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What is Life Science?

By Kathy Foust

These Life Science activities and experiments challenge students to hone their observation skills and come to an understanding of the definition of life science.


Any introduction of a specific type of science needs to begin with an introduction to science itself. If you plan to introduce and use more than one type of science in your class, you may want to have your students create a science notebook following this lesson plan. Take this time to introduce science to your students using the following definition.

Science is the study of the world around us. We use science to answer questions about the world around us based on the scientific method. Every part of science begins with observation. Every other step of science follows this first one. There are many areas of science including physical science, life science, biology, chemistry and many more. Today we are going to focus on life science.

Stop and ask your students the following question; What is life science? Listen to their answers and continue on with the next section.

Observing Life

Use the definition below to explain what life science is, then continue on with the activity in this section.

Life science is the study of living things. Not only does it allow us to study the particular way a body system works, it also allows us to study the way living things respond to each other and the world around them or us. The following topics are parts of life science.

  • The study of organ systems.
  • The study of evolution.
  • The study of migration patterns.
  • The study of response to stimuli.

These are just examples of how life science is used. Ask your students the following questions, then have them complete the homework assignment.

  1. Why do birds fly south in the winter?
  2. Why do bears hibernate?
  3. Why do snakes go underground after sunset?

Discuss the students' answers with them and clear up any misconceptions. Then give them the assignment below as their first observational challenge. Allow students to pick one of the questions and write a brief report on it, The report should include a description of the animal in question as well as a description of the animal's environment. Any previous observations that pertain to the behavior of the animal may also be included as needed.

  • Research behaviors of animals previous to natural disasters. For instance, burrowing animals tend to leave the area before an earthquake happens. Present an explanation of why this might happen.
  • If you have a pet at home, test your pets noise response. Make a loud noise in the room and observe what your pet does. Go outside and make a noise near the window. Observe and record how your pet responds to these noise. Include your opinion of why the pet responded in such a way.
  • Go to a quiet area and observe the birds in the area. Pick one bird to observe for ten minutes. What does the bird do in those ten minutes? Can you explain why they are doing what they did? If there was an outside stimulus, such as a noise, observe and record how the bird responded to it.
  • What is life science? Can you explain this science in your own words and provide 10 ways that it has an impact on your personal life?

Upon finishing the assignment, students will have their own experiences in life science as they use the first step in the scientific method to observe how life interacts with the world around it.