In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses the possibility that antibiotic resistance is spreading through ecosystems in Botswana because resistance in humans has been shared with many other organisms. Researchers found that antibiotic resistance is significantly higher in water-associated species and carnivores. Scientists believe they can use this information to increase their understanding of why and how species are becoming antibiotic-resistant, with the end goal of stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance in humans. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10
Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: antibiotic resistance, antibiotic, bacteria, gene transfer, ecosystem, food web, predators, microbes, E.coli, Botswana, text complexity
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain the significance of antibiotic resistance to public health.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Determine the central ideas of the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes the main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students should have a strong understanding of how bacteria reproduce. A general understanding of transformation, transduction, conjugation, and horizontal gene transfer would be beneficial.
- Bacteria reproduce in numbers by binary fission.
- This video titled "Bacterial Asexual Reproduction (Binary Fission)," uploaded by geneedinc, explains binary fission.
- Gene transfer includes transformation, transduction, and conjugation. This video titled "Exchange of Genetic Material (Gene Transfer) Transformation - Transduction - Conjugation," uploaded by Microbiotic, illustrates and explains the differences between all three.
- Students need a basic knowledge of how antibiotics work.
- Learn.Genetics has a detailed webpage titled "What is an Antibiotic?" that explains how different antibiotics work.
- In addition, Learn.Genetics also has a webpage titled "The Human Microbiome" that contains a plethora of microbiome resources, including interactive games/simulations.
- Antibiotics cause the evolution of bacteria. Because some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain antibiotics, they are the strains that survive and then pass on their traits to future bacteria.
- PBS has a roundtable discussion titled "The Evolving Enemy" that shares four statements from leading scientists about antibiotic resistance.
- The PBS Nova video titled "The Evolutionary Arms Race" (56 min.) is a great movie that explains how bacteria and humans are driving each others' evolution. The main focus is on the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.
- MRSA is a bacteria that most students are familiar with that is already antibiotic-resistant. This short 3-minute video titled "Truth about MRSA" gives a great introduction to MRSA.
For literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should understand the term "central idea" and be able to distinguish central ideas from key details.
- "Central idea" means the same thing as "main idea." The central idea is the author's main point about the topic or topics in a text. The central ideas are the dominant, most important, or chief ideas that emerge from all the ideas presented in a text. Students should be aware that the author can have several main points he or she wants to make about the topic or topics in a piece of writing, and as a result, there can be multiple central ideas in a text, especially in longer, more complex pieces.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in this article include: title, subtitle, headings, photograph, and caption.
- Students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next. This site provides transitions teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What are antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bacteria that cannot be killed by one, several, or any antibiotics.
- Where are bacteria found?
Students should know that bacteria can basically be found anywhere. That concept is important because it allows for the spread of antibiotic resistance quickly. There are not usually isolated.
- What is the direct source of E.coli? How is it transmitted?
The source of E.coli is feces of animals. Cross-contamination and contamination of water supplies are ways that E.coli is transmitted from one species to another.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by posing a general question to the class: "When was the last time you took antibiotics?"
Students will share their experiences. Most students will have taken an antibiotic by the time they reach high school. Some students may not be sure or may be unfamiliar with antibiotics. While students are sharing their experiences, ask them if they remember what they took the antibiotic for. Again, students may or may not know. At this point, do not address whether the antibiotics were prescribed correctly. Students may be easily mistaken as to why they took the antibiotics.
- Ask the students: "Do you know anyone who has everhadMRSA?"
At this point, there are usually one or two students that have encountered MRSA on one level or another.
- Ask: "Can anyone explainhowMRSA is different than other bacteria?"
Students may or may not know how MRSA is different. MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to many types of antibiotics and can cause infections in different parts of the body.
- Show students the following 5-minute TED-Ed video: What causes antibiotic resistance?
- Finally, ask students to predict what would happen in 100 yearsifMRSA would be able to infect all living organisms.
Students answers will vary. If MRSA was truly able to spread to all living organisms and it was resistant to ALL antibiotics, it could cause mass extinctions. Of course, because of evolution, it is likely that organisms will find a way to capitalize on the situation. Encourage outside-the box-thinking.
- Inform students that they will be reading an informational text about antibiotic-resistant species in Africa.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Provide each student with a copy of the article. For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. They can also number the sections. (Section 1 follows the subtitle, Section 2 "Keys to resistance," Section 3 "Sampling results," Section 4 "Aquatic life," Section 5 "Broad range of study.")
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
- Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information:
- Title: Wildlife Species Provide Clues to Spread of Antibiotic Resistance in Africa
- Subtitle: Scientists uncover ways exposure increases, and resistance moves among humans, other animals, ecosystems
- Headings: Keys to resistance, Sampling results, Aquatic life, Broad range of study
- Captions: Located under each photograph
- Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Note: Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the note-taking guide.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words. For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge and use a dictionary to define the words.
- Require students to define some or all of the "Words that make you go Hmmm..." that they identified. You might want to have all students define the same set of words.
