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Unit 1:

Marathon Runner - Full Unit

Why would a marathon runner become disoriented during the race, then go into a coma shortly after running the race? How does the human body maintain dynamic equilibrium and respond to internal and external changes in its environment?
5-6 weeks
Humans are complex organisms that maintain a narrow set of stable internal conditions through a system of feedback and communication mechanisms among multiple organ systems. In this unit, students are presented with the story of a woman who collapsed after successfully completing a marathon. In order to figure out what happened to her, they plan and conduct investigations related to how body systems interact to effectively monitor and respond to both internal and external environmental changes. Students develop and use models to illustrate processes that occur in the human body in order to maintain homeostasis, including gas exchange, glucose regulation, thermoregulation, and maintaining water balance. They use their final model to write an explanation for what happened to the marathon runner.

Unit 1 Teacher Guide

This Teacher Guide is intended to supplement the Teacher and Student Materials for Unit 1. While the Teacher Materials support teachers with what to do, this Guide tells them why, so that enactment decisions are informed by an understanding of the pedagogical approach; we believe this supports teachers to make modifications and adaptations that are aligned with the vision of NGSS. This Teacher Guide also provides additional support with the logistics of enactment, such as pacing, organizing materials, and labs. Routines are embedded into the Teacher Materials; however, this Teacher Guide provides more detailed information about when, why, and how to enact each routine.

Unit 1 Teacher Materials 

Teacher Materials provide the learning goals for the unit, guidance on when to use particular strategies, and an explanation of how to teach the unit in a way that is driven by student questions and ideas. Included in the Teacher Materials is an overview document called the Unit Plan, that summarizes the storyline of the unit and provides an outline for each of the learning sequences within the unit, highlighting key information. For each lesson sequence in the unit, the Teacher Materials also include step-by-step guidelines for enactment. Corresponding Student Materials include handouts for labs and investigations, formative assessments, and rubrics.

Unit 1 Student Materials

Anchor Phenomenon Launch and Performance Task

Gas Exchange 5E 

Muscles & Energy 5E

Thermoregulation 5E

Water Balance 5E


In the coming weeks, we will add all of the unit resources as Google Docs, which can be copied and customized.

Google Docs Version Coming Soon

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