Making Biology Real

Long time no see, blog world! This school year got very busy, very fast! But no worries- it’s summer break and I’m back to share my ideas and resources with the word!
Today, I have a whole pile of articles. I’ve collected these over the last few years, mostly from the New York Times science sections (which if you haven’t checked it out yet, GO NOW!… then come back to my blog, of course). I assign articles at least once a week. Usually, I just have my students turn the article in with the important information highlighted and they write a one paragraph response (what did they think about what they read- NO summaries allowed). This shows them real world examples of what we are learning about in class.

Highlighting the important information is a whole lesson in itself! At the start of the year, kids basically color the entire page. So we will read an article or two together as a class, while I put the article on the screen using my ELMO. After every paragraph I ask them what they highlighted and why it is important. (This is also going to be important on the upcoming PARCC tests, which will ask them to highlight certain parts of reading passages). Try telling them they cannot highlight entire sentences- they’ll freak out!

Sometimes, I give them specific questions to answer about what they read. If I’m in a CCSS mood, I will have them “cite specific evidence from the text” to defend what they believe is the main idea or the author’s purpose. Both are standards for reading in science.
OK…. on to the goodies. Here are some of the articles I use by unit of study:

Environment:  Chinese Air Pollution Article               Paying Farmers to Welcome Birds

Global Warming At Wost Article         Mammal Extinction Article

Anatomy & Physiology:   toxic sugar article   Hair Growth Article

Fecal Transplant   Preemie Resp. Meds Article

Disease & Microbiology:  HIV vaccine article    Gonorrhea article      Gel Protects Monkeys   

                                 Feece eating bacteria article             Cholera Outbreak article

Cells:   Mole rat cancer article            Mitochondria replacement article

I hope you find this helpful. If you have other ways your use real world articles in your classroom, please share!



5 thoughts on “Making Biology Real

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  1. I love what you have done here! I teach 7th grade Life Science and this is completely relevant and applicable. THANK YOU

  2. Great idea with the highlighting and editorials. Every Friday I do current science articles. The kids find their own articles the night before , summarize them,and they present them to the class without reading. Most of the time they plagiarize and don’t remember anything about the article.

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