The Biology Corner
Biology is the study of life and living organisms, from the smallest bacteria to giant sequoias. Biologists use observation and experimentation to gain an understanding about the natural world. Branches of biology include anatomy, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, ecology, genetics, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, and zoology. Many people entering the field of biology become specialized in a particular area.
As a course, biology encompasses four main themes:
1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life
2. Biological systems utilize free energy to grow, reproduce, and maintain life functions
3. Living systems store and transmit information essential to life processes
4. Biological systems interact with each other, and those interactions possess complex properties.
The Biology Corner is a resource site for biology and science teachers and students. It contains a variety of lessons, quizzes, labs, web quests, and information on science topics for all levels, including introductory life science and advanced placement biology. You can find lessons related to biology topics in the links listed under “topics” on the sidebar as well as specific curriculum for biology classes taught in high school.
Spotlight Lessons: Ecology
Estimating Population Size – simulate mark and recapture by using small objects to trap and tag. A simple formula will tell you what the overall population size is which can be verified by counting the objects in the bag.
Owl Pellet Dissection – owl pellets are undigested bits of fur and bones that owls regurgitate. Students can examine the contents, reconstruct the skeleton of the prey and make inferences about the owl’s diet.
Interpreting Ecological Data – examine charts, data tables and graphs to answer questions about population size, growth, and carrying capacity.
Biome Project – as a group, investigate a biome and present to the class the main features, animal and plant species present and general climate.
Isopod Behavior Lab – collect isopods (pillbugs) and design a chamber to test their response to different environments, such as temperature, moisture, and substrate.
- Can Bacteria Be Designed to Create Gasoline?
I've heard the term "biofuel" before, and that usually conjures up images of corn fields and ethanol. I recently attended a lecture at Washington University presented by Fuzhong Zhang. The title [More...]
- Is Group Work Really Effective?
I was out for a day last week and left a case study for my anatomy students. The case was about six pages long and starts with a doctor examining [More...]
- How to Make Group Activities and Grading Fair
During the cell unit of Advanced Placement biology, students are required to do three investigations (labs): Diffusion and Osmosis, Photosynthesis, and Cellular Respiration. Students work in groups of 3 to [More...]
- How to Use Google Docs to Leverage Student Engagement
It is the beginning of class, a lab report is due and students setting their homework on your desk. One student says that she doesn't have it because her internet [More...]
- Guide to Explanatory Writing in Science
I have written before about the value of having students write as a learning tool. In "Writing to Learn" I made some suggestions for ways you could incorporate writing into [More...]
- How to Create Your Classroom Seating Chart
It's the first day of school and your students are just arriving to class. Some aren't quite sure they're in the right place, some confidently stride into the room [More...]