3D Cell Models – Go beyond basic plant and animal

I wanted my 7th graders to make cell models this school year, but I didn’t want everyone just making the same thing so I searched the internet for a variety of labeled pictures so that the students could make a variety of cell types.

Bone Cell
Amoeba Cell
Euglena – single-celled Protist (with both plant and animal characteristics)
Plasmodium Cells – protists that cause Malaria
Fat cells
Paramecium – single-cell protist
Budding Yeast Cell
Plant Cell
Nerve Cell

Send me an email at generationscience3@gmail.com if you’d like more information about how I did this activity, including a rubric.

Level Up Your Ecology Lessons with Real-World Food Webs

Bats are birds. Snakes eat grass. Insects aren’t animals. Nature knowledge seems to be at an all time low among my own students.

In response, I designed two food web activities to simulate connections between a diverse set of organisms that actually interact in nature.

Eastern U.S. Woodland and Field Food Web

The 12 cards look like these below – sun, 4 plants and 6 animals

food web cards

The cards can be used for many activities, such as constructing this food web:forest food web cover page 2

Both activities includes directions and worksheets for students to..

  1. Construct a food web
  2. Construct a food pyramid
  3. Classify by type of food source (heterotrophs, carnivores, etc.
  4. Classify by type of organism

North American Atlantic Coast

ocean food web
ocean food web COVER PAGE 5
woodland food web cover pageocean food web COVER PAGE 1

 Follow up with a food web research project.

Students construct their own using a great online resource that provides predator/prey information for a variety of forest (Eastern, mid-Atlantic) organisms.

Pond Dip – Bring an Ecosystem into the Classroom

aquatic beautiful bloom blooming
Photo by Diego Madrigal on Pexels.com

Studying aquatic microorganisms is engaging and very educational.

Here I share how I teach a 7th grade lab on finding protists and microscopic animals in pond water. This may seem daunting if you are not familiar with the organisms or haven’t had the time to organize the activity. I hope that I’ll give you all the information you need for a successful lab.

 

Why take the time for this lab? Well, no one is going to be excited about algae by looking at a picture of it. Algae in the macroscopic world is called POND SCUM, but under the microscope it’s BEAUTIFUL.

Also, many standards can be addressed in a pond dip lab:

  • modeling ecosystems and ecosystem interactions
    • food chains, food webs and trophic levels
    • nonliving and living factors within an ecosystem
  • biological diversity
    • taxonomy and evolutionary relationships among species:
      • single-celled protists
        • algae – single-celled organisms with plant-like characteristics
        • protozoans – single-celled organisms with animal-like characteristics
      • microscopic animals – all multicellular
        • crustaceans, aquatic worms and rotifers
  • cells
    • single-celled organisms are microscopic, but have all of the characteristics of living things
    • microscopic multi-celled organisms such as microscopic crustaceans and worms
  • Using dichotomous keys and technical language – meet Common Core standards for using “key terms” and “domain-specific words and phrases” used in a “scientific and technical context”.
green toad in water
Photo by Darius Krause on Pexels.com

The supplies are simple and usually found in the typical middle school or high school biology classroom. The only things you will need to gather otherwise is the microorganism-rich water and organism keys; I provide you with information on both.

Keep Reading

Biology & Ecology

bloom blooming blossom blur
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All Webquests Include a Google Doc Version – Excellent for Distance Learning!

Food Chains & Food Webs

Research Trophic Levels to Construct a Forest Ecosystem Food Pyramid

Food Web Cards – Construct an Atlantic Ocean Food Web & Food Pyramid

Food Web Cards – Construct a Forest Ecosystem Food Web & Food Pyramid

Bundle: Food Web Cards – Forest and Ocean Ecosystem Activities

Virtual Pond Dip – A Webquest on Microscopic Protists and Animals (Google Doc)

Characteristics & Needs of Living Things

What Do Animals Need to Survive: Food, Water, Shelter? Research to Find Out

Characteristics of Living Things Lesson: Made of Cells, Reproduce, etc. (NEW!)

Living Things Respond to their Environment and Maintain Homeostasis

Genetics

Lesson & Activity – Dominant & Recessive Inheritance and Punnett Squares

Teach Genetics: Dominance, Incomplete Dominance & Codominance Lesson/Worksheet

Cells

Let’s Draw: Cell Parts and Their Function

Spontaneous Generation: Experiments of Louis Pasteur & Francesco Redi

Pathogens & Bacteria

Pathogens – Intro Unit on Pathogenic Microorganisms, Vectors, Hosts, Germ Theory

WebQuest – Pathogenic and Beneficial Bacteria Introduced

The Immune System – a WebQuest (Includes Google Doc Student Pages!)

body systems

Return to Catalog

The Respiratory System – A WebQuest

Respiratory system cover pageThis WebQuest is a breath of fresh air for a busy teacher. You can breathe easy as this assignment provides an engaging journey into the respiratory system.

1. Travel through the respiratory system to learn the parts of the lungs and how oxygen moves into the capillaries while carbon dioxide moves out.

2. Go beyond just the parts to learn why humans are nose breathers, fish have gills and dolphins have blow holes.

3. Don’t just read and watch, but do – practice activating the diaphragm to breathe deeply, try to talk while inhaling and learn why we don’t like to breathe through our mouths.

4. Discovery how some of our vaccinations protect you from lung diseases like whooping cough and pneumonia.

Click HERE to see the worksheet.

Student Links:

A. Go to: How Lungs Work Movie

B. Go to:  Your Lungs & Respiratory System

D. Learn about Asthma

E. Learn about Whooping Cough

F. Belly Breathing – Activate the Diaphragm

G. Why do we breathe through our noses?

H. How do fish breathe underwater?

I. Do whales and dolphins breathe like fish?

 

Pathogenic and Beneficial Bacteria Introduced

Includes a Google Doc Version for Distance Learning!

bacteria webquest cover

[Students – please scroll down for the webquest links]

The hardest part of teaching 6th-9th grade science sometimes is figuring out what information is essential for these students to learn so that they develop important background knowledge to propel them forward to deeper learning in upper high school courses and beyond. I struggle with this question all of the time.

It has taken a few years, but I think I have found the right balance when it comes to teaching about the bacteria kingdom. We learn about this subject twice – first, when study the basic characteristics of the different kingdoms of life. Second, when we study pathogens and the immune system, which is when my students do this webquest.

I developed this webquest to engage my students in the reasons WHY we study bacteria. This could seem like a boring subject, but bacteria are amazing, complex and scary. They are a part of our history as humans and literally a part of our bodies. Learning about bacteria can be frightening at times given the havoc they can cause, but its through learning and studying them that we quell our fears.

For one, kids often are given the impression that all bacteria are bad and disease-causing. The exact opposite is true and most bacteria are harmless or are doing a job directly for us or in the environment that we rely on. Learning about this makes them a lot less scary. And yes, some do harm us, but by studying them and engaging with them, we learn to stop and prevent their infections.

**The student links are those students visit as they complete the webquest. Click HERE to see the worksheet.** Click here to find out about my unit on pathogens. Click here to learn about my Pasteur and Redi Spontaneous Generation activity.

Webquest Student Links

Reading, What are Bacteria?

Disease-Causing Bacteria, Video 1

Alexander Fleming, Video 2

Reading, The real story behind penicillin

Reading, What about Good Bacteria?

Reading, The Danger of Antibiotic Overuse

cover page pathogens

How the Eye Works Webquest

In this activity students will…eye wbqst picture

  • Learn the main parts of the eye and how they function
  • Have fun with an optical illusion
  • Learn about eye health and common vision problems
  • Compare human eye sight to other animals

Find more information about this activity here.

Student Links:

A. Movie: Eyes

B. Your Eyes Article

C. Diagram of the Eye

D.Experiments to Try

Experiments to Try

E. eye health

Pinkeye

Caring for Your Eyes

F. common vision problems

G. Eyes Quiz

H. Eagle Eyes

I. Animal Eyes