The class will need the following:
Review with middle school students the menstrual cycle and fertilization. Then discuss the issues facing infertile couples. Ask students whether they know what options infertile couples have. Are they familiar with any forms of assisted reproduction? Do not move forward with this discussion if students appear uncomfortable. You may use this session as an opportunity to review the physiology of reproduction.
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work:
IVF is one of many types of assisted reproductive technology. Have students research others. Students can make a graph to compare the success rates of different technologies in a given year (e.g., 1999), or they can graph the success rate of one technology over a period of time.
In Vitro in the Lab
Using sea urchins, students can perform in vitro fertilization at school. Purchase the Sea Urchin Embryology Kit, available through Carolina Biological Supply Company (#CE-16-2505); it includes all the materials necessary to induce ovulation and perform fertilization in a petri dish. Refer to the online catalog at www.carolina.com. ( Note: If you order online, use #WW-16-2505.)
Cloning (Lucent Overview series)
Jeanne DuPrau.Lucent, 2000.
Once the subject of science fiction, cloning is the next reproductive frontier, already in use in agriculture. While cloning sheep makes the news now, will it be human cloning in the future? This informative introduction to the topic explains today's technology and possible future applications as well as the ethical issues that surround cloning. Occasional illustrations and photographs are included.
Conquering Infertility: Medical Challenges and Moral Dilemmas
Elizabeth L. Marshall. Franklin Watts, 1997.
Beginning with a brief history of the causes and diagnoses of infertility, the author describes current treatments and reproductive choices potential parents must make. The need for laws regulating these new methods is discussed as well. An extensive glossary and list of resources follow the text.
Definition: The female reproductive cell produced in the ovary.
Context: Girls are born with all theeggsthey will ever have during their lives.
Definition: A medication that helps increase the likelihood of conception by increasing the number of eggs that mature each month.
Context: Fertility drugshave helped thousands of women become pregnant.
Definition: The fusion of a sperm and egg, which usually takes place in the fallopian tube.
Context: Afterfertilizationtakes place, the fertilized egg moves toward the uterus.
Definition: A chemical secreted by the body that has a specific effect on activities occurring in other parts of the body.
Context: Hormonesare responsible for the successful functioning of the reproductive system.
Definition: The process by which a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus.
Context: Afterimplantationoccurs, the fertilized egg begins to develop into a fetus.
Definition: The monthly cycle, usually about 28 days, during which the egg matures in the ovary (at about the 14th day), followed by the discharge of tissue and blood from the uterus at the 28th day if no pregnancy has occurred.
Context: Girls usually begin theirmenstrual cyclesbetween the ages of 10 and 16.
Definition: The female reproductive organ in which eggs are formed.
Context: Every month an egg in one of theovariesmatures in preparation for fertilization.
Definition: The process of releasing an egg from the ovary.
Context: Ovulationusually takes place about 14 days before a woman begins menstruation.
Definition: The male reproductive cell.
Context: It takes just onespermto fertilize an egg.
Definition: A fertilized egg.
Context: After the egg and the sperm have fused, thezygotemay begin to develop in the uterus.
This lesson plan may be used to address the academic standards listed below. These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education: 2nd Edition and have been provided courtesy of theMid-continent Research for Education and Learningin Aurora, Colorado.
Grade level: 9-12
Subject area: Life Science
Understands the structure and function of cells and organisms.
Knows how cell functions are regulated through changes in activity of the functions performed by proteins and through selective expression of genes and how this regulation allows cells to respond to their environment and to control and coordinate cell growth and division.
Donna Clem, biology teacher, Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, Maryland.
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