These are videos that I show in class, either in their entirety of just clips. The worksheets simply ask questions that can be answered as the movie progress, which helps keep students focused. Videos can be purchased, watched online, or checked out from your local library. With the addition of many online streaming videos, look for the “view online” tag for videos that are free for viewing.
AIDS: Evolution of an Epidemic – can be ordered for free from HHMI
Among the Wild Chimpanzees – the story of Jane Goodall’s work with the chimpanzees
Animals Behaving Badly – an interesting movie about wild animals that do bad things
Animal Face-Off Hippo – hippo vs. shark
Anatomy of a Snakebite – shows how snakes bite, both venomous and constricting snakes
Bill Nye, Genetics – a history lesson on the major discoveries in genetics, including Mendel, Thomas Morgan, Watson and Crick, and the Human Genome Project.
Bill Nye: Cells: 21 minute program on how cells work, comparing cells to a house, and showing how cells are found in all living things.
Blackfish – this documentary explores the marine mammal industry and focuses on Sea World and a trend of disturbing attacks of whales on trainers. This film is probably not appropriate for younger viewers.
Crazy Croakers – all about frogs
Dirty Jobs – Jobs that Bite – investigates jobs related to sharks, includes a fantastic dissection of a shark
Dog Tales – NOVA – this is a newer version of “Dogs Decoded” and covers the same themes.
Frogs: The Thin Green Line – focuses on reasons for the decline in frog populations and measures being taken to save the frogs
From Conception to Birth – shows the joining of sperm and egg and tracks the development of a fetus and shows birth of baby, focus in this video is on the changes to the mother’s body
In the Womb – this shows various animals as they develop in the uterus
Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid – detailed descriptions of the squid anatomy as it is dissected combined it with footage of live squid showing their unique adaptations
Life’s Greatest Miracle – This video focuses more on the changes of the embryo as it transforms from a single cell, to a blastocyst to an embryo. Tissues, genetics, and meiosis are also illustrated. Viewer discretion advised. View at Nova Online.
Inside the Living Body (NatGeo) – amazing footage from inside the organs and systems, the documentary follows a person’s life from birth until old age.
Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial – also has an online version, outlines the case in Dover where a school board tried to put ID in the classroom,
The Lion in Your Living Room (Netflix) – explores the evolution of domestic cats, includes animations of cat traits and behaviors
Living With Tigers – chronicles two tiger cubs as they are reintroduced into the wild
Magic School Bus Rides Again: Janet’s Mystery Gene – explores genes and DNA as the team tries to discover what makes Janet the way she is.
Meet the Coywolf – PBS nature explore how coyotes and wolves interact with humans, focusing on how wolves mating with coyotes have created a unique hybrid that lives among us.
Mythbusters: Lunar Landing – debunking various conspiracy theories surrounding the landing on the moon
Mythbusters: Knock Your Socks Off – the test a bullet being fired versus a bullet being dropped to show that both fall at the same rates, excellent for discussing Newton’s Laws.
NOVA: The Planets (2019) – 5 episodes exploring the planets of the solar system with amazing graphics and images from probes
NOVA Wonders: What’s Living in You (2018) – this program looks at the microbes that live on and in us, some harmful and some beneficial. Great for grossing kids out and a good compliment to a cell or microbiology unit.
Parasites, Eating Us Alive – very graphic movie about worms and protozoans that infect humans
RAT – shows rats in an urban environment, how they live and survive
Rat Attack – shows a plague of rats that occurs at predictable times, good for showing the scientific method and how researchers determined the cause (and timing) of the rat plagues, view online at PBS nature
Radioactive Wolves – Nature program that follows animal populations (mainly wolves) in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. The forests and animal populations are thriving there, view online at Nature.com
The Unknown World – shows microscopic images of things that live all around us
The Science of Babies (National Geographic) – focuses on the development of the brain in the 1st year of life
The Science of Imagineering- Energy – Describes kinetic and potential energy by explaining how rides at Disneyland work; inc
Vaccines: Calling the Shots: (2014, Nova) Discusses how vaccines work, herd immunity, and vaccine safety
The Wonderful World of Blood (BBC) – explores how blood delivers nutrients to body tissues
Wolves at Our Door – shows wolves being raised and introduced into the wild
Wolves, The Return of a Legend – shows how wolves were nearly hunted to extinction and current recovery
Wonders Down Under – shows mostly marsupials and other Australian animals
EYEWITNESS SERIES – these are half hour long videos, many focus on what we study in biology 1 and 2. They offer stunning visuals and a fast pace that can appeal to even the most jaded student. Most are available on Youtube.
Fiction (with biological themes)
GATTACA – explores a future where babies are engineered and to have genetic flaws means you are a second-class citizen
Outbreak – to save a town, doctors must find a virus and a cure before it is too late.
Earth to Echo – After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.
Bones – (biology topics: scientific method, blood type, anatomy, DNA);