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by Maylene Bird

Cells: 

Teaching cell parts- I will attach the directions for making cell models on posterboard, no big deal, but gives some ideas.  See the Making Cell Models for these instructions.

I demonstrate the liquidity of the cell membrane (lipid bilayer) with ping-pong balls in a bowl of water and talk about the non-polar tails hanging down toward the water, imagine that another layer of ping-pong balls are under those balls with tails pointing upward, and note how they can move around and trade places.

I explain the embedded proteins in the cell membrane like a piece of raisin bread with the raisin being the protein and pointing out on both sides of the bread which is the membrane

I explain the lock and key mechanism of enzymes (the matching shape/ receptor proteins) with a child's toy shape finder where you put the shapes into the holes that are shaped the same.

Microscopes:

I teach the parts of the microscope and students have to demonstrate how one would put a slide on it and switch from low to high power, basically they pretend they are using the microscope and demonstrate it to me.

At our school, most of my class is unable to use a microscope so we attempt to make all the labs non-visual. 

Diagrams & Models:

We use raised line diagrams from the book and sometimes create our own diagrams.  Lots of explaining and reviewing. 

I try to find models to teach concepts when possible.  For instance I have used a large electrical cable to talk about nerves and how they are bundled.  I have small models of various animals and insects.  I have an ear and eye model that are very good.  I have a large DNA model that will unwind. 

I use modeling clay and play-doh to make models in some cases, although usually that has been in other classes.  I did use a clay model with embedded items to show the layers of skin with the hairs, follicles, and blood vessels.

I have to spend time on all the diagrams in the book.  I make the students look at them in class and explain them unless they are done too poorly to be useful.

Dissecting:

We dissect large frogs- get the largest one you can find for the student.  We have dissected fish in the past also.  The students are required to go over everything in the frog in lab, but some students are unable to locate inner parts without some assistance.  We use scissors in lab dissections instead of scalpels.  I base their grade on the frog lab mostly on participation.  I don't require them to draw anything for labs.

Measuring:

Try the Selph/Savi items for measuring, also FOSSWEB the official site for the inquiry-based FOSS science curriculum.

I currently use a 10 ml test tube to measure small amounts of water (it measures exactly 10 ml when filled to the top).  I have not used the Savi items yet, but just found out about them and plan to try them.  We have balance scales with weight sets.  If it's not adapted for lack of vision, I put a piece of tape under the pointer where the balance point will be.

That's all I can think of at the moment.    Hope it helps!

-Maylene Bird


by:  Maylene Bird, TSBVI
Diagrams by Karen Poston

When I came to the cell cycle this year in biology, I discovered that the diagram for it was omitted from our Braille books (Holt book, page 125 and 130).  So, we made the diagram in a classroom activity.

I have made a Braille diagram for use with thermoform and a diagram for large print users.  I also have included photos of student made models.

Instructions:

  1. Use either poster board, Braille paper, or paper plates (we cut our large poster board into four pieces to do this activity).
  2. If using poster board have students use a compass to make the circle for the model; do this one-day in advance.
  3. Use hot glue gun to outline the circle and make notches or glue marks in the circle for the location of each division in the cell cycle (teacher prepares this part in advance).
  4. Push a brad into the center of the circle (student can do this).
  5. Use yarn to make the divisions; cut 2 pieces a little longer than the diameter of the circle, and one piece a little longer than the radius of the circle.
  6. Student will put the center of the long yarn pieces under the brad in the center and wrap the end of the short yarn piece under the brad also.
  7. tudent will then attach the loose ends of each yarn piece with scotch tape where the notches are located on the circle to make the divisions in the cell cycle; cut excess yarn off at the circle or you can use the glue gun to attach the yarn at the circle.
  8. Students make labels to go on each part of the cell cycle.
  9. Teacher reviews the cell cycle with the student and points out which parts are interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis.
  10. Students can label interphase and put a different colored yarn piece around the circle to show that section; some students may not need to do this step after discussing it.  (Interphase is the G1, S, and G2 phases).  We just discussed it in my class without labeling it.

Examples of student created diagrams

100_0044

Cell Cycle diagram in braille #2

Cell Cycle diagram in print #1

Cell Cycle diagram in print #2

Cell Cycle diagram in print #3

by Maylene Bird
Diagrams by Karen Poston

I taught Punnett squares with brailled squares or dark lined large squares on a whole sheet of paper with binder clips to represent the dominant and recessive traits. I set the clips above and beside the paper on the top and side and discussed that these were the parents. Then I demonstrated with the students (sometimes hand over hand) how we can figure out what the offspring would be in each square and talked about the percentages. Once the student understood the basics I moved them to a brailled Punnett square and introduced uppercase and lowercase letters to represent the dominant and recessive traits. I used a larger Punnett square (16 squares) for two traits. This method of using the large and small binder clips does not work for all students; some understood it better just using the upper and lowercase letters.

To make simple 4-square Punnett squares, the braille student can simply fold a piece of braille paper twice and write the parent traits at the top and on the leftmost side of the squares.

