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Thomas, Robert A.; Thomas, Aimée K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We present a new use for a poorly preserved turtle specimen that teachers can easily use in demonstrating vertebrate anatomy or adaptive herpetology at the high school or college level. We give special attention to illustrating the sigmoid flexure of the neck as certain turtles withdraw their heads. This ability is anatomically and biologically…
Descriptors: Preservation, Anatomy, Demonstrations (Educational), Animals
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Work, Kirsten A.; Gibbs, Melissa A.; Friedman, Erich J. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We describe a card game that helps introductory biology students understand the basics of the immune response to pathogens. Students simulate the steps of the immune response with cards that represent the pathogens and the cells and molecules mobilized by the immune system. In the process, they learn the similarities and differences between the…
Descriptors: Microbiology, Cytology, Molecular Biology, Biological Sciences
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Osenkowski, Pamela; Green, Che; Tjaden, Anne; Cunniff, Peggy – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Animal dissection has been routinely practiced in American biology classrooms for decades. With technological advancements, more states adopting student choice measures, and increased awareness about ethical concerns surrounding dissection, many useful dissection alternatives have been developed. To understand the current use of animal dissection…
Descriptors: Laboratory Procedures, Teacher Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Animals
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Hodgson, Jay Y. S.; Mateer, Scott C. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The compound microscope is an important tool in biology, and mastering it requires repetition. Unfortunately, introductory activities for students can be formulaic, and consequently, students are often unengaged and fail to develop the required experience to become proficient in microscopy. To engage students, increase repetition, and develop…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Biology, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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McKernan, Lisa N. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The challenge of teaching in the sciences is not only conveying knowledge in the discipline, but also developing essential critical thinking, data analysis, and scientific writing skills. I outline an exercise that can be done easily as part of a microbiology laboratory course. It teaches the nature of the research process, from asking questions…
Descriptors: Microbiology, Teaching Methods, Research Methodology, Scientific Research
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McGahern, Patricia; Bosch, Frances; Poli, DorothyBelle – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Student engagement during the development of a three-dimensional visual aid or teaching model can vary for a number of reasons. Some students report that they are not "creative" or "good at art," often as an excuse to justify less professional outcomes. Student engagement can be low when using traditional methods to produce a…
Descriptors: Student Projects, Teaching Models, Class Activities, Printing
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Flinn, Kathryn M. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
In this classroom activity, students build a phylogeny for woody plant species based on the morphology of their twigs. Using any available twigs, students can practice the process of cladistics to test evolutionary hypotheses for real organisms. They identify homologous characters, determine polarity through outgroup comparison, and construct a…
Descriptors: Class Activities, Science Activities, Teaching Methods, Educational Strategies
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Senter, Phil; Ambrocio, Zenis; Andrade, Julia B.; Foust, Katanya K.; Gaston, Jasmine E.; Lewis, Ryshonda P.; Liniewski, Rachel M.; Ragin, Bobby A.; Robinson, Khanna L.; Stanley, Shane G. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Lists of vestigial biological structures in biology textbooks are so short that some young-Earth creationist authors claim that scientists have lost confidence in the existence of vestigial structures and can no longer identify any verifiable ones. We tested these hypotheses with a method that is easily adapted to biology classes. We used online…
Descriptors: Biology, Evolution, Creationism, Science Education
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Robischon, Marcel – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Genetic drift is a concept of population genetics that is central to understanding evolutionary processes and aspects of conservation biology. It is frequently taught using rather abstract representations. I introduce three real-life zoological examples, based on historical and recent color morphs of tigers, tapirs, and ravens, that can complement…
Descriptors: Genetics, Animals, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Hubler, Tina; Adams, Patti; Scammell, Jonathan – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The molecular basis of evolution is an important and challenging concept for students to understand. In a previous article, we provided some of the scientific background necessary to teach this topic. This article features a series of laboratory activities demonstrating that molecular events can alter the genomes of organisms. These activities are…
Descriptors: Laboratory Experiments, Science Activities, Molecular Biology, Genetics
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Bouwma-Gearhart, Jana; Bouwma, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States, 2013) recommend that science courses engage communities of students in scientific practices that include building accurate conceptual models of phenomena central to the understanding of scientific disciplines. We offer a set of activities, implemented successfully at both the…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Science Activities
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Zeeh, Ann; Quell, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Teachers are being challenged to engage students in ways that will elevate student interest and understanding of concepts in science and encourage students to gather evidence to support what we know about science. It is critical for teachers to have budget-friendly, supporting activities that are aligned with current educational standards, that…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Student Interests, Science Activities
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Tseng, ChingMei; Chen, Shu-Bi Shu-Bi; Chang, Wen-Hua – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Guiding students to generate testable scientific questions is essential in the inquiry classroom, but it is not easy. The purpose of the BDC ("Big Idea, Divergent Thinking, and Convergent Thinking") instructional model is to to scaffold students' inquiry learning. We illustrate the use of this model with an example lesson, designed…
Descriptors: Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Inquiry, Grade 5, Concept Teaching
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Keselman, Alla; Hundal, Savreen; Chentsova-Dutton, Yulia; Bibi, Raquel; Edelman, Jay A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
This study investigates the relationship among (1) college major, (2) knowledge used in reasoning about common health beliefs, and (3) judgment about the accuracy of those beliefs. Seventy-four college students, advanced biology and non-science majors, indicated their agreement or disagreement with commonly believed, but often inaccurate,…
Descriptors: Biology, Misconceptions, Biological Sciences, Health Behavior
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Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Interpreting cladograms is a key skill for biological literacy. In this lesson, students interpret cladograms based on familial relationships and language relationships to build their understanding of tree thinking and to construct a definition of "common ancestor." These skills can then be applied to a true biological cladogram.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Genetics, Language Usage
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