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Biology in Elementary Schools home

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Biology In Elementary Schools is a Saint Michael's College student project from a course that ran between 2007 and 2010. The student-created resources have been preserved here for posterity. Link under 'toolbox' for printer-friendly versions of the exercises. Click on handouts to print full resolution versions. Please see Wikieducator's disclaimer, our safety statement, and the Creative Commons licensing in English and in legalese.

Student worthiness

Briefly categorize your idea as tried and trusted, tried at least once and worked well, or brand new and untested.

Primary biological content area covered

Briefly list the concepts to which this activity will expose students.

Materials

Place any safety equipment needed at the top of the list. List all materials in three categories: materials required for the teacher's use (watering can for example); materials required for each student group (potting soil perhaps); materials that each individual student would need (let's say a flower pot; think 'yogurt cup'; and seed).

Handouts

If there are simple written instructions that students would use during this activity they should be placed here and they can be cut and pasted into a word processing document for printing. There are mechanisms within this web format to upload pictures, tables, and more complex documents with diagrams. Common MS Office documents cannot be uploaded without first making modifications. Please link to tips on preparing handouts for upload.

Description of activity

Briefly describe the activity, but provide enough detail so that the activity can easily be assessed by other teachers without your intimate knowledge of the topic.

Lesson plan

An ordered account of how the lesson might proceed. It is worth recognizing that some flexibility is useful in lesson plans, but at the same time having a structure and direction provides some organization and structure that your students will appreciate. A bullet list may be the best format for some projects, but a few paragraphs may work just as well. Build in enough time for students to clean up after themselves and restock the program box for future students. Keep in mind that teachers are very busy, and a student clean up policy is essential for sanity.

Potential pitfalls

From your experience running the activity, list any difficulties you encountered. Where possible, incorporate any modifications of the activity that could reduce these pitfalls directly into the description above.

Math connections

Does the activity link in any way to grade-appropriate math skills?

Literature connections

What children's literature interfaces with the activity you have described. Are there specific library materials that you should have on hand to tie this idea into the broader curriculum? Mention the books here, describe how they will be used, and provide a complete citation in the literature cited section.

Connections to educational standards

This section is used to help teachers track and document the educational standards that the activity meets.

What educational standards does this activity address? Enter the relevant section numbers here. Vermont standards can be found in web links at the bottom of this page. Feel free to add links to other standards.

Next steps

Once you have completed the activity, what other information can be gleaned from the materials and resources at hand? What additional activities could be developed using the equipment and materials you have listed above? What other opportunities to learn can be explored based on student questions and input?

Reflections

Edit this section after you have tried the activity with grade school students. What worked well? What was unexpected? What previous knowledge did the students bring to the activity and how did that compliment your lesson? Are there any must do components that did or would particularlly enhance the learning experience? Other helpful thoughts.

Citations and links

While brand new ideas are very valuable and most welcome here, tried and trusted ideas of others will probably make up the bulk of the material on this site. It is important to respect the copyrights of others, and also to acknowledge their ideas. A full citation to published materials is essential and also useful. If there are online materials that would be useful to supplement your program, link to them from here.

Common mistakes

This section is strictly for editorial suggestions and will not be part of your final product. The most common editorial suggestions I make are listed here.

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