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Human Body Element Research
Ginger Hawhee
10th grade    120 minutes



Lesson created on 6/18/1999 11:31:00 AM EST.
Last modified 11/17/1999 2:55:35 PM EST.


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Abstract  (help)


During this lesson, individual students research one of the 26 human body elements. Students access information on a selected element common in the human body. They research the function in the human body, compounds easily formed, degree of reactivity, abundance, and associated human health problems caused by that element or compounds it forms. They see the relevance and impact of these elements on health, and further their understanding of the periodic table.

National Standards  (help)


Physical Science: An element is composed of a single type of atom. When elements are listed in order according to the number of protons (called the atomic number), repeating patterns of physical and chemical properties identify families of elements with similar properties. This "Periodic Table" is the consequence of the repeating pattern of outermost electrons and their permitted energies. Atoms interact with one another by transferring or sharing electrons that are furthest from the nucleus. These outer electrons govern the chemical properties of the element. Chemical reactions occur all around us, for example in health care, cooking, cosmetics, and automobiles. Complex chemical reactions involving carbon-based molecules take place constantly in every cell in our bodies.<

Pre-requisite Skills  (help)


Knowledge of the systems of the human body and their relevance to human health. Periodic Table trends. Knowledge of web productivity software or html.

Teacher Information  (help)


a. Time frame: 120 minutes b. Materials: World Wide Web access, Reference Texts (Human Anatomy/Physiology Texts included), Poster Paper, Markers c. Resources: Periodic Tables previously prepared in the activity, "Mapping Trends", reference texts (Human Anatomy/Physiology texts included), World Wide Web access; http://www.modlife.com/MLG/body.html-(human body elements chart), and http://www.galaxy.net/~k12/matter/bodychem.shtml-(enrichment/alternate activity). d. Procedures/Strategies: -Teacher Instruction: Have students review the common systems found in the human body and their functions by using KWL model (what students Know, what they Want to know, and what they Learned). Set this up by generating a list of 10 common systems of the human body. Ask students to write the systems in their learning logs on the left hand side along with the function of each according to their knowledge (K). Instruct students to peer teach by having partners compare functions of each system. Have them collaboratively determine the best description of each system and record the description on the right side of their journal. Instruct students to add "W" and "L" on the right hand side (note-making). Randomly assign each student one of the elements found in the humans to research. Have students complete the guidelines listed on the student web page (see URL below). Guidelines for reseach: Find the following facts for the assigned element; name, symbol, atomic number, atomic mass, family on the periodic table (position), explanation of functions in the human body and or associated problems in human health, compounds it forms, its reactivity, its abundance in the human body, compounds it forms, its reactivity, and its abundance in the human body and in the natural world. -Individual Student Activity: Students research their element following listed guidelines. Students create a web page or hypercard stack demonstrating this information and present it to the entire class. If computer access is not available, students can make a poster showing the same information. During classmates presentations, all students record in their journals two facts for each element of the human body that are presented. -Student Lab: Students complete a reactivity lab similar to the activity found in the lesson, "Explorations of Reactivity". Groups are given three unknown human body elements to test for reactivity. Examples of elements that could be used are: potassium, sodium or magnesium for highly reactive; carbon or sulfur for less reactive elements and iron, manganese, copper and zinc as unreactive metals found in the human body.

Assessment  (help)


Web pages or posters will be graded according to the following rubric: 1 or A: Student has included all (10) of the required items, visually it is awesome, poster is presented and project is completed on time 2 or B: Student has included (8 of 10) of the required items, visually it is good, poster is presented and project completed on time 3 or C: Student has included (7 of 10) of the required items, visually it is average, poster is presented, project is completed on time. Incomplete (For further work to be resubmitted): Student has included (6 of 10) of the required items, visually it is satisfactory, poster is presented, project is completed on time.

Student Activity  (help)



Technology Requirements/Integration  (help)


World Wide Web access. Web productivity software




Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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