If you teach genetics at any level, you need to try this website out. University of Utah Learn Genetics. Full of free and useful resources, this will help any classroom. Today my student completed a classic genetic trait survey. Although, I have done this activity many times before, this version included easy calculations and data charts. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Trout in the classroom is a national program that allows students to raise trout. This experience puts kids face to face with the unique life cycle of local fish. This year our students are raising rainbow trout. The first step in the process is to count and sort out the eggs when they arrive(pictured below). Most years we receive around 300 eggs in the fall and release them around May. Every day kids have the opportunity to maintain the tank, feed fish and talk about this project. Its a great way to create an authentic learning experience and bring a model ecosystem into your classroom. If you are interested in this program, check out this link or contact your local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
In this lab I used the classic sun angle lab to compare heat produced at two different angles. By naming one "Summer" and the other "Winter" students can quickly model abiotic factors in an ecosystem. More importantly, after the activity you can ask students to explain how abiotic factors influence biotic factors in an ecosystem. This leads to a great discussion on food availability (for animals in the north) deciduous trees dropping their leaves and a host of other adaptations due to season changes. Here's a picture of the lab setup. If you're looking for the complete lesson, check out my Ecology Lesson 1 for Middle School.
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