10 Amazing Facts About Our Human Body

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Publication date:
Publisher:

10 Amazing Facts About Our Human Body. (2012, September 19). Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/19/10-amazing-human-body-facts.aspx

Flesch–Kincaid

13.2

Description

This article talks about 10 amazing facts about our human body.  Some of the topics include shocking facts like how eating boogers might be healthy, and loneliness is physically painful. This is something that students can enjoy reading apart from the class textbook, and this can be easily accessible to many students. Although the reading level of this article is around 11th grade, the text is straightforward and is very easy to follow because information is separated by headings. The way this article is organized makes it easy to read.

Readability

The Flesch-Kincaid formula scored this article at 13.2. This may not be too easy for students who have lower reading comprehension skills.  This article contains information based on a part of students’ daily lives which makes it very relatable. This article will be a good source to build vocabulary skills as terms are defined in context. Each part of the information is organized into two parts: Questions and Answers.  This style helps students to comprehend the text better. The ideas are expressed clearly and the word choice is appropriate.

Use in Class

This article will be read to the whole class by a teacher. The article is above the reading level of the intended grade; however, the questions are very appealing and will trigger the curiosity of students’ with various reading levels so all students will want to read/hear the answers. This article will be a good resource for students with low reading levels to strengthen their vocabulary and comprehension skills. It is recommended that teachers define vocabulary and explain certain facts that may be not easy for students on a lower reading level.
This article can be printed and posted on a bulletin board for students to view until the unit is over.

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Yookyung Chung

Physiology DeMYSTiFied

Laym, Dale
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Publication date:
Publisher:

Layman, D. (2004). Physiology demystified. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Flesch–Kincaid

11.7

Description

This book begins with solid, basic information and gently guides the reader through as the subject matter becomes more complex. The book is organized as a self-teaching guide that contains very thorough explanations and analogies. The book covers various topics such as function and interaction of bodily systems, comparative physiology, physiology of muscle, nerves and glands, motor functions, autonomic nerves and the endocrine system, and digestive and genitourinary systems.  This text is relevant for BIO4 and AP Biology. This book contains heavy information on physiology. It is recommended for students who have advanced reading skills and comprehension skills. Due to the amount of information it provides, students who may be thinking about their career path in health field will greatly enjoy it.

Readability

This book is generally appropriate for students at or above 12th grade reading level according to Flesch-Kincaid formula. The vocabulary choice is very scientific. New vocabulary is italicized and some words are bold-faced. There is a pronunciation guide next to new vocabulary. The conceptual level is appropriate for 12th grade or college level. Major ideas are bold-faced and new concepts are developed through examples, icons, and illustrations to help clarify each idea. The author re-defines key terms and re-states key facts that may be necessary to understand later chapters. The book comes with key points, background information, and questions at the end of each chapter which helps students to recall important information. The ideas are expressed clearly and directly as each chapter contains headings and subheadings. The tone and manner of expression are professional. It is a paperback book, which is appropriate for this type of text. Overall, this book is very clear for its intended purpose and convenient to use.

Use in Class

This book will be used for students who have reading level skills of 12th or higher. This group of students are encouraged to read independently. Each student can write down a summary of key facts in the chapters that they wish to read.

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Yookyung Chung

The Man Who Touched His Own Heart

Dunn, Rob
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Publication date:
Publisher:

Dunn, R. (2015). The man who touched his own heart: True tales of science, surgery, and mystery. New Yok, NY: Little, Brown Company.

Flesch–Kincaid

8.0

Description

The Man Who Touched His Heart tells the story of a man who dug up a cadaver to take its heart, performed the first heart transplant surgery which needed to be finished within three minutes, and the developed medical technology to prolong the lives of people suffering from heart-related illness. A German physician, Werner Forssmann, is highlighted in this book, as he was the first doctor who inserted 3 urethral catheters in his arm and guided it up to the right atrium of the heart. Later, he won a Nobel Prize. The book contains rich information of the history of science related to the heart.
This will be a good book for students to read as they are learning the circulatory system for BIO4. Also, the student can easily engage with this book as the book was written at 8th grade reading level. This book starts with a personal story about the author’s grandmother who was ill due to heart failure. Students can relate themselves to the book as the author shares about his personal life story. The book has great information for students to learn about the heart yet it is written like a novel, which helps students to easily approach the text.

Readability

This book is generally appropriate for the intended grade level or higher according to Flesch-Kincaid formula, as it scored 8.0. The ideas are expressed clearly and the word choice is appropriate. The vocabulary used in this book is generally appropriate for the intended grade or higher.  The book size is suitable and the cover color is very eye catching. The text size is medium-sized; not too small and not too big. There are a few pictures throughout the book. These images are helpful when the author explains the pathway of blood circulation throughout the heart, and helpful when the names of the parts of a heart are illustrated.

Use in Class

This text is easily accessible and comprehensible to all students at 8th grade reading levels or higher.  Teachers are encourage to read one chapter to the whole class as a read aloud activity. It is recommended to read chapter one as it contains information on the anatomy of the heart which is relevant to the circulatory system under BIO4.

