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Adventures in Life Sciences

Life Science is a standard studied in all grade levels. Think about the areas of life science that are taught in your grade level and see how they might be integrated into reading/language arts, mathematics, and social studies.


Scientific Processes

Identifying the scientific processes used when investigating a concept leads to the development of higher cognitive understanding and increased academic achievement in science. The process skills included may be laminated and provided to students to sort and think about what processes they used in their investigations. Debrief with students the processes after each investigation to help students internalize the process skills.

Process Skills (pdf)


How Long Do I Have to Wait Before I Can Fly?


Activity 1: Scientific Journal

Students will keep a scientific journal of their observation and research on a content standard of the teacher's choice. Before providing students with scientific journals, ask them them why journals are important to scientists. What sorts of things are written in a scientific journal? What can we learn from a scientific journal? Why is it important for scientists to keep journals?


Create a scientific journal for students that may be used for a specific science concept that you are studying.
To create our scientific journal we will use Microsoft Word as our tool.

1. Think of a title for your journal.
2. Organize the journal by using tables.
3. Provide space for students to draw. (If it fits the scientific content)
4. Give specific directions for students in the topic being studied.
5. Include digital photos.
See the example provided but customize the journal to fit your class and scientific content.

Scientific Journal


Activity 2 Life Cycles: A Picture Paints a Scientific Concept

Students will study the life cycles of a mealworm, frog, and butterfly through observation and research. In this activity images from the Web or digital camera will be used to create postcards depicting various stages of the life cycle.


Students will study the life cycles of a mealworm, frog, and butterfly through observation and research. In this activity images from the Web or digital camera will be used to create postcards depicting various stages of the life cycle.

Postcards to Give to Each Group

3. Have students arrange their group of postcards in the order of the life cycle.
4. Students discuss the questions on each card in their group.
5. Each student will then write answers on the back of the postcard.
6. Send the postcards to another classroom in the school or to another school.

Gathering Images and Creating the Postcards

To find images for creating the postcards go to the search engine Google. Click on the Image tab and type in the search box the name of the image you need such as frogs, mealworms, or butterflies. The images may be inserted into a Word document or postcards may be created in Publisher and printed on card stock.

Create Post Cards in Microsoft Publisher

• Open Publisher by clicking the start button at the lower left hand corner of the screen.
• Scroll to Programs
• Select Microsoft Publisher

Suggestions for Other Grade Levels:

The following is a list of possible ideas for each grade level based on the standards taught in the elementary grades.
• Grade K: Provide images of different kinds of local plants and animals. Have students match the animals to the habitat.
• Grade One: Provide images of environments and different foods. Have students match the food from the environment from which it comes.
• Grade Two: Provide images of plants and animals and have students list similarities and differences.
• Grade Three: Provide students with images of chrysalis, cocoon, caterpillars, butterflies, eggs, tadpoles, frogs, mealworms, and beetles. Have them arrange the postcards in the life cycle and label each cycle.
• Grade Four: Provide images of seeds and see if students can match them to the grown plant
• Grade Five: Provide images of the food chain and have students arrange to demonstrate the food chain.


Assessing Students On Their Adventure

Reading and interpreting charts and graphs are two ways to extend the knowledge of students. This chart was created in Excel while making observations of a frog and mealworm. Charts and graphs may be used in the assessment of student knowledge. In Adventure III, you will learn how to create spreadsheets and charts in Excel.

Interpreting Scientific Data
Frog Life Cycle Spreadsheet

What information do you want students to understand and how are you planning to assess their understanding? Are you using a rubric? Develop your assessment instrument before beginning the unit of study.

Life Cycle Rubric

Tools for creating rubrics are found on the Web. Follow the tutorials to easily create rubrics.

Project Based Checklist

Courtesy of the Scotia-Glenville Children's Museum, Scotia, New York


Adding to Your Adventure

Curriculum Extensions to Integrate the Adventure:
• Social Studies - geography of habitats, the effect of man on the environment, maps indicating location of species,
• Language Arts - expository writing,creative writing, reading nonfiction and fiction, oral presentations, researching,
• Mathematics - problem solving, looking for patterns, counting, graphing, predicting
• Art - drawing/painting, analyzing art in literature, designing
• Music - singing songs about content or geographic areas, etc. Playing musical instruments to illustrate animal movement, sounds, etc.
• Physical Education - interpretative dance, playing games such as leap frog



Updated December 11, 2008
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