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Classroom Activities

  • Vinegar Eels In this lab, students observe vinegar eels. View »
  • Testing for Segregation of Alleles In this lab, students test corn pollen for evidence of the segregation of alleles. View »
  • Introduction to Planaria In this lab, students examine the anatomy and behavior of the planarian, a simple animal with bilateral symmetry. View »
  • Pill Bug Behavior This activity is an introduction to animal behavior. Students conduct an experiment to test the response of pill bugs (Armadillidium vulgare) to conditions of low and high humidity. View »
  • Lumbriculus: Contraction Rate of the Dorsal Blood Vessel In this introductory physiology lab, students determine the contraction rate of the dorsal blood vessel of the blackworm Lumbriculus. Students then design and conduct an experiment to determine the effect of temperature change or chemical exposure on the contraction rate. View »
  • Introduction to Prokaryotes: Cyanobacteria In this lab students observe two examples of cyanobacteria and make a simple comparison to a eukaryotic green alga. View »
  • Investigating a Phenotype In this activity, students investigate a phenotype that is not so conspicuous, and they perform a simple chemical test to reveal the underlying basis of the phenotype. View »
  • Introduction to Hydra This lab introduces students to Phylum Cnidaria. The activity also serves as an introduction to animals. View »
  • Introduction to Invertebrates In this lab, students study representatives of several invertebrate groups. View »
  • Daphnia Heart Rate In this introductory physiology lab, students determine the heart rate of Daphnia magna and then test the effect of changing temperature on the heart rate. View »
  • Plant Biodiversity Field Activity This field activity introduces students to biodiversity through the study of plants and animals in a designated area. But here’s the twist—instead of using a quadrat to designate the area of study, students use a Hula Hoop® instead. View »
  • Science Notebook: An Owl Pellet Inquiry This introductory owl pellet dissection is a springboard for teaching the techniques of using a science notebook while having students engage in the scientific practices. View »
  • Teaching with Ecosystem Aquariums By creating and maintaining an aquarium ecosystem in the classroom, students can understand the web of relationships that link organisms to one another, and they can develop a growing sensitivity to living things and what they need to survive. View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Amoeba What characteristics do protists share with animals? In this lab students observe Amoeba proteus to find out. View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Euglena Euglena was once studied as a simple animal by zoologists and as a simple plant by botanists. How does this protist combine some characteristics of animals with the plant-like ability to photosynthesize? View »
  • Introduction to Protista: Paramecium Complexity in a single cell. In this lab students observe Paramecium as an example of a complex ciliated protist. View »
  • Investigating Seed Germination The story of how a seed becomes a plant is fascinating to young students. These activities for grades K-4 will help your students explore the process of germination, seed structure, and early seedling growth. View »
  • Wisconsin Fast Plants® and Product Testing In this inquiry activity, students conduct experiments to determine if a commercial product effects the germination of Wisconsin Fast Plants® seed. In doing so they practice basic science skills including collecting and graphing data, interpreting data, and doing serial dilutions. View »
  • Volcano in the Classroom Here’s a safe, easy, and vivid interpretation of a classic activity that won’t break the budget. All you’ll need are a few common items—a beaker, sand, water, a candle, and a hot plate. View »
  • Invasion! Invasion! Engage life science students by investigating a fascinating topic: invasive species. Here’s a lesson plan outline to help you get started. Based on the KWL chart, it guides you through 4 days of invasive species activities that introduce the topic, guide research, and culminate in a research project. View »
  • Easy Variation and Natural Selection Lessons with Wisconsin Fast Plants® Seed Disks Explore a technique that makes teaching variation and natural selection lessons with Fast Plants® easier than ever. In this activity, students examine the effects an abiotic environmental change (salinity) has on an experimental plot of Fast Plants®. Includes detailed background information and instructions. View »
  • End the Year with an Outdoor Classroom Everything’s better in the great outdoors. Celebrate the warmer weather and engage your students during the final stretch of the school year with these fun activities. View »
  • Biology in the Movies See how you can use movies to facilitate engaging learning experiences for your students. Each suggestion includes a brief synopsis and talking points. Here’s to making your biology lessons even better than before. View »
  • Making Algae Beads In this activity students create spheres of green algae for use in experiments that explore the metabolic processes of plants. Includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. View »
  • Investigating Habitat Preferences with Millipedes In this investigation, students determine millipedes’ preference for a bright or a dark environment by giving the organisms a choice between a clear chamber and a black chamber. View »
  • Restriction Enzyme Road Trip: Enduring Understandings in DNA Biotechnology Employing an entertaining road trip analogy, students will model restriction enzyme digestion and demonstrate their learning by modeling the separation of the resulting “DNA” fragments by gel electrophoresis. View »
  • Using Algae Beads as a Model for Photosynthesis Introduce students to photosynthesis with fresh water algae. By creating algae beads (made of algae and sodium alginate solution), they indirectly observe the change in concentration of oxygen in beads that are exposed to different amounts of light. View »
  • Wisconsin Fast Plants® Monohybrid Crosses Inquiry In this scientific inquiry activity, students germinate F2 generation Wisconsin Fast Plants® seeds and identify the phenotypes and possible genotypes of the F2 generation plants. View »
  • Introduction to Wisconsin Fast Plants® Phenotypes In this inquiry activity, students investigate phenotypes using Wisconsin Fast Plants® seeds. After the seeds germinate, students identify the phenotypes and the possible associated genotype. View »
  • Photosynthesis Introduce students to photosynthesis in a visual way. As Elodea uses carbon dioxide from an initial solution, a change in pH occurs, causing a color change in the solution. View »
  • Human Body: Respiratory System Review Review respiratory system structure and function with this graphic organizer. View »
  • Pill Bug Behavior Choices This introductory investigation into animal behavior uses pill bugs and choice chambers. Students begin with an experiment to test how pill bugs respond to humidity and can go on to design an inquiry to test another environmental factor. View »
  • An Inquiry into Seed Germination This NGSS-aligned activity is a student inquiry into factors that affect seed germination.Use it as an introduction for plant studies in biology or as an environmental impact investigation in earth science, environmental science, or agricultural science. View »
  • Reaction Time and Practice Introduce students to reflexes and reactions, the nervous system, or learning theory with this engaging activity. View »
  • Hydroponic Nutrient Solution After a structured investigation of a hydroponic technology, students design an experiment to test different nutrient solutions. View »
  • Amazing Bugs® Beetle Races: Pre/Post Questions Guide inquiry and assess student learning with these questions. Students answer the questions before and after the activities in the Amazing Bugs® kit. View »
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