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The Diabetes Project

Page history last edited by mariaelizabethbunn@... 8 years, 4 months ago


Big Idea &

Essential Questions  

Lesson Overview   Eliciting and Engaging the Student Developing the Ideas Checking for Understanding  

~3-4 class periods

Big Idea 1:

Diabetes and the Community


Essential Questions:

  • What do I know about diabetes?
  • Why should we study Type 2 diabetes? 
  • What thoughts and ideas do others have about diabetes? 

In these lessons, students write their own definition and thoughts about Type 2 diabetes and consider why it may be important to study diabetes. They then interview community members to learn more about what others know or think about Type 2 diabetes. Students compare the community members' responses with each other and with their own responses. Through this activity, students see that different individuals have different information and thoughts about Type 2 diabetes. 

Lesson 1-1 A: What do I know about Diabetes?


Lesson 1-1 B: Why Study Type 2 Diabetes?




Lesson 1-2: The Interview


Lesson 1-3: Summarizing the Interview

  • How can we be sure what information about diabetes is correct?
  •  Why Should we find out more about type 2 diabetes?


~3-4 class periods

Big Idea 2:

The Facts and Science of Diabetes and Glucose


Essential Questions:

  • What is Type 2 diabetes?
  • What are the symptoms and characteristics of diabetes?  
  • Where is glucose in food and what does it have to do with type 2 diabetes?
  • Where do calories come from in your diet and what does this have to do with type 2 diabetes?
  • How do our body systems work together to maintain balanced glucose levels, and how does Type 2 diabetes develop when this balance is upset? 


In these lessons, students begin to learn about Type 2 diabetes by playing the role of health professionals. Students then compare the information they learned through the role play with their previous knowledge of diabetes.  


To deepen their scientific understanding of Type 2 diabetes, students will perform an experiment with two digestive enzymes to determine whether glucose is present in three types of milk. In Lesson 2-3, students examine food labels, calculate the percentage of calories from macro-molecules (protein, fat, and carbs), and determine the duration of physical activity required for balancing calories consumed and calories burned. 

Lesson 2-1:  Health Professional Role-Play

Lesson 2-2:  Where is Glucose in Food?


Lesson 2-3: Where Do Calories Come From In Your Diet?


Lesson 2-4: Glucose in balance



  • If you needed quick energy during a soccer game, what sort of food would be best?” 
  • If you eat an early breakfast, what sort of food might keep you satisfied until lunch?” 
  • Why is fiber important to a diet?”
  • How can you tell what ingredients, nutrients and macromolecules foods contain?
  • How can you tell which foods are healthiest? 
~4 class periods

Big Idea 3:

Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors of Diabetes


Essential Questions:

  • What are the risk factors involved in developing Type 2 diabetes?
  • Are there risk factors that cannot be controlled?
  • What are the effects of Type 2 diabetes on the body, and how can we treat these effects? 
  • What life changes can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes? 
  • Are there people groups or ethnicities that are more at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes? 
In these lesson, students will analyze graphs to determine how certain factors affect a person's chance (or risk) of developing Type 2 diabetes. they then read a story to see how risk factors affects a real person's life.  Students will also examine traits that are determined by genes, the environment, or a combination of both, and interpret genetic information associated with an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. Lesson 3-1: Risk Factors & Diabetes 

Lesson 3-2: Analyzing the Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes


Lesson 3-3: Introduction to Multifactorial Traits


Lesson 3-4: Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors


Lesson 3-5: Summarizing Change 

  • If someone may get diabetes regardless of whether or not they make positive lifestyle choices, why should they make those positive changes? 
  • Which category do you think most human traits fall into, genetic, environmental, or multifactorial?
  • What category does type 2 diabetes fall into? Justify your answer.
  • What are the implications of your answer to the previous question on the study of diseases like type 2 diabetes?
  • Write down five factors that appear to be associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes. 
  • Write down five factors that contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes. 
  • If people have some control over a risk factor, can they make changes that would influence that factor and help bring their lives back into balance?
~4-5 class periods

Big Idea 4:

Treating Diabetes


Essential Questions:

  • How does insulin work?
  • What happened to people with Diabetes before insulin was able to be produced in a lab? 
  • Who discovered how to produce insulin?
  • How is insulin now mass produced? 
  • Can we duplicate the process of making insulin in our class? 

In the first two lessons, students will learn about which body parts can be compromised in a person with diabetes and what happens to those body parts. They will then develop a detailed human body poster that shows the many organs and body systems impacted by type 2 diabetes and learn about the damage done to each of those organs and treatments for type 2 diabetes and their physiological targets.


The remaining 3 lessons focus specifically on the story of insulin and how advances in DNA technology have revolutionized the mass production of insulin. Students will be able to conduct a bacterial transformation themselves (in either a virtual or wet lab setting… or both), make predictions and analyze the results and outcomes of their investigations. 

Lesson 4-1: Effects of Diabetes_ Body Part Match-Up Activity



Lesson 4-3: The Story of Insulin

Lesson 4-2: Anatomy and Physiology of Type 2 Diabetes



Lesson 4-4: Making Insulin: Virtual Lab



Lesson 4-5: Transformation Wet Lab (optional)

  • What organ is responsible for making insulin?
  • How was insulin initially manufactured prior to DNA technology? 
  • Using evidence from your virtual lab, describe how you could tell if your E.colibacterial cells were transformed (i.e. the ampR gene was successfully incorporated into the E.coli DNA)
  •  What are three factors that might influence the success of this a transformation procedure?
  •  Why would it be advantageous for a bacterium to have an antibiotic resistant gene in its DNA? Why might that be bad for us? 


~1-2 class periods 

Big Idea 5: 

Preventing Diabetes


Essential Questions:

  • As a society, how do we make the best decisions about policies that  affect many people? 
  • What is being done to prevent diabetes?
  • What do the scientific studies tell us about the correlation between positive lifestyle changes and prevention?
In these lessons, students are introduced to a series of quotes from individuals who hold a variety of views concerning the rising rates of Type 2 diabetes and obesity in the United States. Students are introduced to the ethical principles Respect for Persons, Justice, and

Maximizing Benefits/Minimizing Harms in order to better understand the wide range of views on this subject.


Students will also analyze the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to become aware of ways that people can either reduce their chances or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.  
Lesson 5-1: Who decides? 

Lesson 5-2: Overview of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) 



Lesson 5-3 (optional homework lesson): Should Parents of Morbidly Obese Kids Lose Custody?

  • “Based on the DPP study, what can American Indians and Alaska Natives and other people do to reduce their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes?”
 TBD by instructor

Big Idea 6:

Action Project: Informing Others about Diabetes


Essential Questions:

  • How can I use what I've learned about diabetes to help inform others?
  • What misconceptions do others have about diabetes and what can I do to provide information that dispels these misconceptions?
  • How can I help others either reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or manage their Type 2 diabetes?
In this final action project, students will recall and us what they've learned previously about Type 2 diabetes. Students choose a medium of their choice (e.g. newsletter, PSA, poster, presentation, etc..) to educate their teachers and peers about Type 2 diabetes. The presentation forum is to TBD by instructor.   Lesson 6-1: Learning Review 

Lesson 6-2: Action Project 


Lesson 6-3: Peer Project Evaluation


Lesson 6-4: Project Reflection

  • How can we apply what we've learned about diabetes and the issues surrounding it to make a difference locally or globally?
  • Where/how does change start?
  • How can we as students create a call to action that will make change happen?
  • What aspect of diabetes do we want to talk about? Risk factors? Prevention? Management? 


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