 

   PCCCCC?CCCCC?CCCCC?CCCCC?
L _ _ _ _
L _ _ _ _
V-----#-----#-----#-----#
L _ _ _ _
L _ _ _ _
V-----#-----#-----#-----#
L _ _ _ _
L _ _ _ _
V-----#-----#-----#-----#
L _ _ _ _
L _ _ _ _
V-----#-----#-----#-----#



,PUNNETT ,SQU>ES3 TURN PAGE UPSIDE D[N



PCCCCC?CCCCC? PCCCCC?CCCCC?
L _ _ L _ _
L _ _ L _ _
V-----#-----# V-----#-----#
L _ _ L _ _
L _ _ L _ _
V-----#-----# V-----#-----#





PCCCCC?CCCCC? PCCCCC?CCCCC?
L _ _ L _ _
L _ _ L _ _
V-----#-----# V-----#-----#
L _ _ L _ _
L _ _ L _ _
V-----#-----# V-----#-----#

copyright 2004 Edition
ISBN 0030682649
(by Maylene Bird
Diagrams by Karen Poston)

Diagrams showing each stage of the mitosis process. Each diagram is available in MS Word, PDF, print and braille. You must have Braille29 font installed on your machine for the braille to appear and print properly. The braille diagrams are intended for use with Swell paper. See How to use Swell paper for tactile diagrams links to another website for more information.

The correct order for the diagrams below is C,B,A,D (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase).

Stage A - anaphase

Stage B - metaphase

Stage C - prophase

Phase D - telophase

Other Mitosis diagrams

Diagrams for Questions 16 and 17 on Test form A from the Chapter 6 resource file

ques16&17-braille WORD 110k

ques16&17-braille PDF 74k

ques16&17-print WORD 110k

ques16&17-print PDF 72k

by Maylene Bird

  1. use posterboard, large, maybe 2x3 ft or so
  2. use glue gun to make the cell membrane- a thick circle almost as large as the posterboard.
  3. make labels, we did both print and braille labels, for each cell part or organelle. Some students glued labels with Elmer's glue, others I helped with a glue gun, some just used tape.  This activity took several days of class to complete.
  4. use different tactile objects to represent the cell organelles and hot-glue each item to poster. 
  5. point out that each organelle has its own membrane around it and the nucleus has a double membrane around it. If you have room on the poster, put in the membranes with the glue gun. (Sometimes there’s just not room for this.)
  6. point out that there are multiple copies of most organelles in each cell, with the exception of the nucleus; sometimes we put more than one of each organelle in a cell.

Ideas for organelles:

  1. nucleus: cotton balls (4 or so)
  2. nucleolus: dry bean on nucleus
  3. mitochondria: piece of wire in the shape of a spring (wrap it around a pencil and push it together)
  4. ER (endoplasmic reticulum) (also called smooth ER): piece of silky fabric about 2 inches wide folded up--back and forth-- and stapled to hold it
  5. RER (rough ER): piece of scratchy fabric folded in the same way as the smooth ER in 4 above but before folding it put a bunch of puff paint dots all over it to represent the ribosomes
  6. golgi apparatus: stack of fingers cut off from rubber gloves; put them in a stack and staple them before gluing them down
  7. vacuole: piece of plastic grocery bag
  8. centrioles: small, about 1 inch long and only ¼ inch wide, wooden stirring stick (there are 2 centrioles)
  9. lysosome: tiny lentils, we glue down about 5-6 in a group
  10. cell wall: (plant cell only) Popsicle sticks around the perimeter of a rectangular posterboard
  11. vacuole in plant cell: much larger plastic bag piece
  12. chloroplast with chlorophyll: Velcro with green yarn attached cut in shape of chloroplast in book

Sample Cell Diagrams

Diagram 1
Two students made this one together, a braille user and regular print user.

Diagram 2
This one has simplified descriptions

Diagram 3
Braille and print users again

Diagram 4
Braille user made this one; note how she put the labels at different orientations on the right side to fit it all in.  I normally encourage students to put them all oriented the same way even if it sticks over the edge of the poster, but this one I just said do it and figure it out.

Diagram 5
This was made by a student who in transition from print to Braille and is losing vision quickly.  She chose to make her labels on the computer.

Diagram 6
Simplified plant cell. This student did not have labels.  I don't have instructions for the plant cell written up yet.

 

copyright 2004 Edition
(by Maylene Bird)

  1. page 125 figure 6 is omitted
  2. page 126 figure 7 is omitted
  3. page 171 figure 9 has errors
  4. page 176 datalab:  pedigree drawing has errors

Check back for more errors

copyright 2004 Edition
ISBN 0030682649
(by Maylene Bird
Diagrams by Karen Poston)

Diagrams showing each stage of the meiosis process. Each diagram is available in MS Word, PDF, print and braille. You must have Braille29 font installed on your machine for the braille to appear and print properly. The braille diagrams are intended for use with Swell paper. See How to use Swell paper for tactile diagrams for more information.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6

Stage 7

Stage 8