Using the Resources
Using the Biology Resources by Jamie McMillin
For an explanation of how I came up with this unit study, please click here.
Following is the basic sequence I used with the resources listed here. I did not attempt to assign timelines, because everyone should do this differently. Depending on how many additional books you read or labs you do, and how much time is allotted to biology, this study could take up to one and a half years.
The main text is The Way Life Works. It may be helpful for the student to take notes and illustrate/diagram the main concepts of each chapter in their own science notebook.. The short chapters took us one week, but some of the longer chapters took two or three weeks. Look for labs and activities online to support the subject matter in each chapter.
The Way Life Works – Introduction Seeing the Invisible
The Way Life Works – Chapter One Patterns
The Way Life Works – Chapter Two Energy
http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEPC/WWC/1991/enzymes.php enzyme lab
http://www.lessonplansinc.com/science.php?ACT=30&ID=113&FID=attach&FNAME=photosynthesis_activity.pdf this photosynthesis activity is written for a classroom but it could be adapted for home use, especially with extra friends and family participating
http://www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/labbench/lab5/intro.html cell respiration lab
The Way Life Works – Chapter Three Information
- use K’Nex DNA kit or other materials to build DNA models
- check the web for DNA activities – there are SO many to choose from!
The Nature of Life – read “The Double Helix” Discovery of DNA
The Way Life Works – Chapter Four Machinery
The Way Life Works – Chapter Five Feedback
The Way Life Works – Chapter Six Community
- mitosis lab with virtual slides!
View DVD In the Womb Developing Fetus
The Way Life Works – Chapter Seven Evolution
View DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life Origin of Life
View DVD Flock of Dodos Controversy
The Nature of Life – read “The Selfish Gene” Evolution
Read excerpts from: Creationism
Read The Microbe Hunters Microbes
Using the Guide to Microlife and some sort of Microlife
Magnifier, find/grow microlife to study and draw
View DVD Before the Dinosaurs Earliest Life
Read pp 14-23 of Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide Classification
Understand the Five Kingdoms of Life
Read Magical Mushrooms and Mischievous Molds Fungi
- if this is boring to the student, just drop it and look
at examples of live fungi; grow your own!
View DVD Life in the Undergrowth Invertebrates
Using a guide book for your local area, find examples of invertebrates to
temporarily capture and study
Dissect a starfish or crayfish (we used Froguts) Invertebrates
Read The Nature of Life “Parts of Animals” Classification
Peruse Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide Animals
Diagram or explain animal classification in lab book Classification
Read The Nature of Life “The Snout” Adaptability
Read The Nature of Life “Why Big Fierce Animals Natural Selection
Dissect a frog (we used Froguts) Anatomy
View DVDs about various animals and ecosystems Animals
- choose high quality documentaries about subjects that
would most interest your family
Read The Nature of Life “The Descent of Man” Darwin
Read The Nature of Life “Natural Selection” Darwin
Read Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism Intelligent Design
Read The Seven Daughters of Eve Human Origin
Read The Nature of Life “Life from Scum” Serial Endosymbiosis Theory
Fun Reading – Once your student has finished The Way Life Works they might enjoy reading some books by Michael Crichton, such as The Andromeda Strain, Prey and Congo. While it is clear that these books are fiction, Crichton uses a lot of biological concepts as premises for his stories. Science fiction always provides wonderful fodder for thought and discussion.