Using the Resources

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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.

Resource                                                                                   Topic

The Way Life Works – Introduction                                Seeing the Invisible

The Way Life Works – Chapter One                                Patterns

The Way Life Works – Chapter Two                                Energy enzyme lab this photosynthesis activity is written for a classroom but it could be adapted for home use, especially with extra friends and family participating 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
Are Rare”

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

Choose One:
Cats are Not Peas: A Calico History of Genetics Genetics
The Cartoon Guide to Genetics

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.

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