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Life sciences  
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After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (View More)

Readings in this chapter guide student reflection on sustainability of the planet, and whether the Earth system is near a tipping point, where ecosystems will reorganize and seek a new equilibrium, with consequences for biodiversity. The resource... (View More)

In this case study, students read about the Canopy Crane at Wind River, a project that enables the study of Earth system interactions that take place high in the tree canopy. The chapter profiles scientists, studying birds, fungi, chemical transfer... (View More)

In this activity, students are introduced to the importance of maintaining biodiversity and to citizen science. The resource includes three student worksheets, a data sheet, answer keys, and Web links. This is Lesson 2 in Biodiversity, part of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This is a lesson about the definition of life. Learners will compare real and fake or live and dead objects and brainstorm ideas about what life is; refine the definition by playing 20 Questions to identify an object or organism; and test the... (View More)

This is a lesson about organisms living under extreme conditions on Earth serving as analogs for extraterrestrial life. Learners will play a card game to create a set by matching an extremophile, an extreme habitat on Earth, and an extraterrestrial... (View More)

Students will be introduced to different species of macroinvertebrates. They will hypothesize why each insect looks the way it does. Then students will make observations of macroinvertebrates in an aquarium in their classroom. For an optional... (View More)

Working in pairs, students will create experimental conditions in terrariums in order to study what plants need to live. Variables to study include the presence or absence of soil, water, and sunlight. Students will record the growth of radish... (View More)

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