10 Great Biology Activities and Lessons

Students: Plant Experiment
Students experimenting with plants in biology class. Niedring/Drentwett/Getty Images

Biology activities and lessons allow students to investigate and learn about biology through hands-on experience. Below is a list of 10 great biology activities and lessons for K-12 teachers and students.

K-8 Activities and Lessons

1. Cells
Activities and lesson plans for teaching students about: The Cell as a System.

Objectives: Identify major cell components; know structures and functions of components; understand how the parts of a cell interact together.

Resources:
Cell Anatomy - Discover the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Cell Organelles - Learn about the types of organelles and their function within cells.

15 Differences Between Animal and Plant Cells - Identify 15 ways in which animal cells and plant cells differ from one another.

2. Mitosis
Activities and lesson plans for learning about: Mitosis and Cell Division.

Objectives: Know how cells reproduce; understand chromosome replication.

Resources:
Mitosis - This stage-by-stage guide to mitosis describes the major events that occur in each mitotic stage.

Mitosis Glossary - An index of commonly used mitosis terms.

Mitosis Quiz - This quiz is designed to test your knowledge of the mitotic process.

3. Meiosis
Activities and lesson plans for learning about: Meiosis and Sex Cell Production.

Objectives: Describe the steps in meiosis; understand the difference between mitosis and meiosis.

Resources:
Stages of Meiosis - This illustrated guide describes each stage of meiosis.

7 Differences Between Mitosis and Meiosis - Discover 7 differences between the division processes of mitosis and meiosis.

4. Owl Pellet Dissection
Activities and lessons for learning about: Owl Pellet Dissections.

Objectives: To learn about owl eating habits and digestion.

Resources:
Online Dissections - These virtual dissection resources allow you to experience actual dissections without all of the mess.

5. Photosynthesis
Activity and lesson about: Photosynthesis and How Plants Make Food.

Objectives: To understand how plants make food and transport water; to understand why plants need light.

Resources:
The Magic of Photosynthesis - Discover how plants turn sunlight into energy.

Plant Chloroplasts - Find out how chloroplasts make photosynthesis possible.

Photosynthesis Quiz - Test your knowledge of photosynthesis by taking this quiz.

8-12 Activities and Lessons

1. Mendelian Genetics
Activities and lessons for learning about: Using Drosophila to Teach Genetics.

Objective: To learn how to use the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster to apply knowledge of heredity and Mendelian genetics.

Resources:
Mendelian Genetics - Learn how traits are passed from parents to offspring.

Genetic Dominance Patterns - Information on complete dominance, incomplete dominance, and co-dominance relationships.

Polygenic Inheritance - Discover the types of traits that are determined by multiple genes.

2. Extracting DNA
Activities and lessons for learning about the structure and function of DNA, as well as DNA extraction.

Objectives: To understand relationships between DNA, chromosomes, and genes; to understand how to extract DNA from living sources.

Resources:

DNA From a Banana - Try this simple experiment that demonstrates how to extract DNA from a banana.

Make a DNA Model Using Candy - Discover a sweet and fun way to make a DNA model using candy.

3. The Ecology of Your Skin
Activities and lessons for learning about: Bacteria That Live on the Skin.

Objectives: To examine the relationship between humans and skin bacteria.

Resources:
Bacteria That Live on Your Skin - Discover 5 types of bacteria that live on your skin.

10 Everyday Objects That Harbor Germs - Common objects we use every day are often havens for bacteria, viruses, and other germs.

Top 5 Reasons to Wash Your Hands - Washing and drying your hands properly is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of disease.

4. The Heart
Activities and lessons for learning about the human heart.

Objectives: To understand the anatomy of the heart and blood circulation.

Resources:
Heart Anatomy - Overview of the function and anatomy of the heart.

Circulatory System - Learn about the pulmonary and systemic paths of blood circulation.

5. Body Fat
Activities and lessons for learning about fat cells.

Objectives: To learn about fat cells and their function; to understand the importance of fat in a diet.

Resources:
Lipids - Discover the different types of lipids and their functions.

10 Things You Don't Know About Fat - Review these interesting facts about fat.

Biology Experiments

For information on biology experiments and lab resources, see: