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Mastering Middle School Life Science: Hands-On Activities/Labs/Games! (Q1/Flex)

Stephanie Newton, BSc
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(83)
In this activity-based Life Science class, we will learn scientific method, cell biology, etc. Let's build an Edible Animal Cell! This is Q1 of my MS science series, based on 7th grade standards. 5th, 6th, & 8th graders welcome. #academic

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
8 lessons//8 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Making Observations/Scientific Method/Lab Reports
Nearpod slides and activities Observation Activity Design your own Mini-Experiment/Lab Report Weekly quiz
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Characteristics of Living Things/Fields in the Life Sciences
Nearpod slides and activities Eye Dilation (homeostasis) Activity Living Things Lab Weekly quiz
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Light and Matter
Nearpod slides and activities Electromagnetic Spectrum Foldable Show and Tell: 3 objects from your house (opaque, translucent, transparent) Weekly quiz
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Animal Cells
Nearpod slides and activies Organelle Pictionary Edible Animal Cell Project Weekly quiz
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Plant Cells
Nearpod slides and activities Plant/Animal Cell Foldable Cell Bingo Weekly quiz
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Nearpod slides and activities Photosynthesis Storyboard (Comic Strip) Weekly quiz
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Cell Cycle (Mitosis)
Nearpod slides and activities Mitosis Storyboard (Comic Strip) Virtual Onion Root Cell Lab/Lab Report Weekly quiz
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Cell Cycle (Meiosis)
Nearpod slides and activities Meiosis Drawing Weekly quiz
Students will learn various aspects of life science and physical science. Please see the syllabus in the course description for a detailed list of all concepts taught. Learners will be able to list and describe the steps of the scientific method, identify and create a model of both animal and plant cells, understand and describe photosynthesis, and be able to identify the steps of the cell cycle.  After this course learners will be fully prepared to continue on to my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter 7th grade curriculum if you so choose.
I have a BS degree in Nutrition and Food Science (pre-med track) from Florida State University. I later became a certified middle school science teacher and taught middle school science in the Florida public school system for 5 years. I have been an online teacher since 2018. I'm also a "hybrid-homeschool" momma :)
Homework Offered
Learners will be assigned homework each week. Homework will involve the following activities: creating foldables, or independent projects. Homework should take no more than 1 hour most weeks. Keep in mind that you are the "administrator" of your learner's homeschool education, so if there are too many assignments given you may modify the amount of homework you require your learner to turn in.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Learners will be assessed through foldables, independent and class projects, labs, and quizzes. If you wish for me to issue your learner a grade, please let me know when you register for the course.
Grades Offered
All work turned in will be graded. Contact me for a cumulative grade.
Lecture/Slides/Discussion is broken up by Nearpod Interactive Slides for improved learner engagement and fun! Flexible deadlines. Homework is optional.

Doing the hands-on portion of the labs is not required, however it will definitely make the class more fun for learners! There are usually follow-up activities that ARE required even if the hands-on portion is not done (a lab report, post-lab questions, a nearpod activity, etc.). Often you can make substitutions for some items (or only do a portion of the lab) if it is difficult to get some of these items. I usually strive to do labs that only require items commonly found around the home. 

Turning in your assignments: you can take a picture(s) of your labs/activities and either upload them to the classroom (under the appropriate week’s post), or send it to me privately through Outschool in a message. 

Week 1: 

For lesson #1, we will be doing a quick activity in the beginning of class in which we will feel/observe random objects in a bucket/bowl. A parent or sibling should gather 4 random objects from around the house and place them in the bucket, and cover the bucket with a towel so the learner cannot see what is inside. During class we will feel/smell the objects without looking at them and make observations. Don’t peek! 

After lesson #2 students will be asked to design and perform a “mini experiment” at home. This does not have to be elaborate and should not require any outside supplies. Often learners like to perform experiments on their pets (for example, using the steps in the scientific method to find out which toy or food their pets prefer). Details will be discussed during class.

Week 2: 

Some things below can be modified. For example, if you don't have a handheld mirror or flashlight, you can go to your bathroom mirror during this activity and use a cell phone flashlight. If you don't have all 4 colors of food coloring, one or two will suffice. If you can't find chicken liver, you can just do the potato portion of the lab.  
Day 1:
Reaction activity: mirror, flashlight
Living Things Lab: chicken liver, potato, hydrogen peroxide, knife, 2 empty water bottles, 2 balloons
Day 2:
Milk Fat Lab: red/yellow/blue/green food coloring (not gel), few tablespoons of whole milk (low fat milk will do), 6 q-tips, dish soap, small plate

Week 3: 

Day 1: two sheets of construction paper, card stock, or copy paper (should be two different colors, one can be white), scissors, markers/crayons/colored pencils, pencil.

Day 2: Bring 3 items to class from your home - one should be transparent (can see through), one should be translucent (can see light through it but can’t see through it), and one should be opaque (can’t see any light through it).

Week 4: 

drawing paper, colored pencils

Week 5: 

Edible Animal Cell: various foods/candies to create an animal cell model. Some learners choose to bake a cake and use different size candies to represent the different animal cell parts/organelles. Other learners choose to do something simple such as putting various candies or foods on a plate and labeling them to represent the different animal cell parts/organelles. 

Foldable: printer paper (to print pdf), scissors, glue, colored pencils/crayons

Bingo card: printer paper (to print pdf)

Week 6: 

Photosynthesis Storyboard: printer paper (to print pdf), colored pencils; storyboards can also be done digitally on a graphic design program of your choice.

Week 7: 

Cell Division Storyboard: printer paper (to print pdf), colored pencils; storyboards can also be done digitally on a graphic design program of your choice. 

Week 8: 

Meiosis Drawing: printer paper (to print pdf), colored pencils; this pdf can also be uploaded to a graphic design program and done digitally.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Evolution and Creationism will not be taught in this course, however feel free to contact me if you would like for me to share with you the unit materials (slides/worksheets/foldables) on the topic of Evolution, as this is one of the national standards for 7th grade. I am also happy to set up a private tutoring section to walk your child through this unit. I do not have materials on Creationism (Outschool only permits secular topics). Also, there will be a lesson in this unit which touches upon sexual/asexual reproduction and will only be taught to the point that learners understand the difference. For example, "As a plant's reproductive part, a flower contains a stamen (male flower part) or pistil (female flower part), or both, plus accessory parts such as sepals, petals, and nectar glands." Or: "Females produce eggs and males produce sperm. These cells are produced through meiosis and are capable of fertilization. After fertilization the egg is called a zygote, the cells will divide and then will be called an embryo/fetus/infant". If sensitive questions arise on this topic, learners will be directed to talk to their parents. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me. 
Please monitor your learner's use of scissors.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses CK12, YouTube, Nearpod, and wikipedia.
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(83)
Hello, welcome to my "classroom" :). My classes are listed below, but first...a little about me! 

I am a certified middle school science teacher and taught for 5 years in the public school classroom. My educational background is in... 
Self-Paced Class


weekly or $120 for all content
8 pre-recorded lessons
8 weeks of teacher feedback
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1 year of access to the content

Completed by 68 learners
Ages: 10-14

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