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Discovery Learning Unit

Additional Core Ties

Science - Physics
Standard 3 Objective 2

Time Frame

10 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

  • Aesthetics
  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Systems Thinking


Shawn Atwood
Sara Faust
Wade Meier
Scott Woodward


The format of this unit is based on the learning centers in the article "Project TEAMS Integrating Technology into Middle School Instruction" by Reiser and Butzin (1998). The unit plan covers multi-disciplinary areas with Discovery as the theme.




  • Athletic Republic - Nutrition
    Nutrition in sports - School Lunch for Athletes - What Determines Calorie Needs?
  • (Exercise Prescription on the Net) is a free resource for the exercise professional, coach, or fitness enthusiastis. It is a recommended resource in the ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.
  • Face the Fats
    A site designed by the American Heart Association to educated young people about the differences between fats. It compares and contrasts Trans fats, saturated fats, polysaturated fats, and monosaturated fats.
  • Fats 101
    Detailed information about fats in our diet. What is good about fat and what is not so good.
  • Food Labeling and Nutrition
    A Food Labeling and Nutrition information site provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What every consumer should know about what is in the packaged foods we buy.
    All about foods, our diets,and the choices we should make to maintain a healthy life.
  • National Food Safety Programs
    This site is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Education program.
  • Self-discovery Video on an education blog
    This is a blog dedicated to education and instructional technology. It is maintained by one of the authors of this lesson unit.

  • Self-discovery Essay:
    • Computer with Word or other desktop publishing software
    • Internet access for advanced option
    • Windows Media Player to watch .wmv movie
  • Create Your Own Country:
    • A computer that has photostory 3 for windows installed on it as well as a rubric and task cards for each student.
  • Inventive Discovery:
    • Bill Nye the Science Guy video on inventions (accessible on Pioneer website under eMedia).
    • The "Discoveries Making a Difference" www.activities website (listed under the "Extensions" tab below.
  • Nutrition Jeopardy:
    • Computer with Power Point software
    • Stopwatch or timing device, buzzers if available.

    Background for Teachers

    It is helpful for teachers to know the details of the objective and format of learning center--see the TEAMS article referred earlier.

    For the photostory project, a computer lab will be needed so that every student has access to a computer. If there are not enough computers, then students can double up and work as partners.

    Student Prior Knowledge

    Before beginning the Self-discovery Essay, students need to know how to write a persuasive essay with at least five paragraphs.

    For the photostory project, the students will need to have a basic understanding of how to use photostory 3 for windows, how to find images on the interenet (using google images), how to save pictures, and how to copy and paste images.

    The Nutrition Jeopardy game is a review of information from each of the lessons under the Health section of the Discovery Unit Plan. As a review, it would be most beneficial if the students experience this activity after completing each of the other lessons. Repeat trips to this station would be possible, and a more thorough review of the material.

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    By writing a self-discovery essay, students will practice persuasive writing techniques, practice giving sufficient evidence to support their opinion, and reflect on the role of self-discovery in their lives.

    By completing the photostory "Create your own Country" project, the students will become more familiar with using media as a form of learning, better understand how culture and experience influence the way people live in places and regions, and can list and define certain components of culture such as race, gender roles, education, religion,List and define components of culture; e.g., race, gender roles, education, religion, etc.

    By participating in "Nutrition Jeopardy" students will review vocabulary and terminology associated with what they have discovered about the foods they eat and its relevance to their health. They will practice cognitive skills such as identifying nutrients, analyzing various types of foods, evaluating nutritional values,recalling and retaining information, making food comparisons, and determining action for a healthy lifestyle.

    By viewing the Bill Nye the Science guy video on Inventions and then completing the www.activities activity students will see both the process and the end products of discovery through invention and will recognize how much our success as a civilization depends upon inventive discovery.

