Below is a selection of units I designed using the Ambitious Science Teaching model, which centers units on complex puzzling phenomena that motivate students and provide a concrete schema around which students can build their understanding of a topic.

Each unit is divided into five main parts: a Gapless Explanation, which articulates the story students should be building as they participate in the unit, main ideas that students will master, a summary table that connects each activity to a particular part of telling that story, and an outline of topics assessed.

These units are backbones of more specific planning; if you are interested in seeing more fine-grain lesson plans, feel free to reach out to collaborate!

Human Biology units: 8th grade level

Nervous system: Why does a broken nose heal in just a few weeks, while a brain injury can take years to heal?

Respiratory and circulatory system: Why do human divers get “the bends,” but whales and dolphins don’t?

Skeletal and muscular system: How can anthropologists look at the bones of ancient female people and infer how strong they were?

Immune system: Why is the common cold usually harmless, but could be extremely dangerous for a person living with HIV?

Digestive system: Why can cows eat grass as food, but humans can’t?