Bio in Elementary Schools has moved to Wiki Educator.

Link under 'toolbox' on the left for a printer-friendly version. To print handouts, click the handout, and then click 'download high resolution version'. Please refer to Wikia's disclaimer statement before using this information.

Core idea formatEdit

The ideas posted here will be designed as inexpensive 30-minute hands-on programs to supplement other teaching methods in the elementary classroom. Ideally, each program can be run from non-perishable consumables and durable goods that can fit in a small box that will sit on a shelf until needed. The materials should be free, cheap, or common items that might be expected to be on hand in a typical classroom. These constraints are designed to provide a set of programs that can be pulled off the shelf at a moment's notice and, once created, will require minimal additional preparation on the part of busy teachers.

More expansive program ideas are also most welcome.

All of the content should meet the definition of science and should not attempt to advance particular political or religious points of view.

Adding your own page; it may be helpful to print this or open a new windowEdit

To write a new Education article, come up with a short but informative title and enter it in the box below. Choose wisely, once you first edit your page it is difficult to change the title and the page can only be deleted by an administrator. Once the page is established, you can link it to the others in Biology in elementary schools by following the steps below.

  1. Go back to the main [list of ideas] and add your new title in alphabetical order under teaching ideas in same format as the others.
  2. Click the save button at the bottom left of the edit page. This creates a hot link to your new blank page; click the new hotlink to view your page.
  3. Go [here] and page down until you find BEGINING OF MATERIAL TO BE COPIED.....
  4. Copy and paste from there until the bottom of the page into the edit screen of your new page.
  5. Delete the suggestions under each heading and add your own content (after reviewing the copyright information [1]).
  6. Save the new page!

Your idea can easily be edited, so feel free to start with a rough draft. You can edit and refine it, others can do the same, and you can improve on their ideas. If you have comments or suggestions but would rather not edit another person's page, feel free to open a discussion on their page by selecting the appropriate tab at the top of the article. As you are becoming familiar with this online software, it may be helpful to type in word processing software and paste your spell-checked version in here. If you choose to edit directly in the Wiki, you could consider installing a Google bar with a built-in spell checker.

Have a look at the example page to see what a new blank page should look like, and the termite trails page to see an example draft of one teaching idea. Your own examples should provide more material for us all to look at and try.

Format detailsEdit

Use of a consistent format will make the programs more user friendly. The list of headings below establishes a framework and is intended to streamline the writing and use of the material. Wikipedia has a simple cheat sheet to help with basic text formatting. The Scouting Wiki has a nice summary of editing tips. Here is an additional site that helps with formatting and specifically text wrapping and creating bulleted and numbered lists. Wikia also has an excellent tutorial page.

Adding imagesEdit

List of headings to be pasted in your new page; hit the edit tab at the top of this page before copying:Edit

Bio in Elementary Schools has moved to Wiki Educator.

Link under 'toolbox' on the left for a printer-friendly version. To print handouts, click the handout, and then click 'download high resolution version'. Please refer to Wikia's disclaimer statement before using this information.

Program titleEdit

Student worthinessEdit

Briefly categorize your idea as tried and trusted, tried at least once and worked well, or brand new and untested.

Primary biological content area coveredEdit

Briefly list the concepts to which this activity will expose students.


Place any safety equipment needed at the top of the list. List all materials in three categories: materials required for the teacher's use (watering can for example); materials required for each student group (potting soil perhaps); materials that each individual student would need (let's say a flower pot; think 'yogurt cup'; and seed).


If there are simple written instructions that students would use during this activity they should be placed here and they can be cut and pasted into a word processing document for printing. If there are mechanisms within this web format to upload more complex documents with diagrams, we will learn as we go.

Description of activityEdit

Briefly describe the activity, but provide enough detail so that the activity can easily be assessed by other teachers without your intimate knowledge of the topic.

Lesson planEdit

An ordered account of how the lesson might proceed. It is worth recognizing that some flexibility is useful in lesson plans, but at the same time having a structure and direction provides some organization and structure that your students will appreciate. A bullet list may be the best format for some projects, but a few paragraphs may work just as well. Build in enough time for students to clean up after themselves and restock the program box for future students. Keep in mind that teachers are very busy, and a student clean up policy is essential for sanity.

Potential pitfallsEdit

From your experience running the activity, list any difficulties you encountered. Where possible, incorporate any modifications of the activity that could reduce these pitfalls directly into the description above.

Math connectionsEdit

Does the activity link in any way to grade-appropriate math skills?

Literature connectionsEdit

What children's literature interfaces with the activity you have described. Are there specific library materials that you should have on hand to tie this idea into the broader curriculum?

Connections to educational standardsEdit

This section is used to help teachers track and document the educational standards that the activity meets.

What educational standards does this activity address? Enter the relevant section numbers here. Vermont standards can be found in web links at the bottom of this page. Feel free to add links to other standards.

Next stepsEdit

Once you have completed the activity, what other information can be gleaned from the materials and resources at hand? What additional activities could be developed using the equipment and materials you have listed above? What other opportunities to learn can be explored based on student questions and input?

Citations and linksEdit

While brand new ideas are very valuable and most welcome here, tried and trusted ideas of others will probably make up the bulk of the material on this site. It is important to respect the copyrights of others, and also to acknowledge their ideas. A full citation to published materials is essential and also useful. If there are online materials that would be useful to supplement your program, link to them from here.

Vermont's Grade expectationsEdit


Vermont's Grade expectations for math: Algebra Statistics Geometry and measurement Number and operations

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