Submit an Activity - Teacher and Student Handouts


The teacher handout should provide information helpful to teachers including, but not limited to, required prior knowledge, background information, materials, methods, delivery, safety, assessment, and supplementary materials.

(These instructions should not be handed out to students. Please note that some sections are optional).  

A. Microbial Discovery Activity Title

B. Student Prior Knowledge   
Indicate prerequisite knowledge and skills that students should have before participating in this activity. 

C. Teacher Background Information 
Provide any historically relevant information and a biological backdrop to the relevance of this experiment.  

D. Class Time
· Describe the approximate time required to complete the activity.
· Describe amount of hands-on time and any waiting periods. · Indicate if the activity requires follow-up in one or more subsequent periods. 

E. Teacher Preparation Time 
· Provide a list of materials that need to be produced in advance. 
· Describe if there are any incubation or refrigeration steps prior to the student's participation in the activity. 

F. Materials, Equipment  
· Provide a clear and complete list (and amounts of) materials needed, indicating whether they are readily available, or require special ordering.
· Include recipes for media and reagents that are uncommon or not readily available from a media supply company. 
· Mention the stability of materials, and any special handling conditions. 
· List and briefly describe any equipment needed to conduct the activity. 
· Include contact information for vendors and other suppliers and approximate cost.
· Describe how much material is needed for each student/group. 

G. Methods  
· Provide a step-by-step description of the activity.
· Consider the inclusion of steps that promote analyzing, synthesizing, hypothesizing, and decision-making.
· Incorporate any explanations to help the instructor make the activity work smoothly. 
· Consider the inclusion of flowcharts or pictures.
· Include any hints, tricks, or pitfalls to avoid. Write suggestions for acquiring hard-to-get materials or special items. 
· Try to include those things that you do automatically, which someone else may not know, but that contribute to the success of the activity.  

H. Delivery 
Include suggestions for the instructional delivery. For example discussion or inquiry-based investigation, active questioning (individual or groups), using a quiz, etc. 

I. Technology Utilization 
Include information about videos, computers, and calculators, use of ASM's MicrobeLibrary animations or podcasts that can enhance the activity. 

J. Microorganisms 
· List the microorganism(s) if needed for the activity, and provide any special instructions for their acquisition, care, and growth. 
· Biological agents should not exceed the CDC's Biosafety Standards – Level 1 microorganisms. Some examples include B. subtilis, E. coli K12, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For more information review the article "Safe Microorganisms for Education."   While this article has not been revised for nearly a decade, it would be expected that most revisions  would be additions to the list.  Of course, some nomenclature has evolved as, for example, so many of the "streptococci" are now being called "micrococci." 

K. Safety Issues (if applicable) 
Address all safety issues teachers and students need to know when attempting this activity.  

L. Assessment and Evaluation of Activity 
· Provide assessment methods used to determine if students have achieved the stated learning objectives and the methods you use to assign grades accordingly.  
· If the activity includes specific questions for students to answer, include an answer key.  Investigative/open-ended questions should have some type of response.  The response could include a list of possible answers with arguments/evidence to support the selected answer.  For example, if someone were to respond to an open-ended question with a statement (let’s say there is no correct answer), please include the “evidence” that leads to respond with the statement.  Open-ended questions should minimally provide some of the possible responses.  Ask oneself… what is the evidence that supports the response? 

M. Supplementary Materials 
· Possible Modifications (optional). Include ways in which your activity can be modified or extended to broaden its appeal for others facing alternate curriculum goals.
· References (optional). List references that would be especially suitable as background for teachers or supplemental material for students.
· Appendices and Answer Keys (if applicable). Append any useful or needed information that does not easily fit into the provided categories. Also include answer keys.


The Student Handout should include information helpful to students such as vocabulary, materials checklist, procedures, results, safety measures, and follow-up questions.

A. Microbial Discovery Activity Title  

B. IntroductionInclude a brief overview of the exercise (abstract). 

C. Student Background Knowledge
Indicate how the student should prepare for this activity, such as reading portions of a book chapter, checking a website, etc. 

D. Vocabulary
Include a list of new terms the student will encounter and their definitions. 

E. Safety Considerations
List any specific safety concerns related to this activity.  

F. Materials Checklist
Have a checklist of the materials the student must acquire before beginning the experiment.  

G. Procedure
Include a step-by-step protocol in the form of a handout that you will give your students. Include figures or images if it clarifies the process. 

H. Results
Include a worksheet, tables, graphs, or space for depicting their observations, if applicable. 

I. Follow-up Questions/Homework

These questions may be focused directly upon their results or they may be designed to inquire about their conceptual understanding of the topic. They may also be questions that require further investigation, either in the classroom, or from the literature.