A few years back we shared a series about how to teach the different areas of science at home, which you can find here:
The posts in the series have remained some of our most popular posts and so we thought we would help you all out by sharing our favorite experiments for each discipline!
We are going to start this series out with biology - here's how you can teach biology at home.
And without further ado, here are our top 10 biology experiments!
Top 10 Biology Experiments
1. Dissect a Flower
Many of the typical spring blooms, such as lilies, tulips, and daffodils, have clearly seen elements, which makes them excellent specimens for your students to study the structure of a flower.
One of the best ways to do this is through a flower dissection! These step-by-step directions for a flower dissection will help you examine the structure of a flower.
2. Raise a Butterfly
Butterflies go through an amazing life-cycle. A butterfly lays an egg, from which a caterpillar emerges. Then, the caterpillar eats and grows, eventually forming a chrysalis. And several weeks later a butterfly emerges!
There is nothing like watching this process in action! And these instructions on how to grow a butterfly will help you observe this life cycle in action.
3. Extract DNA
DNA is the stuff that tells our cells what to do and how to look. It resides in the nucleus of a cell, so as you can imagine it is quite tiny. In fact, you normally need a very powerful microscope to see DNA for yourself.
That is unless you extract it and force it to join up together into one giant mass of DNA. And that is exactly what you do with this Banana DNA Extraction experiment.
4. Make a Seed Board
Plants start their lives out as seeds and there is a huge variety of seeds, just like there is a huge variety of plants.
These four steps for making a seed board will help your students appreciate the differences and similarities between seeds.
5. Dissect an Owl Pellet
This one often grosses people out, but dissecting an owl pellet is a great way to learn about bones and animal diet.
Don't worry, owl pellets are not from the backside of an owl. Owls swallow their prey whole, so a few hours after the meal, they will regurgitate the indigestible parts in the form of a pellet.
These four steps for dissecting an owl pellet will help you get the most of this fascinating but slightly suspect dissection.
6. Look at Fingerprints
Our body is covered with an amazing organ know as skin. It's the largest organ of the integumentary system. The skin on our fingers, toes, palms of your hands, and soles of your feet is folded into tiny ridges. These ridges form swirling patterns, that help our hands and feet grip things.
These directions for examining your fingerprints will help your students understand just how amazing our skin is!
7. Grow an Herb Cutting
Roots are the structure of a plant that anchors into the ground and helps the provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to grow.
These directions for growing an herb cutting will help your students see how roots grow and get a chance to examine roots up close without getting dirty!
8. Make a Habitat Diorama
Our planet is covered with different types of habitats. Habitats are the place that is normal for the life and growth of a certain animal or a plant. In other words, it's the area where an animal or plant resides.
These directions for how to make a habitat diorama will help your students learn about the different plants and animals in an area in a hands-on way.
9. Eat a Cell Model
The cell is the basic unit of life, but it's so small that we can't see the cell's structure with our naked eyes. Enter the cell model.
You can make a jello cell, a cake cell, or a cell calzone to eat, but whatever cell you choose to snack on, these edible models will help your students visualize this basic building block of life.
10. Create a Fall Leaf (or Signs of Spring) Journal
When you study biology, it's a good idea to learn about the nature surrounding you. A Fall Leaf journal or a Signs of Spring journal will help your students learn about the trees and bushes that are in your area.
Wrapping it Up
There are loads more options for biology experiments out there that we love - in fact, we probably could have done a post with 100 experiments! But these are the ten we don't want you to miss. If you want more biology experiments, check out our Biology Pinterest board.
If you want it all pulled together for you, check out the following our homeschool science programs with easy-to-use plans for teaching biology: