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You Can't Touch This: A Lesson on Osmosis and Diffusion

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Portable Document Format
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5.0 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings.
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Description To illustrate the diffusion of molecules across the cell membrane and the role concentration plays in the movement of water. This lab should be performed as an introduction to the cell unit (i.e., they should not already know about osmosis and diffusion). This lab is most applicable for an introductory biology course but could be used at any grade level from 6-12. Students will need to be familiar with the idea of homeostasis. Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to: explain how diffusion happens using the term concentration gradient and state the exact cause of the volume change occurring in the egg.
This teaching resource was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiological Society’s 2007 Frontiers in Physiology Program. For more information on this program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org.
Type of Resource Laboratory or Hands-On Activity
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Erin Odya, Warren Central High School
Development Date August 1, 2007
Grade/Age Levels Middle School (Grades 6-8)
High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
National Science
Educational Standards
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K-12), Change, constancy, and measurement (K-12), Evidence, models, and explanation (K-12), Nature of science (5-8), Regulation and behavior (5-8), Science as a human endeavor (K-12), Structure and function in living systems (5-8), The cell (9-12), Understandings about scientific inquiry (K-12)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date December 6, 2010
Suggested Use

Anyone who is learning to flip their classroom and add inquiry would benefit from this resource.  It is complete with resources, links, worksheets and rubrics.  I plan to use this resource this fall as I learn to have a more student-led classroom.  Excellent resource.

Cathia Acton, The Burlington School

This a well structured learning cycle inquiry version of huge classic egg diffusion/osmosis lab.  The resource links are extensive and very helpful.

Rachel Beattie, Lincoln-Way East High School

I agree with the other commenters! The only thing that I'd like to add is that the webquests require the students to determine how reliable they think the websites are... which is such a great skill for them to learn!

Aubrey Mikos, Serena High School

This activity could be complimented with an on-line introduction (http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/virtual_labs/LS03/LS03.html) so that students can get to work on their ideas. A required lab experience for high school biology students.

David Upegui, Central Fall High School

This is a wonderful lab activity for students to learn about osmosis. It takes the basic egg lab often used when teaching osmosis and makes it much more inquiry based. The activity utilizes many different teaching methods for students to learn. The author provides great resources such as rubrics, links to additional information, and all of the student worksheets.
Pauline Schork, Clinton High School

This is a great resource for high school students who will utilize basic lab techniques, practice using the scientific method, be exposed to technology use, and gain hands-on, inquiry-based learning experience involving diffusion and osmosis. This activity is complete with rubrics, internet resources, and student worksheets. A well rounded resource! -Leslie Worton, Fresno USD, Life Science Teacher
Leslie Worton, Edison High School

This lesson plan gives a great overview of how to use a de-shelled egg to guide students through an inquiry lesson to learn about osmosis. The author provides great suggestions, extension, resources, and links to helpful websites. You might have used the “egg activity” to teach about osmosis before, but this resource will likely provide guidance to build inquiry and richness into the lesson. Recommended for general biology, grades 6-12.
Mary Eldredge-Sandbo, United Public School District #7

A straight-forward inquiry approach to learning osmosis
Robert Carroll, Brody School of Medicine


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