    Instructional Procedures



    Self-discovery Lesson:

    Students will read the quotes about self-discovery. Students will choose one of the quotes to be the basis of their essay. Students will write a persuasive essay for or against the quote of their choice. Students will write an essay consisting of an opening paragraphy, a closing paragraph, and at least three body paragraphs. Students will type their essays in word processing software, or hand write their essays if they have no computer. An extended option allows students to design their essays with the READ-THINK-WRITE publishing tool. Students will turn in their essays for credit. Teachers will grade essays using the Utah Direct Writing Assessment. Essay Prompt for Students: Choose one of the quotes about self-discovery and write a persuasive essay for or against the idea of the quote. Back up your opinion with specific examples of self-discovery in your own life or in the lives of others. Your essay must have an opening and closing paragraph and at least 3 body paragraphs. You may watch the video that introduces the assignment. The video is at under "Self-discovery Video."

    Create Your Own Country:

    For this lesson the students will be creating their own counrty using photostory 3 for windows media. You will need the computer lab for this lesson. Begin class by asking the students "what was the best trip you have ever been on and why? Allow the students time to share. Explain to the class that today they are going to make their own place to visit by creating their own country to visit. Discuus as a class what are some defining features about countries such as the food they eat, the style of clothes they where, important landmarks, activities that people do there, etc. Next invite the students to create a photostory that would get people to want to discover their country by way of tourism. A rubric for the photostory is attatched.

    Nutrition Jeopardy:

    For this learing station students will review what they have discovered about the foods they eat by playing a PowerPoint version of the game Jeopardy. Following the Jeopardy game format, students will analyze, compare, and identify questions with answers to selected categories. An example of one round may include: Nutrition labels, Label Glossary, Food Safety, Fats/Carbs/Protein, and Food Addditives. Rules and procedures for the game are included as an attachment.

    Inventive Discovery:

    For this technology station students will watch Bill Nye the Science Guy's informative and entertaining presentation about Inventions for 23 minutes. Following their veiwing of this program, students will go to the "Discoveries Making a Difference" supplemental www.activity hotlist page (located under the "Extensions" tab below) and follow the instructions and complete the activities contained therein. They will turn in this assignment to the teacher for credit.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners


    Self-discovery Essay for Spanish-speaking students: The .wmv video made to introduce this assignment has Spanish subtitles. It is suggested that Spanish-speaking students watch the video and have someone who can clarify any doubts they may have about the assignment. Student Prompt in Spanish: Escoja uno de las citas acerca de auto-descubrimiento y escriba un ensayo persuasivo para o contra la idea de la cita. Retroceda su opinión con ejemplos específicos de auto-descubrimiento en su propia vida o en las vidas de otros. Su ensayo debe tener una apertura y párrafo final y por lo menos 3 párrafos de cuerpo. Puede ver el vídeo que introduce la cesión. El video está en en "auto-descubrimiento de vídeo". Citas de auto-descubrimiento: "Un hombre viaja por el mundo entero en busca de lo que necesita y vuelve a casa para encontrarlo." --George Moore "Hasta que no se pierden de que comencemos a hacer entender a nosotros mismos." --Henry David Thoreau "Un propio ser es ocultado bien de un propio ser; de todas minas de tesoro, un propio es el último ser desenterrado." --Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Self-discovery Essay for ELL: Students who are learning English and do not speak Spanish may use the Internet or dictionaries to translate the instructions into their native language, or they may create a collage of pictures that relate ideas about self-discovery. Making a collage is an option for students in special education.



    Self-discovery Essay:
    Students may use the READ-THINK-WRITE tool to design a publication of their essay, or students may use a software such as Adobe InDesign if such software is available. Students may also trade essays to check clarity and readability. Students may also use pictures from copyright-friendly websites to create a .wmv video about self-discovery.

    Create your own country photostory:
    For students that are very technologically savy, encourage them to doctor their project up by adding additional special affects independant of those discussed on the rubric. If time permits have them tour each other's countries. They could also add other catagories such as "type of government" or "religious practices."

    Assessment Plan


    For the Self-discovery Essay, teachers may use the Direct Writing Assessment. For the "Create your own Country" photostory project, the students will be graded based on how well they met the criteria outlined on the rubric that was provided to them.


    Corbin,C.B.& Lindsey,R.(2007) Fitness for Life. Champaign,Il:Human Kinetics


Created: 03/12/2009
Updated: 01/30/2018