- If students struggle with determining the meaning of the selected academic vocabulary, teachers might use the following definitions to guide them:
- Antibiotic: chemical substance that limits or stops the growth of bacteria; medicine given by doctors to stop bacterial infections
- Microbe: a pathogenic or disease-causing microorganism
- Arsenal: a collection or supply of anything; supply of weapons
- Emergence: the appearance of new species
- Mechanisms: the processes of how the antibiotic resistance has spread
- Antibiotic resistance: microbes that have genes that protect them against antibiotics
- Botswana: a country in South Africa; home to the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta
- Attributes: a quality or characteristic that would encourage transfer of antibiotic resistance
- Fecal: relating to excrement or feces
- E.coli: a strain of bacteria found in the feces of many animals
- Isolate: evidence of a specific microorganism; in this case the bacteria itself or pieces of it
- Multi-drug resistant: microbes that are resistant to multiple antibiotics, not just one
- Apparent: obvious or easily seen
- Habitat: the natural environment of a living organism
- Species position: the trophic level of an organism (producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, etc.)
- Spectrum: broad range
- Ubiquitous: everywhere
- Habitation: an area of residence
- Clinic sources: pertaining to a sickroom or hospital
- Inhabiting: to live or dwell in
- Urban: of or relating to a city or town
- Aquatic: of, in, or related to water
- Harbor: a place of shelter or refuge, to house or contain
- Consumption: the act of consuming or taking into the body in this case
- Inundated: covered with water
- Sediment: mineral or organic material that settles to the bottom of a liquid
- Transmission: the act of being passed from one another organism to another
- Food chain: organisms that are interrelated due to their feeding habits
- Novel: new or original
- Ecosystem: a group of organisms interacting with their environment and with each other
- Facilitating: to make easier or less difficult
- Accumulation: something that has been built up
- Unique: original, not seen before
- Niche: the position of an organism in a community
- Emerging: coming forth into view or notice
- Global proportions: worldwide; pertaining to the whole world
- Commercial agriculture: the process of raising, harvesting and/or selling food on a large scale
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- For discussion of students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to provide alternative suggestions as to how the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
- One of the biggest misconceptions about antibiotics is that they can be used to treat things like the common cold, which is caused by a virus. People often request antibiotics from their doctor when they have a cold and for whatever reason, doctors often give them to the patient. By using too many antibiotics throughout our lives, we encourage the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Students should know that antibiotics can save their lives, but that they should only use them when needed.
- One of the most important parts of taking an antibiotic is that the patient must finish all of their medicine/treatment!
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
- After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to present a with the class. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or withanLCD projector and discuss:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- Have students examine each of the body paragraphs to explain how each supports the main point of the piece.
- Have students identify where the writer effectively uses text evidence from the article for support of his or her points.
- Have students identify the use of transition words or phrases to make the ideas flow.
- Ask students to identify where domain-specific vocabulary is used accurately and effectively.
- Have students read the final paragraph to see how the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to the main point established in the introduction.
- As a final option, teachers might want students to use the rubric to provide a score for the sample written response and have them justify the score they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a 4.
- Ask students to complete and submit an "exit ticket" answering the following question: "What is the significance of the research in Africa on public health?"
- Students answers will vary. The biggest significance would revolve around the fact that the research may lead to a better understanding of how the antibiotic bacteria are being spread, therefore hopefully finding a way to slow the process of transmission.
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts:
Bacteria are rapidly evolving and becoming harder to treat effectively with antibiotics. After reading this article, explain the significance of the widespread presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Botswana's urban and rural areas on public health. Be sure to use evidence from the text to support your answer.
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science content:
- This video (5 min.) titled "The Antibiotic Apocalypse Explained" offers a great introduction to antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. The video also discusses what could happen in the future if antibiotics are not used and prescribed correctly.
For readers struggling with the note-taking guide:
- Teachers might want to fill in some answers on the graphic organizer, leaving students to fill in the remaining blank boxes in between the provided answers.
For readers struggling with the text:
- It might benefit students to chunk the text. Have students independently read section one, then have several strong readers read section one aloud.
- Then, have students highlight key terms for section one of the article. Work with students to model ways to define a few of the academic vocabulary words to get them started. The teacher can think aloud as he or she decides which vocabulary strategy or strategies to use to define a word, and think aloud while deciding which meaning from a dictionary entry with multiple meanings would be the best fit for how the word is used in the context of the article.
- Then, have students complete the note-taking guide for the rest of section one. When students are ready, have them share out their answers and provide corrective verbal feedback as needed, allowing students to make corrections to their work. Then repeat this process for the other sections of the text if needed. Or, at least have students complete the next section and receive feedback on their work before they move on.
For struggling writers:
- It might help struggling writers to provide them with an outline to help them structure their response. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- A place to write down their main point(s)
- Topic sentences (the first sentence of each body paragraph that will reveal the point of the paragraph and will connect to the paper's overall main point)
- Specific evidence from the text for support in each body paragraph
- Transition words
- Key vocabulary terms to include
- Ideas on how to wrap up the piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- Ask students to research and present actions that they might take to slow the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
- Give the following Daily Mail article to the students: Could MRSA and TB Finally be Defeated? Assign for homework and then have a discussion about it on the following day. This article will bring hope to a topic that may otherwise seem like a lot of doom and gloom.
Suggested Technology: Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Jennifer Heflick
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.