Biology: Information, Videos, and Labs
To Accompany Your Biology Curriculum
Biology is the science that focuses on the study of life, living organisms, cells, taxonomy, genetics, ecology, populations of living things, ecosystems, plants, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, invertebrates, vertebrates, fungi, bacteria, and other topics.
I created this series of biology webpages to accompany the biology curriculum we were using in the homeschool biology class I taught. The webpages contain information, videos, and labs that may be helpful for students studying biology. The pages often build on one another, so it's best to do them in order unless you are already familiar with the previous biology topics.
This page is on cell biology. It contains information, labs, study guides, and videos on cell structures, cells and their environments, osmosis, diffusion, endocytosis, exocytoisis, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, chromosomes, asexual reproduction, binary fission, cell division, the cell cycle, mitosis,and cytokinesis. Also included is a brief overview of chemistry.
Microscope - for looking at cells, pond water, and other things.
This page on Genetics covers meiosis, asexual and sexual reproduction, haploid life cycle, diploid life cycle, alternating life cycles, the origins of genetics, Mendel and his theory, heredity, patterns of heredity, genotypes, phenotypes, recessive genes, alleles, homozygous, heterozygous, punnet squares, sex linked traits, autosomal traits, The Law of Segregation, The Law of Independent Assortment, Incomplete dominance, codominance, mutations, multiple alleles, DNA replication, gene structure and regulation, genetic engineering, and more.
The page includes study guides, videos, and labs on genetics.
Evolution and the Beginnings of Life On Earth
-Including an intro to taxonomy.
How Did Life on Earth Begin? How Did Life Evolve and Change Over Time? What's the bubble model? What do we mean when we say "Primordial Soup?" Who are Miller and Urey and what did they do? How Do Scientists Classify Living Organisms? These are some of the topics discussed on this page.
Unit 4 - Webpage 1
There are 4 webpages for the unit on Ecology. Here's the first one in the series:
This page on ecology focuses primary on populations and covers the three main features of populations, types of growth curves, the Hardy Weingburg principle, gene flow, genetic drift, natural selection, nonrandom mating, distribution of traits, and more.
Webpage 2 in the Ecology Unit
Here's the second webpage in the ecology unit:
This Ecosystems page discuses habitats, communities, ecosystems, abiotic factors and biotic factors, pioneer species, succession, energy flow in ecosystems, food chains, producers, herbivores, consumers, carnivores, omnivores, detritivores, decomposers, food webs, biomass, energy pyramids, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, phosphorus cycle, and more.
Webpage 3 in the Ecology Unit
Here's the 3rd webpage in the ecology unit:
This page is about symbiotic relationships, coevolution, predation, parasitism, mutalism, commensalism, niches, biomes, and more.
Webpage 4 in the Ecology Unit
Global Changes and the Environment
This is the 4th page in the Ecology Unit:
This page on global change includes information about global warming, acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, the destruction of the rainforest, and other environmental issues. Also covered is the effects of the behavior of humans on earth's ecosystems, pollution, DDT, what people can do to help the environment, important information about fluorescent light bulbs(please don't throw them in the trash!), ideas for students for undertaking a "go green" project, and more.
Unit 5 - Webpage 1 - Taxonomy
The Diversity of Living Things
This unit on the diversity of living things has 4 pages to it.
This page on taxonomy includes information on how organisms are classified, the domains and kingdoms we classify organisms into, various forms of multicellularity, tissues, organs, organ systems, and a brief introduction (with photos of organisms) of each of the kingdoms and many of the phyla.
Webpage 2 in the Diversity Unit.
Learning about Viruses and Bacteria
Are viruses and bacteria alive? How do viruses multiply? What shapes do viruses come in? What are the characteristics of bacteria? What shapes do they come in? How do bacteria gain energy? These are some of the topics discussed on this page!
Webpage 3 in the Diversity Unit
Protists are organisms that don't really fit into any other category, so they're all put together in the Kingdom Protista. They have a lot of differences between them. Some protists, for example, are like plants in that they engage in photosynthesis. Some protists are like fungi in that they absorb their food, and some protists are like animals in that they eat their food.
