Food Allergies Unit
Sensemaking is actively trying to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering). Students do science and engineering through the science and engineering practices. Engaging in these practices necessitates that students be part of a learning community to be able to share ideas, evaluate competing ideas, give and receive critique, and reach consensus. Whether this community of learners is made up of classmates or family members, students and adults build and refine science and engineering knowledge together.
High school students, as scientists, investigate differences between food allergies and intolerances. Students watch a video and conclude that proteins seem to be involved in both cases. Students research food allergies and intolerances and develop a model to begin to explain what happens with the proteins in the body when food proteins are introduced. Students work together to create a model of what they might see happening in a typical human body when food is eaten versus what happens in the body of someone who is allergic or intolerant.
This is Lesson 2 of the Food Allergies Unit.
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Per Small Group (2 to 4 students)
This lesson is one of seven lessons in the Food Allergy Storyline Unit. Storylines start with an anchoring phenomenon that raises questions or introduces a problem. Each step in a storyline unit is then driven by students’ questions that arise from the phenomenon.
In this case, the anchoring phenomenon is something familiar yet still mysterious to this generation of students - bans on certain foods in their cafeterias and classrooms. Students will probably be able to connect the bans to food allergies but might not be able to explain why a person has food allergies. Students to consider what they do and don't know about food allergies and what they want to find out. This gives them a reason for investigating the biological mechanism behind food allergies and intolerances. In doing so, they will make sense of Disciplinary Core Ideas related to genetics and genomics. The food allergy storyline allows students to develop science ideas related to LS1.A Structure and Function and LS3.A Inheritance of Traits.