Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Life Science: About the Course

Teacher-Talk Life

[Channel-talklife] Re: [Channel-talklife] What Is Life?

From: Kimberly Minton (Mintonkk@clarkston.k12.mi.us)
Date: Mon Mar 22 2004 - 10:44:01 EST

Hello everyone. I am supposed to share my questions from the reading
assignment (session 1) with my group, but I am working alone. Would
anyone else like to post theirs? My questions are:
1. Can a feather "tickle" someone?
2. Is water alive?
3. Do all living things eat, breathe or grow?
4. Are seeds alive?
5. Why do living things die?
How did you classify the group of fundementally diverse life forms? I
decided to group them as plant, animal and other.
Watched the video for session 2, I have so much to learn! It was
interesting to learn that we are classified in the same broad group of
living things as plants, fungi and protists because we all have cells
that contain a nucleus. I think you could introduce children to this
idea using a microscope. They would find it hilarious to know that we
have something in common with a fungus. Bacteria is something that
children know as germs, they begin to understand bacteria when they get
to at least second grade. You could possibly find pictures of bacteria
in books or on the internet. I liked the video clip on the Archaea, the
extremeophiles. I think children would be as interested as I am about
the unknown. It is possible to teach children about classification and
I think living organisms from all groups should be introduced. Then
when they get to be my age, it wouldn't be the first time they heard
about or learned about the diversity of life.
I am interested in hearing from others.
Thank you,

Kimberly Minton

>>> mwillis@esc12.net 03/11/04 09:54AM >>>
The first lesson focuses its attention to this question and provides
answers and examples to children at early stages of development.
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
to know that both plants and animals reproduce. It is not necessary
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
the same species, and interactions between organisms of differing
species are the focus of ecology. Ecology is the study of the levels
organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes, and the
In reality, life is organized from the cellular level to the Earth as
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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