Protists do have some things in common though. For example, they live in moist places. Also, they don't form embryos to reproduce.
How do protists move?
- Some move via their flagella.
- Some move via pseudopodia.
- Some move via cilia.
Did you know that some types of protists can cause diseases, including dysentery, toxoplasmosis, giardiasis, and malaria?
On this page, we explore the world of protists, such as paramecium, algae, Euglena, plasmodial slime molds, and amoebas!
Page 4 in the Diversity Unit
The Fungi Kingdom
The fungi kingdom includes mushrooms, molds, rusts, yeasts, and many other organisms. They are made up of slender filaments. Fungi have an interesting way of eating: they secrete digestive enzymes onto something such as leaves or dead animals and then absorb the decomposed nutrients from it. Most fungi reproduce via spores.
Unit 6 on Plants
The Plant Kingdom
There are many different types of plants.
- Nonvascular plants don't have vascular tissue (the tissue that transports water throughout a plant), and include plants such as mosses, liverworts, and hornworts.
- Vascular plants do have the ability to transport water via vascular tissues and can be divided into three categories:
- Seedless vascular plants such as ferns
- Gymnosperms which are seed plants that make cones
- Angiosperms which are seed plants that have flowers and fruit. Angiosperms can be divided into:
- monocots - plants with only one seed leaf
- dicots - plants with two seed leaves
The Animal Kingdom
An Introduction to the Animal Kingdom
Here are some of the characteristics that animals have.
- They must find their food. They can not make it like plants.
- They have muscle cells and can move.
- Animals are multicellular.
- The majority of animals are diploid, which means their gametes have only one set of chromosomes, but when two gametes unite to make a new living creature, they baby will have two of every set of chromosome. This allows for new combinations of genes.
- Animal cells do not have a cell wall. This is part of the reason as to why they can move.
- Although some animals, such as sponges, are asymmetrical, many animals have either radial symmetry (like a starfish or a sea anemone) or bilateral symmetry (like a puppy or a human).
Page 1 of the Invertebrates Unit
Invertebrate animals don't have backbones.
Sponges are one type of invertebrate animal. Even though sponges don't have a backbone, they do have a type of skeleton. It's made out of spicules which are tiny needles of calcium carbonate or silica.
Did you know that sponges are animals, and not plants?
Did you know that sponges can regenerate when they are cut into pieces? This means that each piece will grown into a brand new sponge!
Page 2 of the Invertebrates Unit
Cnidarians (such as jellyfish)
Although I surely would not want to be stung by a jellyfish, I think they are fascinating creatures! Have you ever watched them float? They're beautiful!
Cnidarians, which includes jellyfish, sea anemones, and some other ocean life, have radial symmetry.
Cnidarians can have a medusa shape (often resembling an umbrella) and be free floating, or they can be tube-like polyps, most of which are attached to rocks or other objects in the water.
A particularly fascinating cnidarian is a Portuguese man-of war. A single one can contain 1,000 meduses and polyps.
Page 3 of the Invertebrate Unit
Mollusks are invertebrate animals such as snails, squids, octopuses, and scallops. Each mollusk has three major parts to his body: a visceral mass, a foot, and a mantle.
What brings you to this page?
Will you be (or are you) using these webpages to accompany your biology curriculum?
Page 4 of the Invertebrate Unit
Have you ever heard of a Christmas tree worm? I think they may be one of the prettiest types of worms...
Page 5 of the Invertebrate unit
Arthropods are animals such as insects, scorpions, spiders, shrimp, and crabs.
- jointed appendages,
- segmented bodies,
- and exoskeletons.
Page 6 of the Invertebrates Unit
Echinoderms are spiny invertebrates that live in the ocean. Examples of echinoderms include sea stars, brittle stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers.
See the outstretched arms on the crinoid shown here? He's using them to catch plankton to eat!
Webpage link coming soon.
Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone. There are many types of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (including people).
Here's the first page of the vertebrate unit.
By the way, what do you think? Are seahorses really a type of fish?