Overview | Activities
Introductory Activities - Structure-Function relationships
- Direct students to access the HUMAN ANATOMY DIAGRAM at
and label each body part first with the name of the structure then write down what each structure does, (Example: eye = see).
- Ask students to identify and record as many of the human body systems as they can on a separate sheet of paper. [The body systems are: Muscular, Respiratory, Reproductive, Excretory, Endocrine, Digestive, Immune, Skeletal, Circulatory (cardiovascular), Lymphatic, Nervous]
- Point out to students that linking various structures with their function is an important skill. Ask students to now identify the various body system associated with the various body structures. [Example: Ribs=skeletal, Brain=nervous, Heart=circulatory muscle, Eyes=nervous]
- Direct students to access the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM DIAGRAM at
Ask students to repeat the labeling activity making sure to record in their notebooks, any unfamiliar terms. Review with students the correct labeling or direct them to the answers at
Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify what the function of the pancreas is and to guess in which body system the pancreas is classified. [The pancreas produces enzymes that help the body metabolize/break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Point out to students that the pancreas is often classified in the endocrine system because it produces enzymes even though it is an important organ for digestion.]
- Survey the class to find out how many students know someone who has ever had any major surgery. Write on the board a list of all the major types of surgery students know about. Classify those surgeries into categories based on the body system that was affected. [Examples might be: Gall stone removal=digestive system or Open-heart surgery=circulatory].
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify in which body system the appendix is most likely classified and to explain what scientists know about the appendix. Direct students to log onto the BBC Science interactive Web site, organs page at
to review some of the parts of the human body and the placement of various organs in the various body systems. [The appendix, which is attached to the large intestine, has no known physiological function and is most likely a part of the digestive system that once aided cellulose digestion in its ancestral form. Humans can have their appendix removed with no harm caused.]
Learning Activities - Dissections
Inside Animal Cells
- Distribute the "Incredible Egg" lab worksheet and follow the procedures as outlined on the handout.
- As a point of review, explain to students there is a part-to-whole relationship in biology that generally starts with the "smallest" part and builds to the "largest part". Ask students what the smallest part is and challenge them to consider the entire organization of body parts from smallest to largest. [What is known as the hierarchy of life starts with the cell and ends with the ecosystem. The complete order is cell ' tissue ' organ ' system ' organism ' niche ' ecosystem. Even though cells have smaller parts in them (nucleus, ribosomes, mitochondria, cytoplasm, and cell membranes, for example), most people agree to start with the cell as the smallest part. There are two types of cells: animal and plant. Make sure to review with students the major differences between them.]
Culminating Activity - GED Science Questions
- Direct students to log onto the FLOWER ANATOMY page at
to identify the major parts of the flower.
- Distribute the cut flower sample and ask students to cross reference their flower sample with the diagram as shown.
- Direct students to draw and label the parts of their flower sample on a separate sheet of paper.
- Pull the potted plant from the soil and shake off the excess dirt to expose the roots. Pass the de-potted plant sample around among the students so that they can examine a whole plant sample.
- Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify what process for plant survival begins in the leaves of plants. Ask students to log onto the PLANT ANATOMY Web site at
to write down important vocabulary related to the anatomy of plants and flowers. [Leaves are the primary site of photosynthesis, the process by which plants manufacture glucose from sunlight and carbon dioxide. The process begins in the leaves because chloroplasts in the leaves help to speed up the photosynthesis reaction.]
More Practice and Making Connections
- Direct students to the GED Connection workbook (p. 160) "Interpreting Science Diagrams."
- Pair students into groups and ask one partner to identify on the other partner the pairs of muscles that correspond to those shown in the diagram.
- Complete the worksheets.
- Access the ROOT HAIR DIAGRAM sample question at
Review with students some sample GED science questions. Explain to students that most answers can be selected based on information implied in the diagrams.
Practice reading scientific diagrams. Log onto the Sweet Haven Publishing Services: A Short Preview of Human Anatomy and Physiology Web site to get a good example of an animal cell
This diagram of an animal cell is a typical example of life science diagrams you might find on the GED. Review how science diagrams are labeled. Compare it to the one provided on free-ed.net at
) for similarities and differences.
Whole fish dissection
Use the Enchantedlearning.com worksheet on fish anatomy at http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/
to identify the external organs of a whole fish obtained from a local seafood market.
Plant a bean and observe its growth over a ten-to-twenty-day period. Once the bean begins to sprout, use the Enchantedlearning.com worksheet at http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/
to identify the various parts of the plant. After reviewing the parts of the plant, use the elementary level "Quiz on Plants" at
to review structure-function relationships.
General Biology Videos
Access video content for various life science topics from this free site. Twenty-six videos are catalogued on the site with various emphases enabling students to study at home or in a group setting.
Free Education on the Internet
Students may register for special Internet-based class sections for GED preparation. Each class section begins during the first week of the month. When students feel ready to extend their learning beyond the classroom or want to practice independently, they may want to join a section and get ready for the challenge Web-based instruction will bring.
GED as Project: Volume 5 published by Virginia Literacy Institute/Virginia Department of Education. Access a contents list and the PDF version at
Use the packet of information to review various strategies for success on the GED Science and Social Studies tests. The packet is comprehensive, with tips for critical reading, decision-making reminders and resources (including sample experiments, science passages, social studies text and various types of diagrams).