6.1 What Is Going On Inside Me?
This module focuses on the body as a system made up of subsystems, with all parts working together to perform various functions and interacting with the environment. Students’ individual questions about what happens inside their bodies to enable them to do the many types of activities that they enjoy motivate the investigation of various body systems and the role each plays in overall body function. Pursuing their questions avoids the traditional treatment of body systems in which systems are presented one after another, with the details of structure and function the highlight rather than how systems work, work together, how matter and energy flow through the body, and between the body and the environment around us (i.e., how the outside temperatures makes our bodies feel hot or cold). The module focuses on what happens to food and oxygen that enables the body to meet its energy needs as food is eaten and ultimately transported to cells throughout the body. Exploration begins, then, with cells. Tracing the transformation of food to usable energy at the cellular level raises questions about how this happens. By the end of the module, students are able to construct a detailed, evidence-based, grade-level appropriate explanation of what goes on in their bodies to enable them to do an activity they enjoy. The specifics of cellular respiration are in 7th grade.