Be sure to look at the bottom of the page for free materials to teach Life Science.

Life Science
Life Science Teaching Ideas

Cells

Edible Cell
Edible Cell

As you can tell by the slight variation in 'cell components' that creating an edible cell is a favorite activity that I repeat each year. Each piece of fruit/candy represents one part of the cell. All the cell parts are surrounded by Jello in a Ziploc bag. It is important to have a lot of discussion during the activity for students to make a strong connection in their minds between the cell parts and the different foods.

 

Ziploc plastic bag -> cell membrane

Jello -> cytoplasm

Use pretzels, marshmallows, dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, cereal such as Rice Krispies and Cheerios, fruit such as apple slices and blueberries, or candy for the various organelles of the cell.

Have students draw their cells and label each part with the food that represents the cell part.

 

 

Edible Cell
Edible Cell
Edible Cell
Plant and Animal Cells

I like to back up creating edible cells with viewing plant and animal cells under a microscope.

Plant and Animal Cells
Plant and Animal Cells
Plant and Animal Cells
Comparing Plant and Animal Cells

 

 

Graphic organizers for animal and plant cells can be found on Enchanted Learning.

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Plant Structure

Edible Plant Parts

List fruits and vegetables. Have students determine which part of the plant each fruit of vegetable is.

Roots - carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, radishes, turnips, rutabagas, ginger or parsnips

Stems - celery, asparagus, bamboo shoots, sugar cane

Leaves - lettuce, cabbage, spinach, greens

Flowers - broccoli, cauliflower

Fruit - apples, cherries, berries, grapes, lemons, oranges, figs, olives, pears, peaches, melon

Seeds - beans, sunflower seeds, rice, peas, corn



Make a salad. Students must identify each ingredient as root, leaf, stem, whole plant, seed, etc.

Plant Structure
Plant Structure
Plant Structure
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Cycles

Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Cycle

This simple Oxygen-Carbon Dioxide Cycle model was created on Fun Foam using plastic animals and plants.

Moth Life Cycle Craft
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Biomes

Biomes

Students took turns drawing different habitats including animals.

Biomes

Students cut out animal pictures from magazines and printables and sorted them into the correct habitat based on animal adaptations.

Biomes
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Human Actions

Acid Rain

Experiments on Acid Rain

ACTIVITY AND PROCEDURES:

1. Place a piece of chalk in pan.

2. Using an eyedropper, have one student drop vinegar onto the chalk in a constant stream.

3. Observe the fizzing on the surface of the chalk when the vinegar is dropped.

Acid Rain
Acid Rain
Acid Rain
Acid Rain
Acid Rain
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Fossils

Activity 1

Use Geologic Time Scale to help students understand how old the Earth is: Geologic Time Scale

Discuss that Earth started out with different plants and animals than we know today that have become extinct over time. Point out the following using the Geologic Time Line:

3.9 to 2.5 billion years ago - animals were only single (one) celled
540 to 500 million years ago - one of the first complex animals was the trilobite  Have students look at drawings of trilobites.
248 million years ago - first dinosaurs
146 million years ago - dinosaurs die out
54 million years ago - first mammals
24 million years ago - first horses, dogs and bears
5 million years ago - first whale
1.8 million years ago - first man (Mention what a small time man has been on Earth compared to how old Earth is.)


Use a piece of yard as a timeline to illustrate the age of the Earth. Using a scale of 1 mm = 1 million years, a time line of the Earth would be about 4.6 meters long. Show the ages of the items listed above on the timeline. (Note a mm is the size of the edge of a dime when looking at the side.)

Activity 2

Ask students to tell you how man knows about the animals that lived on Earth such a long time ago. (Encourage students to come up with the word fossil.)

What is a fossil?

Go over the definition of a fossil.
Fossils are the preserved remains of plants and animals or traces left by plants and animals such as footprints.
Explain how fossils are made.
Some animals were quickly buried after they died in mud or sand
Over time more and more sand and mud covered their bodies.
The bones and teeth turned into fossils over time. The bone slowly decayed and water than contained minerals soaked into the the empty places. The minerals filled up the bone.
The process resulted in a rock-like copy of the original object which is a fossil.


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Relationships Among Organisms  

Discuss each relationship.

Print photos using links below. Students sort photos according to relationships.

Examples from the Internet - Nature Footage