Document Type

Lesson Plan

Publication Date

Summer 2013


This lesson has been designed to expose student to the Cellular Transport unit. This lesson is planned to have three major components. Prior to the lesson the students were taught about cellular membranes and the phospholipid bilayer. We will begin by introducing the topic of diffusion using a PowerPoint presentation, defining diffusion, and discussion of particle movement and kinetic theory. Within the presentation we will show a demonstration using agent sheets to model passive diffusion across a semipermeable membrane as well as osmosis. The second part is a laboratory component in which the students will complete a prelab handout to make predictions on the outcome of the experiment and then carry out an experiment illustrating osmosis and make excel graphs displaying their results. The third components is for the students to return to the agent sheet models and work in groups manipulating the models while completing an in class assignment. This is intended to reinforce the topics they have learned about.

Content Standard:

S1.1 Formulate questions independently with the aid of references appropriate for guiding the search for explanations of everyday observations.S1.1a formulate questions about natural phenomena. S1.1b identify appropriate references to investigate a questionS1.1c refine and clarify questions so that they are subject to scientific investigation

S1.2 Construct explanations independently for natural phenomena, especially by proposing preliminary visual models of phenomena. S1.2a independently formulate a hypothesis S1.2b propose a model of a natural phenomenon S1.2c differentiate among observations, inferences, predictions, and explanations

S1.3 Represent, present, and defend their proposed explanations of everyday observations so that they can be understood and assessed by others.

S1.4 Seek to clarify, to assess critically, and to reconcile with their own thinking the ideas presented by others, including peers, teachers, authors, and scientists.

S3.1 Design charts, tables, graphs, and other representations of observations in conventional and creative ways to help them address their research question or hypothesis. S3.1a organize results, using appropriate graphs, diagrams, data tables, and other models to show relationships. S3.1b generate and use scales, create legends, and appropriately label axes

2.1 Select an appropriate model to begin the search for answers or solutions to a question or problem.

2.2 Use models to study processes that cannot be studied directly (e.g., when the real process is too slow, too fast, or too dangerous for direct observation).

2.3 Demonstrate the effectiveness of different models to represent the same thing and the same model to represent different things.

Next Generation Science Standards

MS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.

Content Objectives:

C1: All students will understand the concept of cellular transport, diffusion, and osmosis.
C2: Students will be able to identify solutions as isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic.
C3: students will understand osmotic pressure and concentration gradient.
C4: Students will understand and carry out safe laboratory practices
C5: Students will formulate hypotheses and carry out an experiment testing their predictions
C6: Students will create graphs showing experimental results using Excel

The primary file is a lesson plan, accompanied by supplemental files.

In the supplemental zipped files, you will find:

  1. Student worksheets
  2. Lesson plan
  3. Powerpoint presentations


Questions, comments or suggestions about this model may be sent to:

Dr. Leigh Little, The College at Brockport (699 kB)
Lesson Plan and supplemental content

Tools used

Agent Sheets, Excel

Grade Level

7- 8