I have three Biology, two Anatomy and Physiology, and an AP Biology class every day. They are full of ninth through twelfth-grade students that are VERY excited about hands-on learning! We are learning, investigating and experimenting every day!
My students are working hard, learning new things, and gaining self-confidence in their abilities every day in my classroom.
My students come from many walks of life, some are from "way out in the country", some live "in town", many come from bilingual families, and most of them are recipients of free or reduced-price meals. But they all have one thing in common, they love hands-on activities in science!
I teach life sciences so my students are learning every day about how everything from the cells in their bodies to the world around them works. One way to make this information stick is to give them as many hands-on experiences as I can that show them how science relates to their lives and the world in which they live.
Food webs, food chains, and energy pyramids are items on my Biology student's standardized tests, as well as on the ACT. This lab and the lessons that go along with it are ingenious in how they make the written material come to life!
Students will gain hands-on knowledge of how a food web works when dissecting the owl pellets.
This is not some run of the mill worksheet. Students will have different animal bones in the pellets and they will use comparative anatomy to try and figure out what items were on the menu for the owl. Since owls usually have several meals before regurgitating the bone and hair of their meals, there is a good chance that there will be different animal skeletons in a single pellet. At the very least we will have different animals in the different pellets in the class.
While this may sound a little on the gross side, it makes an impact on the student's memory and they are much better at recalling how food webs work.
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