OpenSciEd: 7.3 Metabolic Reactions 1-Class Unit Kit


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Grades 6–8. In Unit 7.3 Metabolic Reactions, Carolina Certified Version*, students work to answer the Unit Driving Question: "How do things inside our bodies work together to make us feel the way we do?"

This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M'Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she ate, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, despite consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M'Kenna's body might be functioning differently from a healthy system and why. Students investigate data specific to M'Kenna's case in the form of doctor's notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M'Kenna's symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M'Kenna's different symptoms are connected.

Through these investigations, students:

  • Develop and use a model to explain how food is rearranged through chemical reactions, forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through the human body.
  • Develop and use a model to explain how different subsystems of the body work together to provide cells what they need to function.
  • Construct and defend a scientific explanation of how M'Kenna's condition (celiac disease) leads to weight loss and lack of energy.
  • Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental factors, such as food intake, influence the growth of animals.

This 1-Class Unit Kit includes basic teacher access to instructional materials on, plus the materials needed to teach 1 class of 32 students per day.

Building Toward NGSS Performance Expectations

  • MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • MS-LS1-3: Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
  • MS-LS1-5: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • MS-LS1-7: Develop a model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as this matter moves through an organism.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Focal Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • LS1.A
  • LS1.B
  • LS1.C
  • PS3.D
  • PS1.A
  • PS1.B

Focal Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Systems and System Models
  • Structure and Function

*All enhancements to materials and instruction for this Carolina Certified Version of the unit are approved by OpenSciEd to preserve the integrity of the storyline and the instructional model.


Shipping Information or Purchase Restrictions
  • Contact us for program details and pricing. Call 800.334.5551. Limited Qty: Flammable Gas - This product is/contains a limited quantity of a DOT regulated hazardous material. This item will not incur a hazmat fee when shipped by ground. Orders shipping to HI and AK are subject to review and may incur additional shipping charges.
What’s Included:
  •  Unit Technology Pack (basic digital access to teacher's guide and all instructional resources for the teacher)
  •  Cups, 20 oz
  •  Food Molecule Card Sets
  •  Knives
  •  Lighters, Butane
  •  Pie Tins
  •  Rulers
  •  Spoons
  •  Amylase Powder
  •  Benedict's Solution
  •  Bromthymol Blue Solution, 0.04%
  •  Candlewicks
  •  Cups, Plastic, 4 oz
  •  Cups, Plastic, 8 oz
  •  Dental Floss
  •  Dialysis Tubing
  •  Drinking Straws
  •  Foam Cup Lids
  •  Foam Cups
  •  Glucose Solution
  •  Iodine Solution
  •  Labels, Color-Coding
  •  Note Cards, Assorted
  •  Note Pads, Self-Adhesive, Medium
  •  Pipettes
  •  Rice
  •  Starch Solution
  •  Tubes, Microcentrifuge
  •  Vegetable Oil
  •  Weighing Dishes, Aluminum
Needed But Not Included:
Return Policy:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with this item, it is eligible for a return, exchange, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase. Restrictions may apply. Returns & Exchanges Policy.