Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Life Science: About the Course

Teacher-Talk Life

[Channel-talklife] What Is Life?

From: Marsha Willis (mwillis@esc12.net)
Date: Thu Mar 11 2004 - 09:54:47 EST

The first lesson focuses its attention to this question and provides
answers and examples to children at early stages of development. There
are four characteristics of life that all living organisms have in
common: organization, reproduction, growth and development, and the
ability to adjust to its environment
Organization: The lesson addresses this by going through the function
and structure of an organism-from the cells to tissues to organs to
systems. An organ system is a group of organs that work together to
carry out major life functions.
Reproduction: Does occur differently between organisms. Children need
to know that both plants and animals reproduce. It is not necessary to
know how the organisms do that at this early age.
Growth and Development: Some organisms go through their life cycles
very quickly. Wisconsin Fast Plants can be grown from seed to seed in
about 35 days. They are great plants to have in the classroom to show
this growth. Measuring the student height, or arm length, could be
another way for them to understand this concept.
Adjust to Environment: All organisms depend on others for food,
shelter, protection and reproduction. Interactions between organisms of
the same species, and interactions between organisms of differing
species are the focus of ecology. Ecology is the study of the levels of
organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, and the
In reality, life is organized from the cellular level to the Earth as a
whole. It is important for our students to understand that these
concepts are connected through over-arching strands. We can emphasize
systems, form and function, environmental interactions, change and
constancy, and properties, patterns and models through these lessons.
I was very glad to see that Lesson #1 focused on living/nonliving and
dead. To many times teachers do not focus on dead-leading to many
misconceptions and problems and questions that the teacher cannot
Marsha Willis
Math/Science Education Specialist
Education Service Center Region 12
2101 W. Loop 340
Waco, TX 76712

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