Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teacher Resources/Science
Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science

A video course for grades K-6 teachers; 8 one-hour video programs, course guide, and Web site; graduate credit available

Essential Science for Teachers courses are designed to help K-6 teachers gain an understanding of some of the bedrock science concepts they need to teach today's standards-based curricula. The series of courses will include Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

Life Science consists of eight one-hour video programs accompanied by print and Web materials that provide in-class activities and homework explorations. Real-world examples, demonstrations, animations, still graphics, and interviews with scientists compose content segments that are intertwined with in-depth interviews with children that uncover their ideas about the topic at hand. Each program also features an elementary school teacher and his or her students exploring the topic using exemplary science curricula. Use the complete course for teacher education or professional development, or individual programs for content review.

Produced by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 2003.

Closed Caption     ISBN: 1-57680-730-4

Enter the Series Web Site
Individual Program Descriptions
Related Resources See all
The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science
Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science
Essential Science for Teachers: Physical Science
Science Discipline Page
Individual Program Descriptions

VODSession 1. What Is Life?
What distinguishes living things from dead and nonliving things? No single characteristic is enough to define what is meant by "life." In this session, five characteristics are introduced as unifying themes in the living world. Go to this unit.

VODSession 2. Classifying Living Things
How can we make sense of the living world? During this session, a systematic approach to biological classification is introduced as a starting point for understanding the nature of the remarkable diversity of life on Earth. Go to this unit.

VODSession 3. Animal Life Cycles
One characteristic of all life forms is a life cycle — from reproduction in one generation to reproduction in the next. This session introduces life cycles by focusing on continuity of life in the Animal Kingdom. In addition to considering what aspects of life cycles can be observed directly, the underlying role of DNA as the hereditary material is explored. Go to this unit.

VODSession 4. Plant Life Cycles
What is a plant? One distinguishing feature of members of the Plant Kingdom is their life cycle. In this session, flowering plants serve as examples for studying the plant life cycle by considering the roles of seeds, flowers, and fruits. A comparison to animal life cycles reveals some surprising similarities and intriguing differences. Go to this unit.

VODSession 5. Variation, Adaptation, and Natural Selection
What causes variation among a population of living things? How can variation in one generation influence the next generation? In this session, variation in a population will be examined as the "raw material" upon which natural selection acts. Go to this unit.

VODSession 6. Evolution and the Tree of Life
Why are there so many different kinds of living things? Comparing species that exist today reveals a lot about their relationships to one another and provides evidence of common origins. This session explores the theory of evolution: change in species over time. Go to this unit.

VODSession 7. Energy Flow in Communities
Communities are populations of organisms that live and interact together. The structure of a community is defined by food web interactions. The process of energy flow is the focus of this session as the interactions between producers, consumers, and decomposers are examined. Go to this unit.

VODSession 8. Material Cycles in Ecosystems
Studying an ecosystem involves looking at interactions between living things as well as the nonliving environment that surrounds them. Life depends upon the nonliving world for habitat, as well as energy and materials. In this session, material cycles will be explored as critical processes that sustain life in an ecosystem. Go to this unit.



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