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Biology Lesson Plan: Exploring Life on Many Levels

By Finn Orfano

This lesson plan helps teachers effectively teach the material of the first section of the first chapter. Exploring life on many levels allows the students to study biology from cells and DNA to how organisms act within larger levels of organization.

This series will provide a lesson plan according to the Sixth Edition of Biology, by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece; teachers of other editions will be able to follow this guide.In this section in the first chapter of the text, the foundation of organisms with topics such as cells and DNA, and the organization and interaction of organisms within their communities is analyzed.These are important topics which provide the biological foundation of organisms and processes which will be analyzed further.

Introducing the Topics

You should first introduce the content in this section. Grasping the upcoming placement of concepts will prepare students for what they will learn. Once they see how these levels of biological interaction merge, they will be able to see the big picture.

Cells and DNA

In order to introduce cells and DNA, it would help to show illustrations of each. Examine prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under microscopes and look at the structure of DNA. These are both great ways to visually depict what the students are learning. Try to point to illustrations when you teach about organelles and parts of DNA. Additionally, you could play various game with your students. You could have matching games based on the organelles and their descriptions; and likewise for DNA. Or you could play a "Jeopardy" type of game where students try to guess the answer to descriptions.

Organization and Interaction

To help illustrate the interconnection of organisms and their communities is through the use of examples. Choose an environment and have students analyze environmental factors and animal food chain present. You could do this through class participation or you could have students split into groups to depict various environments. Place a few environments and have students choose from them--such as the Australian Outback or the South American rainforest. Then the groups in the class could split responsibilities and present a well-informed presentation on the animals and environmental relationships present for the area.

Use these techniques to help present the material to your students. It is important to use a wide variety of activities to reach your students. As this is the first section of the first chapter, this section represents the students' initial experience in their biology education, at least at this level.