DTSE 2007: Lesson 2.1

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TITLE: Cancer Treatments


This lesson plan should be taught in two 44 minute periods or one 90 period (block scheduling). Teachers will need the students to complete a homework assignment the night before this lesson in order to start a discussion on the topic of cancer treatments. The homework will consist of a brief questionnaire. The “Treatment Chart” handout will be provided (a sample copy is provided with this lesson plan). Students’ homework will be to interview as many people as possible (parents, guardians, friends, co-workers, etc…). Students will ask them what cancer treatments are available and their knowledge on them. Students will be divided into five groups. Each group will be given treatment to research. The teacher will provide some useful websites, but students are not limited to those sites. This is a guided discovery method to introduce students to the type of cancer treatment and their side effects. This lesson will used to show the harsh cancer treatments that are available today. Later in the unit, students will be challenged to find better treatments by using their understanding of cell theory and cell division. This lesson is used to show


1. Students will identify the major types of cancer treatment available today and explore their side effects 2. Students will be collecting data from all kind of reliable sources of information: interview, Internet, books, magazine. They will be required to name their sources. 3. Students will be exposed to comparative thinking about different cancer treatments. They will also be exposed to sorting and organizing collected data.


Most of the students have a basic idea about what cancer is. They know it’s a disease; they don’t really know what difference between a tumor cell and a cancer cell. Some students are even unsure if there is a difference between them. Most of them have heard of some treatments; but chemotherapy is what they have mostly heard of. They know that chemotherapy makes the patient very sick; some patients loose their hair. Weight loss is also seen as part of the side effects. Some think that most the patients seem to feel worst after the chemotherapy treatment which is true in many cases. Teachers needs stress the fact that chemotherapy is not the only form of treatments; there are other types of treatments that have been revealed to have a higher success rate. Useful websites will be provided to help them with their research. (Five websites are included in this lesson plan)


1. The “Treatment Chart” handout filled 2. Computers: at least 5 with Internet access PREPARATION:

1. Provide copies of the “Treatment Chart” handout 2. Explain the objectives of the interview.

TIME: Two 44 minute periods or one 90 minutes


• For homework: students were asked to find information on cancer treatments by asking friends, parents, or relatives. • The teacher should open a discussion on the different kinds of cancer treatments. Instructor should ask such questions as: a. What cancer treatment options did you find? (Have teacher list them on the board) b. What is did you find about the treatments: 1. Efficacy 2. Side effects 3. Frequency of use List the treatment methods identified by the students on the board. There are 5 treatments and they are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, biological therapy, and hormonal therapy. If students do not mention one or more of these, explain the missing methods briefly and add them to the list. • The instructor should break students up into the five groups. (There may be more groups if students mentioned more than 5 treatments.) Give each group on the five treatments to research. Tell the students that they should be come experts on their cancer treatment. They will need to know it well enough to teach their classmates about it. Pass out the “Treatment Chart” and have students use this as a guide to their research. Give the students various sites to use (see below) to find this research this step should take about a half an hour (some may take longer).

Useful websites include:

a. b. c. d.

• The class will perform a jigsaw activity. It helps students become familiar with all the methods including the ones not assigned to their specific group. They should use the chart as guiding tool. The instructor should number each member of each group from 1 to 5. Have the entire group number “1” match up and all the number “2” group up, etc. Do this for each number. The teacher should provide additional treatment charts for each additional treatment. The teacher should walk around and guide discussion. At the end, choose one student from each group to present their results. • The teacher will bring the class back together. Lead discussion about the different cancer types using the suggested questions below:

a. What treatments did you find were specific to the cancer tissues? b. Which of them killed only the cancerous tissue? c. How many of them would kill normal cells? e. What are some of your opinions on the treatments? f. What did you think of the side effects? • At the end of the lesson, the teacher could collect the “Treatment Chart” and use it as an assessment to ensure that all students understood and completed the assignment.


The assessment would be the completed “treatment chart” handout that would be collected at the end of the lesson. The variables that would be covered include the following:

• Science Process/inquiry o -Students will be able to discuss and theorize ideas in groups. o -Students will be able to find reliable and valid sources for their data. o -Students will be able to interpret and reach conclusions from valid data.

• Nature of Science o -Evidence based o Social

Name: ____________________________

Date: _____________________________

Treatment Chart

Name of Treatment What does the Treatment involve? What are the side effects? What is the success rate? How long does it take to get rid of the cancer? Your Opinion of this type of cancer treatment.

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