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Science & Nature

Mastering Middle School Science With Hands-On Activities, Labs, & Games! (Sem.1)

In this fun, hands-on, ongoing course, topics include: scientific method, cell biology, DNA/genetics, plants, classification. Based on 7th grade standards. Appropriate for 5th, 6th, & 8th grade, too. Join any time, topics change each week!
Stephanie Newton, BSc
68 total reviews for this teacher
9 reviews for this class
Completed by 133 learners
45 minutes
per class
Twice per week
every week
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does anOngoingcourse work?

Meets on a weekly schedule, join any week, no need to catch up on previous material
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Automatic payment every Sunday, cancel any time
Great for clubs and for practicing skills

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Next on Wed Aug 17

Meets Twice per week
We, Mo, Fr
3pm - 3:45pm
4 learners enrolled

Next on Wed Aug 17

Meets Twice per week
We, Mo, Fr
4pm - 4:45pm
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

Students will learn various aspects of life 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.   Learners will also be able to understand the development of the study of genetics, create an "alien" using a punnet square, label and identify the parts of DNA, understand how mutations occur, understand how organisms are classified, and describe the process of photosynthesis in plants.  After this course learners will be fully prepared to continue on to my 2nd semester 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 ESL and science teacher for 3.5 years. I'm also a "hybrid-homeschool" momma to teenagers :)
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.
*Q1 SUPPLIES* 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. *Q2 SUPPLIES* Week 1: Foldable: printer paper to print pdf paper, scissors, glue Week 2: Alien Genetics Project: printer paper to print pdf, a coin, colored pencils, drawing paper (printer paper is fine) Week 3: Strawberry DNA Lab: 3 Strawberries, cutting board, knife, rubbing alcohol, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 cup of water, 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid (for hand-washing dishes), small bowl and small glass, cheesecloth or coffee filter, funnel, resealable plastic sandwich bag, toothpick Week 4: DNA Model Project: We will be creating a 3-D model of DNA. Some learners like to use candy, others like to use origami or other non-edible items (like craft supplies). You will need a longer candy/item to create the “ribbon” part of the DNA, and 4 different colored candies to create the “ladder” part of the DNA. More info will be provided in the week 4 post and you will have 2 weeks to finish the project on your own time. You can start researching ideas online now if you would like. Week 5: Science Bingo: printer paper to print pdf, coins or other small items to use as “markers” on your bingo card as you play Week 6: 3-Domains Cut and Paste activity: printer paper to print pdf, glue, scissors Week 7: Paper, pencil, camera to take pics of items around your home that are related to the lesson Week 8: none
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Learners will be assessed through foldables, independent and class projects, labs, and quizzes. All work turned in will be given feedback and a grade.
1 hour 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
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." Another example includes "Female animals and humans produce egg cells and male animals and humans produce sperm cells. These come together in fertilization to combine DNA and form a zygote, which will later develop into 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.
Ck12 textbook (available free online), Nearpod, Youtube, Wikipedia


Stephanie Newton, BSc
Lives in the United States
Teacher Stephanie
68 total reviews
108 completed classes

About Me

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... 
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