What is Biology?
Students need to know what biology is in order for them to be able to understand it and make their own biology experiments. Explain to students that biology is the science of living organisms at all of their existing levels. From the single celled organism to the top of the food chain, biology focuses on them all. Review the examples below before explaining biology to your students.
- The criteria for deciding if matter is an organism is defined by biology.
- The organizational levels for categorizing organisms is created and used in biology.
- The testing of stimuli on various living things to see what the effect of the stimuli is on them.
Once students have a basic understanding of what biology is, they can create experiments that will combine their interests with the science of biology. Once students have displayed their understanding of biology, move on to the next section in this lesson plan.
Make a Biology Experiment
Now that students understand the concept of what biology is all about, it's time for them to make an experiment of their own. Explain to students that they have an assignment to make a biology experiment on their own. The experiment must have the element of a plant or animal. Discuss some of the examples below with your students to give them an idea of what kind of experiments are acceptable.
- Grow plants using different colored water to water them.
- Change their diet to see if their body responds differently.
- Plant seeds in different mediums to see how each seed responds differently.
If students complete the first lesson plan in this series than they can use their scientific journals to record their experiments and results. If not, they can simply record them on a separate sheet of paper. Students should use the scientific method to do this assignment. Use the example below to show them how they may use the scientific method in their biology experiment.
- Observation- George observes that his spider plant is developing slowly.
- Hypothesis- George thinks that the plant's water may be missing something that it needs.
- Prediction- George predicts that if he adds something to the water, the plant's growth will improve.
- Test- George takes starters from the plant and places one in tap water, one in tap water with Epsom salt and one in mineral water.
- Results- George records the results of the plants' growth on a daily basis and determines which method produced the highest level of growth.
Students should have two weeks in which to perform their experiments. At the end of this time period, students will turn in their assignments that will include a detailed description of the experiment as well as the scientific method that was used to come up with the experiment. After completing this project, the students should have an understanding of how biology works and how experiments can prove or disprove a hypothesis. Encourage students to perform their experiments on something that interests them personally so that they may be able to actually use the results of the experiment in their own lives.
This post is part of the series: Making a Science Experiment
- Creating Science Journals in the Classroom: Observe and Record
- Student Expectations and Science
- Introduction to Biology Lesson
- Elementary Physics Lesson Plan: Performing an Experiment in Matter and Energy