National Standards
  • Find directions for having students construct a Concept Map of the characteristics of life here.  Site includes a grading rubric.
  • Use the online "Characteristics of Life" matching game.
  • Online crossword puzzle for "The Study of Life."
  • "The Study of Life" Wordsearch and Solution.
  • NASA provides an entire unit called "Astrobiology In Your Classroom"  that investigates the requirements for life on earth and the other planets.  It includes black-line masters for worksheets, overheads, and even a game.
  • "Sewer Lice"  is a Flinn Scientific, Inc. demonstration for "What Is Life?" to introduce some levity into the classroom and to provide an opportunity to discuss the importance of careful observations.  One teacher from the NSTA ListServe suggested using white or golden raisens to make them harder for students to recognize.
  • For middle school students try these Sponge Bob Science worksheets, "Bikini Bottom Experiments"  and "Controls and Variables" .
  • Show this "Characteristics of Life"  PowerPoint presentation.
  •  "The Scientific Method" activity has students write a paper about the scientific method and then use it to solve a problem.  Rubrics are included.
  • A good middle school activity for introducing controls and variables in an experiment is "Identify the Controls and Variables" with the Simpsons.  Lisa Smith from the NSTA Listserve has used the site to create the worksheet "The Simpsons - Identifying the Controls and Variables" .
  • Introduce The Scientific Method by hatching "dinosaur eggs" with this  experiment.
  • Or introduce The Scientific Method with this "Testing a Consumer Product"  lab.
  • Explore the characteristics of life with "Is Yeast Alive?" Lab  or  with these teacher notes .
  • NOVA lab for "Origins: How Life Began"  has students explore the characteristics of life.
  • Use the scientific method to "Save Fred" .  And here is another "Save Fred"  worksheet with good images, but has to be printed on office size paper.
  •  "The Checks Lab" is a nature of science activity from ENSI.

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