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Yookyung Chung’

The man who touched his own heart

Dunn, Rob
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Publication date:
Publisher:

Dunn, R. (2015). The man who touched his own heart: True tales of science, surgery, and mystery. New Yok, NY: Little, Brown Company.

Flesch–Kincaid

8.0

Description

Readability

Use in Class

Unit Focus

Submitted by Yookyung Chung

10 interesting things about the human body

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Publication date:
Publisher:

10 Interesting Things About The Human Body. (2011, May 17). Retrieved June 17, 2015, from http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/05/10-interesting-things-about-the-human-body/

Flesch–Kincaid

11.0

Description

This article talks about 10 amazing facts about our human body. There are 10 interesting facts and additional explanations. Some of the topics are shocking facts – eating boogers might be healthy and loneliness is physically painful. This is something that students can enjoy reading a part from the class textbook and this can be easily accessible to many students. The reading level of this article is at 11th grade. However, the text is straightforward and it is very easy to follow the article as informations are separated by 10 headings. The way this article is organized makes it easy to read alone.

Readability

The Flesch-Kincaid formula scored this article at 11.0. This may not be too easy for students who have lower reading comprehension skills. However, this group of students can benefit from reading this article as this was written based on information that are part of students’ daily lives. This article will be a good source to build vocabulary skills as definitions are written next to vocabulary.

Use in Class

This article will be read to whole class by a teacher. Each amazing fact will be read each class instead of reading

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Yookyung Chung

Chemistry: A Volatile History

Author: Homan, Ros

Publication date: February 3rd, 2010
Publisher: BBC Four

Flesch–Kincaid

N/A

Description

This is a short, four-minute clip from a BBC documentary series called “Chemistry – A Volatile History.” The focus of this clip is Dmitri Mendeleev, the scientist credited with the first arrangement of the elements in a Periodic Table. Though Mendeleev’s Periodic Table looks significantly different from the Periodic Table one might see on the wall of a chemistry laboratory, the underlying principles that govern its arrangement are the same. The video introduces viewers to Mendeleev and tells the story of his discovery: arranging the elements by both chemical properties and atomic mass.

Readability

This film clip is conceptually appropriate and accessible for most students in a high school general chemistry class. It consists of narration accompanying appealing visuals to help illustrate concepts. For instance, as the narrator describes how Mendeleev arranged the elements in the Table, the film shows him placing cards, each with an element written on it, on a table, and arranging them by atomic mass and chemical properties. The strong visuals associated with the direct, clear narration make this video clip accessible to high school students of general chemistry. It is especially beneficial for students who are visual and auditory learners, as hearing the concepts explained by a narrative voice and seeing accompanying video helps these students grasp new ideas.

Use in Class

Students could watch this video together, as a whole group, and while they watch they will use a jot chart (which I would prepare) to write down key concepts. After watching the video once, I would divide the class into groups of four students each, and ask the students to engage in a reciprocal teaching exercise. One student would summarize what happened in the video, a second student would ask questions about the video, a third student would clarify or attempt to answer the proposed questions, and a fourth student would predict what we will learn next. In this particular case, the student would be asked to make predictions such as, “What discoveries about the Periodic Table occurred after Mendeleev?” or “Did Mendeleev get it all ‘right’? How will the Periodic Table change after Mendeleev?”

Unit Focus

Chemistry

Submitted by Molly McMahan

The Disappearing Spoon

Author: Kean, Sam

Publication date: July 12th, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Flesch–Kincaid

12.0

Description

This bestselling history of the elements takes readers through a journey of invention, discovery, politics, betrayal, and romance. The Disappearing Spoon is a comprehensive account of the Periodic Table, infusing elements of literature, history, and compelling story-telling. The book covers the organization of the Table, column by column and row by row. It also details the stuff of atoms themselves, and how atoms of new elements are made. The text tells stories of the chemical reasons for poisons, how elements exist in the human body, how they are used in paper money and in art, and even in outer space.

Readability

This text is written at a high reading level, receiving a Flesch-Kincaid rating of 12.0, though it might more accurately be categorized as an early college-level text. It reads as a fusion between a fictional collection of stories and a nonfiction science writing book. The book uses varied vocabulary and figurative language, appropriate for a seasoned reader. The writing style is informative, though the author’s voice is that of a storyteller. The concepts in this book complement the material in a high school general chemistry class nicely, and are appropriate for high school students. The book is organized like a chapter book, which provides a familiar format to many avid readers, although section headings and notes in the margins to guide readers are absent. The font size is medium and readable, but most pages are 100% filled with words; there are occasional black-and-white photographs sprinkled throughout the text.

Use in Class

The “storytelling feel” of this book lends it nicely to be used as a read-aloud in class. As a teacher reading aloud to my class, I would practice modeling to students while I read by interrupting myself to define new vocabulary, ask questions, and make predictions. Further, I will be able to use my tone and inflection to demonstrate to students how the reading “should” sound when they read it to themselves. Because this text incorporates most chemical concepts that would be learned in a high school general chemistry course, it could be used as a read-aloud for the whole school year, not just the unit on the periodic table.

