Micro Organs: Lesson Plan

Explore the relationship between cells, tissues and organs. Then view a video about the creation of micro organs in a laboratory and the implications of this research.

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • NCES.7.L.1.3 — Summarize the hierarchical organization of multi-cellular organisms from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms.

Learning Outcomes

Students will identify the relationship between cells, tissues and organs.

Essential Questions

  1. What is the relationship between cells, tissues and organs? 
  2. What is a micro organ? 
  3. How are researchers creating micro organs? 
  4. How do the cells work together in the organ? 
  5. What implications are there for the research into micro organs?

Essential Vocabulary

  • Cell
  • Micro organ 
  • Tissue 
  • System 
  • Synthetic chip 
  • Miniature 
  • Matrix

Engage

Students will view images of animal cells. Ask the students to guess what each image represents. After looking at the images, discuss: What are cells? Why are cells important? How do cells work together?

Explore

Students will work as a small group to create a diagram illustrating the levels of organization from cell to tissue to organ to system to organism. They may use the following animations as resources to understand the hierarchical organization of multicellular organisms:

Explain

Students will view the NC Science Now video Micro Organs in Miniature. After viewing the video, students should answer the following questions. They can discuss their answers with a partner or in small groups.

  1. What process was used to make the cells?
  2. What is an organoid? How does it compare to an organ? 
  3. What are some of the uses for the “Body on a Chip?”
  4. What benefit does this technology have to the military and the pharmaceutical industry?

Extend

Students will work independently to investigate the research into micro organs using these and other resources.

Students may organize their information using the t-chart below.

Successes Challenges

Evaluate

Students will participate in a Socratic seminar with the topic, “What contributions can micro organs play in society?” As they discuss the topic, have the students look at the topic from engineering, scientific and medical presepectives.

Additional Resources: