Biology Lesson Plans for Teachers and Students
Biology is a vast topic and one which is not only interesting but also very important for children to learn. Important areas in the study of biology include animals, plants, human science, and the environment. Though these are not the only fields which can be considered, they will definitely provide students with a wide array of knowledge. Below are a few topics to be discussed in each of these areas that will allow students to increase their knowledge base and critical thinking skills.
Animal Lesson Plans
Endangered Animals: Students need to be made aware of endangered animals to make them more sensitive to the future needs of the environment. Topics which should be considered include types of endangered animals, causes of endangerment, including habitat destruction and reduction of food sources. An important area to include is animals endangered by the encroachment of humans, for example in major cities.
A Fish's Tale: Fish are fascinating animals for students to study because of their variety and ability to breathe underwater. Good topics to include for a more advanced class include the anatomy of a fish, the nitrogen cycle, the grouping of fish into different categories such a salt and sea water, lifecycle of a fish and adaptation of fish in different environments.
The Lifecycle of a frog: The lifecycle of a frog from an egg, to tadpole, and finally to an adult is a lesson which can be explained using various teaching media. Students can maintain aquariums in their classroom, including one for each stage, or prepare presentation boards with details on the different stages. If possible, a field trip to a nearby pond or zoo can be arranged to allow them to observe the animal in its natural habitat.
Understanding Animal Behaviour: Students are greater able to appreciate the complexities of human society if they understand how different animals behave in their own societies. Good animals to focus on using reading material and visual media for this topic include dolphins, elephants and gorillas. An activity can also be carried out in the classroom using grasshoppers which are readily and cheaply available from many local pet stores.
Mapping Animal Behviour: Details on how to conduct an activity to understand animal behavior using crickets
Lesson Plan Inc.: A list of lesson plans focusing specifically on animals
The Science Spot: Provides a number of biology lesson plan links
Plant Lesson Plans
Bonsai 101: Bonsais are a fun way to teach children about the tradition of the tree care, different types of trees and what affects their growth. This lesson can be taught in a hands on manner by allowing students to grow and fashion their own bonsais or through books and digital media. A good topic to include would be the growth of bonsais in their natural environments and what causes the stunted structures in the wild.
Plant Reproduction: Through this lesson students will learn the definitions and processes of propagation, as well as sexual and asexual reproduction of plants. The benefits of both types of reproduction should also be discussed. The anatomy of a seed, the process of germination, and environmental factors for reproduction are also topics which should be covered in this lesson.
The Interrelation of Trees and the Ozone Layer: This lesson should begin with a discussion on global warming and what students have heard and know about the topic. Once the introduction has taken place, explanations of air pollution and the composition of the ozone layer should take place. Once students have these backgrounds the effect that trees have on absorbing carbon dioxide and its role in the destruction of the ozone layer should be discussed.'
Biological Clocks of Plants: The biological clocks of plants needs to be explained from two angles: on a day to day and seasonal basis. Facts such as greener leaves and flowering plants during the spring and summer due to greater sunlight and its effect on photosynthesis can be examined and highlighted. Students will have a fun time learning about rarely blooming flowers such as the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus Titatnum).
General Biology Lesson Plans: Provides a number of general lesson plans along with plant lesson plans
United States Department of Agricultural: How plants' biological clocks help them prepare for the day
Physorg: An article on 'biological clock' genes and their effect on plant growth
Human Science Lesson Plans
Genetic Studies: The concepts of cloning and genetic manipulation are becoming more involved in our daily lives. Students should be exposed to the different technologies which make advancement in genetics possible, situations in which genetic engineering would be beneficial and the ethical controversies surrounding the science.
Body Systems: Lessons on body systems can be summarized in one class or spread over numerous ones. The systems covered should include: the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, immune, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, skeletal, and urinary systems.
Nutrition Lesson Plan: The different types of nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, fats and sugars should be discussed. The benefits and daily intake of each should also be identified. Various vitamins and minerals along with their sources and functions should be identified. Calorie intake and the difference between good and bad calories can be included. It would be a good idea to have students maintain a diet log to identify what they are eating and the nutritional values to help them appreciate the importance of a well rounded diet.
Rural Science Education Program: Lesson plans on genetics, biotechnology and evolution
Hot Chalk Lesson Plan Page: An introduction to the human skeleton
Lots of Lessons: Lesson plans on the human body system
Environment Lesson Plans
Acid Rain and the Environment: The topics which should be covered in this lesson include the chemical process which creates acid rain, the different forms of acid rain including snow, hail, and sleet, and the effects that it has on the environment. Focus should be placed on how acid rain washes away nutrients, poisons plants and affects the pH of the soil.'
Energy Sources: This topic should not only identify the different types of energy sources but should also delve into the pros and cons of each. Types of energy which should be discussed are fossil, water, wind, solar, nuclear, and hydroelectric.
Natural Disasters and Global Poverty: This topic offers an interesting link between two seemingly unrelated topics. The study of how natural disasters affect poverty will increase the knowledge of the students along with helping them develop critical thinking skills. A side topic which could be examined during this lesson is how social media has been used in recent natural disasters, though this could become a separate topic on its own as well.
Nanotechnology and the Environment: 'This is another unique topic that will allow students to learn about two distinct areas in one time. Nanotechnology should be defined with relevant examples, both environmental and otherwise. A discussion should take place on how nanotechnology can be used for cleaning up pollution and to improve the cleaning processes in the production of energy and other materials. The future of the world and how nanotechnology can improve it should also be considered.
Acid Eating My Nose: Great lessons on acid rain along with activities
Technology: Environment lesson plans including websites, worksheets and more
ESLFlow: Lessons for the environment and language
More Resources for Biology Lesson Plans
Discovery Education: Free lesson plans for teachers with excellent search options
The Biology Corner: Resource site for biology and science teachers
Curriki: A website for people to share open-source curricula
Lesson Plan Site: Lesson plans and teachers guides from different educational system
The Teachers Guide: A number of detailed biology lesson plans with activities and other resources
The Learning Network: A blog maintained by The New York Times to exchange and share teaching ideas
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