Unit Focus

Chemistry

Submitted by Molly McMahan

The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation

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Nachman, Michael
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Publication date: 2012
Publisher: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Nachman, M. (2012). The Making of the Fittest: Natural Selection and Adaptation | HHMI’s BioInteractive. Retrieved June 14, 2015.

Flesch–Kincaid N/A but high school level

Description

This fun film shows that not only is evolution happening right now, everywhere around us, but adaptive changes can occur in a population with remarkable speed. For example, this speed is essential if you’re a desert pocket mouse living in an environment where a volcanic eruption can reverse selective pressure in nearly an instant (as shown in the film). The film features Dr. Michael Nachman, whose work in the field and in the lab has quantified the selective pressure of predators and identified the genes involved in adaptation. In a complete story, from ecosystem to molecules, pocket mice show us how random changes in the genome can take many paths to the same adaptation—a colored coat that hides them from predators.

Readability

The is a film, so readability isn’t directly related, but as far as its “understandability,” I would say it is great for high school students of all levels. It is visually interesting and explains evolution well using the real life example of the pocket mouse. The scientists in the film do not try to use large words in order to sound competent, but instead talk to the viewers as intelligent individuals while avoiding hard vocabulary.

Use in Class

At only 10.5 minutes long, this short film would be a fantastic break from reading texts or books alike. I would use this film after the class has at least read the basic tenants of evolution. Perhaps it would be good to cap the evolution section of our textbook with this film, although I like its accessibility, so perhaps midway through would be best.

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Luke Evancoe

Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures

Piper, Ross
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Publication date:2013
Publisher:Thames and Hudson

Piper, R. (2013). Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures. New York: Thames and Hudson

Flesch–Kincaid

12.9

Description

What most of us think of as the animal kingdom really only accounts for a tiny portion of the tens of millions of species that inhabit our planet. This book, Animal Earth, is an unbiased tour of this (still) largely undiscovered world, illuminating the bizarre appearances and hidden lives of the creatures that share our planet, but which we’ve rarely seen. What is perhaps more surprising is that this bewildering range of animal species can be traced to a small number of lineages, sharing a common body plan and evolutionary history. Animal Earth not only provides an evenhanded summary of each but also reflects the latest research on the evolutionary relationships between species. It contains beautiful, color photographs that draw the reader in and make them want to stay. It’s a large book and resembles a textbook in many ways, from its organization and readability.

Readability

The readability of this text would likely be described as “post-high school,” but I believe that is because it often uses rather long sentences – the wording isn’t overly complicated though. I would use this in an advanced high school biology class, not only for the written content, but especially for the visuals, which are stunning. This is the only book in my text set that I think the visuals steal the show and make it important to expose high school students to.

Use in Class

This book is written and organized much like a textbook, so I would probably have to use it sparingly, but it could very well be a great resource regardless of that fact. Like I mentioned, I am most impressed with the visuals, so in-class heterogeneous group readings may be what’s in order in this case. I imagine that I could photocopy some visuals from this text into testing material because I think the visuals will help the information stick well and jog students’ memories.

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Luke Evancoe

In Search of the Causes of Evolution: From Field Observations to Mechanisms

Grant, Peter
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Publication date:2010
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Grant, P. (2010). In Search of the Causes of Evolution: From Field Observations to Mechanisms. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Flesch–Kincaid

10.2

Description

This book brings together many of today’s pioneers in evolutionary biology to describe the latest advances and explain why a cross-disciplinary and integrated approach to research questions is so essential. The book’s contributors discuss the origins of biological diversity, mechanisms of evolutionary change at the molecular and developmental levels, morphology and behavior, and the ecology of adaptive radiations and speciation. They highlight the mutual dependence of organisms and their environments, and reveal the different strategies today’s researchers are using in the field and laboratory to explore this interdependence. Peter and Rosemary Grant (the editors of this work) are renowned for their influential work on Darwin’s finches in the Galápagos, and provide concise introductions to each section and identify the key questions future research needs to address.

Readability

This book is somewhat hard to rate as far as readability goes because there are numerous contributors who differ slightly in their wording. Overall, it is a solid book that mid-higher level high school students should be able to read and digest due to the numerous maps, illustrations, and graphs. The layout is somewhat helpful due to the fact that each chapter shows the individuality of the scientist writing it; students may be drawn more to one author than another – and that’s alright. In fact, siding with one scientist could be fuel for a student to read carefully in order to back up their opinion! A great class discussion could be had.

Use in Class

This book is especially effective because it has multiple contributors who speak about research related to evolution. This is significant because it takes the Theory of Evolution out of the textbook and shows how it is actually researched in the field today. It was published in 2010, so at the moment it is relatively recent. I think it is imperative to use a book like this in class to supplement other textbook literature because it specifically talks about findings that scientists have found recently, rather than just a broad picture of Evolutionary Theory. Jigsaw reading this book is a possible way to break up the class to read specific parts, then re-convene to discuss!

Unit Focus

Biology

Submitted by Luke Evancoe