Investigation Students simulate a clinical trial to investigate how medicines are tested. In this model, students participate in a taste test to stimulate the clinical trial of a new headache medicine. The class pools results and draws conclusions based on their data.
14. Evaluating Clinical Trials Talking it Over Students work together to analyze the clinical trial results of three new headache medicines that a company is testing. Students look at effectiveness of the drugs and reported side effects. Students use this information to decide which drug should be put forward for further testing and development.

Lab-Aids® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Body Systems | NGSS unit:

Body Systems | NGSS

Student Book

The Student Book guides students in exploring a socio-science issue and connected phemonena through a series of varied activity types. Activity types use one of twelve different instructional strategies to apply Science and Engineering Practices to specific Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross Cutting Concepts.

SEPUP's integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing. The built-in assessment system helps teachers identify students' strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the unit. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science. At the back of the Student Book there is an Appendix containing additional resources for students, such as science skills, literacy strategies, and media literacy among others.

Body Systems | NGSS

Lab-Aids® Science Lab Notebook

A science notebook not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The Lab-Aids Science Lab Notebook is designed to support best practice note-booking strategies. It includes three-hole punched pages in a two-column design for Cornell-style notes. GraphAnywhere pages allow students to both write and easily create data-tables and graphs anywhere on the page. The unique “Lab-Log” column serves as a blank canvas for drawings, connections, and self-reflective notes. 160 pages total.pages total.

Body Systems | NGSS

Complete Equipment Package

Lab-Aids programs include high-quality equipment for each activity. This includes innovative lab-ware to be used throughout the year, specific solutions and materials for unique labs, as well as items needed for card sorts, modeling, role-plays, and projects.

Materials for up to 5 classes of 32 students, mobile storage cart, Online Portal for one teacher includes online subscription to Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book in English/Spanish (E/S), student sheets (E/S), visual aids (E/S), PowerPoints, online assessment system, LABsent, and supplemental resources)

Body Systems | NGSS

Teacher Edition and Resources

The SEPUP Teacher Edition (TE) guides you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the unit. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher Edition text is broken down into several sections, such as Activity Overview, NGSS Connections and Correlations, Materials and Advanced Prep, Teaching Summary, and Background information to name a few. The Teacher Edition is packaged as a color-printed, loose-leaf binder which allows you to personalize it with highlighting, annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. It provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher Resource book.

The Teacher Resource (TR) provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Some sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing, and comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System. There is also a section containing unit specific resources, such as overviews, unit storyline and phenomena table, NGSS correlations, assessment blueprints, and item banks.

Online Portal for Students

Access to Student online portal for 1 year, which includes: the digital Student Book (Spanish coming soon), additional resources, and LABsent sheets and videos for absent students. Ability to highlight, bookmark and make notes in the Student Book, complete homework and assessments, and communicate with the teacher. Also available as multi-year subscriptions.

Online Portal for Teachers

Access to Teacher online portal for 7 years, which includes: online subscription to the Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book (Spanish coming soon), LABsent sheets & videos for absent students, Editable PowerPoints for each lesson, and integrated online assessment system. Ability to highlight, bookmark, and make notes in personal Student and Teacher books, create and assign homework and assessments, and communicate with students. Available as multi-year subscriptions. Single Sign-On (SSO) available