Planning Index: Cells & Systems | Print |

Grade 8 Science Unit Plan
Unit B - Cells and Systems
(Nature of Science Emphasis)

Grade 8 Unit Overview (Alberta)
Living things take a variety of forms, as reflected in their structures, internal processes and ways of responding to their environments. Finding patterns within this diversity has been a major challenge for the biological sciences, and has led to development of ideas such as systems, cells, structures and functions - ideas developed from the study of all living things. Using these ideas, students learn to interpret life at a variety of levels, from individual cells to complex organisms. To develop their understanding, students investigate ways that components of a living system work together, and through these studies learn that healthy organisms - including healthy humans - function as balanced Systems within a life-supporting environment.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

  • organisms
  • structure and function
  • cells
  • systems
  • organs
  • response to stimuli
  • tissues
  • health and environmental factors

What do the students already know?

 How do students think a cell works?
Can they describe systems within the human body?
What is medical research?

What must they Learn?

Healthy organisms function as balanced Systems within a life-supporting environment


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus

Focus 1

Description of Living Things

Investigate living things, and identify and apply scientific ideas used to interpret their general structure, function and organization


- scientific studies
- structure and function
- functional variation

 Local ecosystem study
Textual resources
Audio-Visual Resources

Focus 2


Investigate and describe the role of the cells within living things


- role of cells (basic units)
- unicellular / multi-cellular
- plant & animal cells
- diffusion / osmosis
- cellular organization

Scientific Illustrations
Building a Model
Lab Activities / Demonstrations
Textual Resources

Focus 3

Body Systems

Interpret the healthy function of human body systems, and illustrate ways the body reacts to internal and external stimuli


- body systems
respiration, circulation, digestion, excretion and sensory awareness)
- role of organs
- cellular variation
nerves, muscle, blood, skin and bone)
- reaction to stimuli

Textual / Audio-Visual Resourses

Building Models
Problem Solving Activities

 Lab Activities

Focus 4

Health Research

Describe areas of scientific investigation leading to new knowledge about body systems, and to new medical applications


- dysfunction / disease
- medical advancements
- healthy life style

Textual / Audio-Visual Resourses
Case Study
Research / Project Presentation