Teachers' Domain, Teaching Middle School Life Science, published August 24, 2010, retrieved on ,
Teaching Middle School Life Science is a graduate-level professional development course designed to enhance your understanding and teaching of life science. In eight sessions, you will investigate life science topics using hands-on activities and online resources including video segments, interactive activities, readings, and other multimedia materials. These resources are drawn from Teachers' Domain, WGBH's digital library service.
Eight sessions cover key content and methodologies for teaching life science in the middle school classroom.
Session 1: Structure and Function of Organisms
Participants explore the relationship between structure and function and see how the traits of organisms enable them to survive in the environment in which they live. Teaching and learning strategies focus on processes of science and science education.
Session 2: Behavior
Participants look closely at behavior and find that an animal's ability to respond to other organisms and to changing environmental conditions and internal states can be just as important to its survival as any physical trait. Teaching and learning strategies focus on environments for learning.
Session 3: Regulation
Participants explore how various types of organisms provide the conditions their cells require to survive and function properly. Teaching and learning strategies focus on the use of prediction as a learning tool and on ways to integrate a range of resources into classroom activities.
Session 4: Structure and Function of Cells
Participants examine and expand their concept of the cell -- the basic functional unit of life -- focusing specifically on the structures that enable cells to meet their individual requirements. Teaching and learning strategies focus on the use of models in teaching.
Session 5: Reproduction and Development
Participants investigate the mechanisms that enable organisms to reproduce and develop and observe how environmental factors can influence these two important processes. Teaching and learning strategies focus on techniques for uncovering prior knowledge and ways to handle controversial topics.
Session 6: DNA and Heredity
Participants explore the role DNA plays in determining an organism's traits and learn how genetic differences create variability within a species. Teaching and learning strategies focus on techniques for making the abstract more accessible to learners.
Session 7: Applied Genetics
Participants investigate how various applications of our knowledge of the structure and function of DNA -- from gene therapy to bioengineering -- may affect the world in which we live. Teaching and learning strategies focus on how to promote reasoned dialog about scientific topics.
Session 8: Heredity and Natural Selection
Participants explore the process of natural selection to see how environmental factors can influence which genes and traits are passed on to future generations -- and which are not. Teaching and learning strategies focus on the use of concept mapping and on resources and approaches for teaching about evolution.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.