Biology Lesson Plans
General Biology Lesson
An Organism for Teaching Biology (by Debora Scheidemantel)
explore basic ecology concepts and scientific processes using spiders
as model organisms. They will capture spiders, observe and care for
them, and use them to answer their own questions about spider behavior.
Modeling the process of a research scientist, each team of students
will design and conduct their own experiment. Simultaneously, the
class will collaborate on joint projects investigating feeding rates
of spiders and their importance in controlling the numbers of insects
(by conducting a field study on or near school grounds). Designed
for both middle and high school students
Behavior of Ants (by David Shindelman)
school students will use the steps of the Scientific Method to
independently develop and test their own ideas through experimentation
with ants. Students will take part in a four-part study of the behavior
People Plant Collecting (by Dick Barber)
Collecting, preserving and naming plants is a great "hands
on" way to introduce students to field biology. By applying the
five activities presented here, students will become real scientists.
They will use all the steps field biologists use when making a scientific
plant collection. Designed for middle school students.
Plant Invasion: A Field Study Project at Saguaro National Park
(by Maryann Carpenter)
This unit of lessons is designed to bring scientific process
skills and current research into the high school classroom
through a field study project at Saguaro National Park West in Tucson,
Arizona. The park monitors the organisms that live there in order
to allow the natural ecosystems to be preserved for the future. The
students will assist park rangers in these efforts while learning
and using the scientific method, gaining knowledge about plants, the
desert, and population interactions (ecology).
Wrong with the Plants? (by Dee Dee Loredo)
lesson unit is designed for high school biology students who
have a working knowledge of plant anatomy and physiology. Students
will sharpen their investigative skills as they attempt to determine
what is wrong with some unhealthy plants. They will design and (possibly)
carry out an investigation to determine possible causes of the plants'
sickness. After researching common causes of plant diseases, they
will learn more about the cause of the sickness in their own plants.
Melanogaster and Mendelian Genetics (by Pete Geiger)
lessons are designed to teach high school students how to use
the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to apply their knowledge of
Mendelian genetics. After the students sharpen their observations
skills by looking closely at the various life stages of the fly, they
set up matings to follow the inheritance of easy to observe dominant
and recessive mutations. Tips for the teacher on how to rear and use
fruit flies are included.
of the Sonoran Desert Soil Crusts (by Stephen Murray)
walk in the desert and encounter what looks like old asphalt on the
ground, that "old asphalt" is most likely a desert soil lichen. This
unit for high school students examines what characteristics
the lichens share with other living organisms, sharpens students'
observation and descriptive skills, and makes students more aware
of the desert environment in which they live
Osmosis and Cell Membranes (by John McCandless, Jr.)
will explore some of the properties and processes of the cell membrane
including permeability, passive transport, equilibrium, diffusion,
osmosis, cell tonicity and rates of diffusion. Students will perform
a number of laboratory activities intended to lead them to a thorough
understanding of the importance of a cell membrane and the physical
processes of diffusion and osmosis. Designed for middle and high
and Co-evolution (by Roxane J. Johnson)
unit of lessons is designed for eighth grade science students
though could be adapted for students in grades sixth through ninth.
It is a unit of lessons that uses a variety of methods and approaches
to teach flowering plant biology which includes seed germination;
plant growth and food production through photosynthesis; plant transpiration
and respiration; sexual reproduction focusing on flower structure,
function and cross-pollination. By also studying the structure and
function of a variety of plant pollinators, students will easily comprehend
the concepts of mutualism and co-evolution.
and Analyzing Our Own DNA (by Jennifer Vuturo Brady)
These activities are
designed to introduce high school students to current molecular
biology techniques while building upon their understanding of cytology
and genetics. Students will participate in the extraction and agarose
gel electrophoresis of their own DNA. They will learn fundamental molecular
biology skills and concepts through a series of hands-on laboratory
activities. They then apply what they know about DNA profiling and Mendelian
genetics to a real case study by interpreting DNA profiles and study
behavioral data in order to determine why Harris' hawks form cooperative
nesting groups in the Southwest United States.
activities help high school students to understand the basic
structures and molecules that allow the nervous system to function
through modeling and research. In addition, a behavioral study on
insects allows students to examine some of the behaviors governed
by the nervous system. All these activities are designed for group
work and incorporate students in the design of projects and the assessments.
of Genetic Diversity
(by Susan Furr)
A lesson for high school students wishing to learn about the three
gentic events that give rise to biological diversity. Requires a good
understanding of mitosis, meiosis, chromosome sturcture, homologous
chromosomes, fertilization, sexual vs. asexual reproduction, and diploid
vs. haploid number.
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