Directions 1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit. Show slide 2 of the 2.1 Zooming Into Plants, Animals, and Decomposers PPT . 2. Discuss students’ ideas about how animals, plants, and decomposers are alike and different. Use the PPT and worksheet to initiate a discussion of how animals, plants, and decomposers are alike and different. Distribute one copy of 2.1 Comparing Plants, Animals, and Decomposers Worksheet to each student. Show Slides 3-4 of 2.1 Zooming Into Plants, Animals, and Decomposers PPT. Discuss how to use the Venn diagram to identify characteristics that are alike and different and practice locating one characteristic from the list on the diagram. Show Slides 5-7 of the PPT, asking students to notice how the Zooming In animations are alike and different. Draw or project the Venn diagram on a whiteboard. Have students discuss where each characteristic from their list belongs on the Venn diagram. 3. Discuss shared characteristics in terms of structure and function. Show Slides 8 and 9 of the PPT Have students correct their worksheets based on this slide and save their worksheets. (They will refer back to them in Activity 2.4.) Discuss why the slide has two columns for Structure and Function. Tell the students that we will be using those words in the future, so they need to understand the distinction. Slide 9 has structure and function questions that the students will answer in the rest of the unit. 4. (Optional) Have students read about cells. Have middle school and lower level high school students with limited prior knowledge about cells, read the 2.1 Cells: The Building Blocks of Organisms Reading using the Questions, Connections, Questions Student Reading Strategy. See the Questions, Connections, Questions Reading Strategy Educator Resource document for information about how to engage students with this strategy. As students read with a partner, have them stop and discuss the italicized questions in the reading with their partner. After pairs are finished reading, have students share with the class what they found interesting and any questions they have. 5. Discuss structure questions about cells. Slides 10 and 11 address the two structure questions about cells in Slide 9 Show the students Slide 10, then you have a choice: Option 1: Give students time to explore the website sliders and report what they found about cells. Option 2: Show the sliders on the display computer and look for cells with the students. Option 3: Look back at Slides 5-7 for the approximate size of animal, plant, and decomposer cells. (A narrower range of cell sizes than cells in general.) Show students Slide 11 and ask for their ideas and questions. (Their questions will be addressed in Activity 2.2.) 6. Discuss function questions about cells Slides 12-14 address the two function questions on Slide 9. Slide 12 addresses how cells work together to accomplish the macroscopic functions of organisms. Pause after showing each question to get students’ ideas before showing the answer. Slide 13 elicits students’ ideas and questions about how cells grow and function. Use Slide 14 to remind students of the Three Questions, which they should remember from Systems and Scale. They will be learning to explain cell functions by describing movement of matter, and changes in matter and energy, at the atomic-molecular scale. Point out the Three Questions 11x17 Poster on the wall. 7. Have students complete an exit ticket. Show slide 15 of the 2.1 Zooming Into Plants, Animals, and Decomposers PPT. Conclusions: What do animals, plants, and decomposers have in common? Predictions: What do you think cells are made up of? On a sheet of paper or a sticky note, have students individually answer the exit ticket questions. Depending on time, you may have students answer both questions, assign students to answer a particular question, or let students choose one question to answer. Collect and review the answers. The conclusions question will provide you with information about what your students are taking away from the activity. Student answers to the conclusions question can be used on the Driving Questions Board (if you are using one). The predictions question allows students to begin thinking about the next activity and allows you to assess their current ideas as you prepare for the next activity. Student answers to the predictions question can be used as a lead into the next activity.