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The Science of Dragons - Using Mythical Creatures to Learn About Real Science

Jamye E Carr
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(370)
Rising Star
Based on the very popular "How to Train Your Dragon and the Scientific Method" class, we provide a more focused look on particular types of science each week, providing experiments and investigations for young dragon enthusiasts.

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
4 units//14 lessons//4 Weeks
Unit 1Introduction to the Scientific Method
3 lessons1 Week
Introduction to the Scientific Method
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Video 1, Part 1
What is science? How do Hiccup and Toothless show us how science is done?
Lesson 2
Video 1, Part 2
Can you spot the science in the movie?
Lesson 3
Discussion Questions for Unit 1
Questions to discuss with family and friends, or to use as writing prompts.
Unit 2Dragons and Animal Adaptations
4 lessons1 Week
Dragons and Animal Adaptations
 Week 2
Lesson 4
Video: Animal Adaptations
Physical vs. Behavioral and Learned vs. Instinctual Adaptations
Lesson 5
Discussion: The Snaptrapper
Background Research and Investigation into the adaptations of the Snaptrapper
Lesson 6
What advantages would each dragon have over the others. Discussion and essay writing prompts.
Lesson 7
Discussion: The Crimson Goregutter
Background Research and Investigation into the adaptations of the Crimson Goregutter
Unit 3Dragon Genetics
4 lessons1 Week
Dragon Genetics
 Week 3
Lesson 8
Video: Dragon Genetics
All about Traits! How are traits passed down through generations?
Lesson 9
Dragon Genetics Worksheet
Dragon genetics basics worksheet
Lesson 10
Discussion Questions
Discussion questions and writing prompts for dragon genetic problems
Lesson 11
Advanced Genetics Lab Project
Will require background knowledge and research. Optional Activity for older or advanced students.
Unit 4Dichotomous Dragons: Taxonomy and Classification
3 lessons1 Week
Dichotomous Dragons: Taxonomy and Classification
 Week 4
Lesson 12
Video; Dichotomous Dragons
How Taxonomy and Classification work in Biology
Lesson 13
Activity and Information Sheet
Reading, Prelab, Lab activities to complete
Lesson 14
Discussion Questions
Dinosaur fossils and their relationship to dragons
This class is taught in English.
  • Week 1 : Introduction to the Scientific Method in action: Skills every scientist needs, how these skills translate into the cycle of the scientific method, how to keep a scientific journal, how to stay safe while doing science. (For learners who have taken the 1-shot class this will be a review rather than new material). Activities and journal assignments will be included for each week. Week 2: Animal Adaptations (Behavioral and Physical): Learners will identify dragon traits and behaviors (learned and innate) as adaptations and relate to how they can benefit the dragon in its habitat. Week 3: Dragon Genetics: How are the traits we learned about in week 2 passed on from the parents? Mendelian and Nonmendelian genetics, DNA, and heredity. Week 4: Fossils and Classification: How are animal groups organized, and how is this related to how they share traits or characteristics? Where did the mythology of dragons come from, and how is it that all cultures have some history of dragons? What is in a scientific name? Using the Socratic method in this class means that learners are encouraged to ask questions, of each other and of the instructor, and I will provide guidance via chat or by recording personal videos for students to address their questions.
I have been a scientist for 22 years, working in the field as a marine biologist studying Kemp's Ridley sea turtles in Mexico, and working in veterinary pathology for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.  For the last 16 years, I have worked in science education, and I have certifications to teach all science courses at the secondary level in both Texas and North Carolina.
Homework Offered
Learners will be completing homework projects on their own and submitting them via the classroom on Outschool for grading and peer review. Projects will vary in length depending on student age and complexity, and student choice boards will be made available to accommodate different types of learners.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Grades Offered
Printouts for student work will be provided each week with the videos for the class.  Each experiment will have supplies which can be readily purchased from the grocery store or online retailers.  Alternative simulator experiments will be provided in case students are unable to find or purchase materials.
The topic of Dragon genetics has the potential to involve questions regarding reproduction, which can be handled by parents at home or by me.  I will use biologically appropriate and correct terminology (sexual vs asexual reproduction, reproductive organs, words like penis, sperm, egg, vagina, uterus are important for students to know for correct anatomy).  If this is objectionable I need to know before the class begins so I can make a note in the learner's file and be aware of this when providing feedback to students and answering their questions.
We will refer to the How to Train Your Dragon movies, as well as some pop culture references to other movies, books, tv shows.
Joined March, 2020
Rising Star
Teacher expertise and credentials
Bachelor's Degree in Science
NorthCarolina Teaching Certificate - Science
I have 20 years of experience in public school teaching, specializing in Biology, Chemistry, Aquatic Science, and Astronomy. My teaching style incorporates student guided inquiry based learning, Socratic instruction, and adaptive lessons. In... 
Self-Paced Class


weekly or $60 for all content
14 pre-recorded lessons
4 weeks of teacher support
Choose your start date
1 year of access to the content

Completed by 57 learners
Ages: 10-15

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