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Life Science

Page history last edited by mark.trushkowsky@mail.cuny.edu 7 years, 1 month ago

Content Emphasis in Life Sciences

On this page you will find:

  • Links to additional wiki pages, external resources/websites, and downloadable Word docs and PDF's are indicated in red.


What is Life Science?


A brief description

The Life Sciences cover the study of living organisms, with Biology being at the center of the discipline.  The classification and study of life processes extends from the smallest of cells to the most complex of organisms in the Animal Kingdom.  As such, it has a multitude of branches.  A few of these branches include Ecology, the study of the interactions between living organisms and their environments, Genetics, the study of heredity and variation in living things, and Physiology, the study of how livings function.


Why study Life Science?

Beyond simply providing a better understanding of the nature of life, studying the Life Sciences also has many practical uses.  Studying Genetics and Physiology, for example, can provide advances in terms of treating infectious diseases and developing Pharmaceutical drugs.  Studying Ecology can provide human beings with a better understanding of how we effect the environment around us.


Building Teacher Knowledge of Life Science


  • Bozeman Science (Biology) - Bozeman Science provides an extensive collection of videos (usually about 5-15 minutes in length each) in which science teacher Paul Anderson explains the Life Sciences concept by concept.  These videos are an excellent resource for teachers looking to learn the basics or brush up on life science disciplines.  However, they are probably not effective teaching tools for adult students.  Simply memorizing the concepts in these videos will not provide students with the ability to support arguments with evidence or model scientific ideas effectively. 


  • Annenberg Learner (Life Science) - The Annenberg Learner site has extensive resources for teachers in the Life Science field.  This particular resource is designed as a course with Eight Sessions.  Each session features a video about a particular topic along with student exploration of that topic.  Following the video, there are additional materials for teachers to develop their knowledge of the subject in Earth and Space Science.  The course does not have to be taken in the order of the units listed.  For example, teachers can skip around to learn about classifying living things in the second unit and jump into Evolution in the sixth unit because the lessons are independent from one another.  Though the course is designed for Elementary level teachers, many of the concepts discussed are essential understanding for any Adult Educator.


  • "Seeing the Invisible" - This brief (just over 6 minutes) animated documentary celebrates the 17th-century citizen scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek whose discovery of microbes would change our view of the biological world. 



Sample Lesson Plans



Resources for Teachers in the Classroom


  • Tales from the Genome - This free online course is offered by Udacity. It is a great way for teachers to deepen their own understanding of heredity and traits. Ideally, teachers will go through the course with a colleague and discuss the lessons as you go. Participants will learn about fundamental principles of inheritance, gene expression, mutation and variation, development of simple and complex biological traits, human ancestry and evolution, and the acquisition of personal genetic information.


  • Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching Case Study (Life Science) - From teaching4teachingscience.org, this case study demonstrates a lesson that does not rely heavily on a textbook.  Rather than stick strictly to the book, this lesson follows one lesson, starting with a phenomena familiar to students, then building their background knowledge, and ultimately forcing students to make evidence-based arguments and model how the phenomena works.  You can read a PDF explaining the theory behind the lesson here 










Comments (1)

maggie brown said

at 9:00 pm on Oct 25, 2014

Thanks, I have a better sense of the scope of the TASC wrt science and I see its not true there'll be no Life Science topics on the test; I can teach Life science again!!

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