activities for teaching biology

Plant Growth Puzzle

This worksheet/discussion activity presents a structured sequence of questions to challenge students to explain why plants that grow in the light weigh more than the seeds they came from, whereas plants that grow in the dark weigh less than the seeds they came from. The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.

Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration

Students use puzzle pieces representing the components of the equations for photosynthesis and aerobic cellular respiration and answer questions about these processes. The attached file has the Student Handout.

Barley and Oat's Brewing Backfire

In this worksheet/discussion activity, students compare aerobic cellular respiration and alcoholic fermentation and then interpret evidence to figure out why a micro-brewer’s beer has no alcohol.  The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.

Food, Energy and Body Weight

This discussion/worksheet activity helps students to understand the relationships between food molecules as a source of energy, cellular respiration, physical activity, and changes in body weight.  The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.

Cellular Respiration and Breathing

The questions in this worksheet/discussion activity help students understand the relationship between cellular respiration, O2, CO2, and breathing. The first attached file has the Student Handout and the second attached file has the Teacher Notes.

Understanding the Functions of Proteins and DNA

This overview provides a sequence of learning activities to help students understand that proteins and DNA are not just abstract concepts in biology textbooks, but rather crucial components of our bodies that affect functions and characteristics that students are familiar with. Students learn about how proteins contribute to the digestion of food and to characteristics such as albinism, sickle cell anemia and hemophilia. Then, students learn about the relationship between the genetic information in DNA and the different versions of these proteins. The discussion, web-based, and hands-on learning activities presented are appropriate for an introductory unit on biological molecules or as an introduction to a unit on molecular biology. 

The attached file has the key concepts and suggested learning activities.

Macromolecules Jeopardy

This game reviews introductory chemistry, including organic compounds and chemical reactions.

Investigating Osmosis

In the lab, Investigating Osmosis, students make predictions about the effects of osmosis and design an experiment to test these predictions. The experimental approach is similar to the diffusion activity, but focused specifically on osmosis.

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes: PDF format or Word format

Who Took Jerell’s iPod? -- An Organic Compound Mystery

In the lab, Who Took Jerell’s iPod? -- An Organic Compound Mystery, students learn how to test for triglycerides, glucose, starch, and protein and then use these tests to solve a mystery. The activity reinforces students understanding of the biological functions and food sources of these different types of organic compounds.

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes: PDF format or Word format

What Parts of a Plant Do We Eat?

In the lab, What Parts of a Plant Do We Eat?, Students review the structure of angiosperm plants and learn about the diversity of plant form by using evidence from examination of fruits and vegetables to identify which part of the plant each fruit or vegetable is.

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes: PDF format or Word format

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