In America, 1 in 3 persons develop cancer and the disease indirectly impacts others socially, economically, and emotionally. In this lesson, students will participate in a NIH-developed role play activity where they will learn about cancer as a public health issue and understand what cancer is, general trends in cancer development and what factors and personal choices increase risk for cancer. They will also have the opportunity to learn and discuss how scientific research impacts this issue. In addition, students will identify characteristics of normal versus cancer cells through examination of normal and cancer cell models and stained slides of cells. Finally, because metastasis, the spread of cancer from a primary tumor to other areas of the body, is the cause of 90% of cancer deaths, student will learn the concepts of cells migration and metastasis. Students explore how “cellular feet” or receptor proteins called integrins are similar to their own and how these proteins impact cancer aggression through their impact on cell migration.
GRADE LEVEL: 10
DURATION: 3 days (in terms of 125 minute periods)
Note: each of the three lessons can be taught without the other 2, as long as the proper background information is given to the students.
Students will be able to:
The Biology of Cancer (Science Weekly)
Day 1 - NIH Cancer Guide Activity
Day 2 - Cell Morphology Lab
Day 3 - Integration Game
Portions of this lesson plan were developed from pre-existing curricula including:
1) The NIH Cell Biology and Cancer Publication No. 99-4646,
2) The Cellular Legacy: An interdisciplinary unit of study based on the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Activity 9 - Cancer Cell Morphology lab (using Edvotek Kit #990) by BioEthics Exploration in High School and Kimberly Elliot
3) The Bioinformatics of Cancer activity by UCSD Socrates Fellow Shawn Yost