Biological Structure and Function

Young Children Learning About Living Things: A Case Study of Conceptual Change from Ontological and Social Perspectives

This paper can be used with CTS sections II and IV to explore young children's conceptions about whether something is living. Recommendations are provided for teaching strategies that focus on conceptual change.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Venville, G. (2004). Young Children Learning About Living Things: A Case Study of Conceptual Change from Ontological and Social Perspectives. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Vol 41(5). Pp 449-480.

Why Are Some Ideas so Difficult?

Supplement to Section IV. This short 1 minute clip shows a middle school student describing how plants make food from water, sunlight, and soil.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Harvard Smithsonian Digital Video Library: http://hsdvl.org/video.php?record_serial=86&source=4

Keeley, P., Eberle, F., and Tugel, J. (2007). Uncovering student ideas in science-25 more formative assessment probes. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press (available at nsta.org; also available through amazon.com).

This assessment probe can be used with CTS Section IV. This probe targets student ideas related to cells. The probe can be used to examine student work related to the idea that the size of a typical cell is not determined by the size of the organism. In addition, the teacher notes provide further information for CTS Sections II, III, and IV.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Keeley, P., Eberle, F., and Tugel, J. (2007). Uncovering student ideas in science-25 more formative assessment probes. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press (available at nsta.org; also available through amazon.com).

Understanding Primary Science - pp 16-19 Life and Living Processes

This section of the book provides an overview of living processes and the concept of living. This book is an excellent resource for elementary teachers. Originally published in the UK, the book is designed to explain science ideas and concepts to elementary teachers with a limited science background.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Wenham, M. (2005). Understanding primary science: ideas, concepts, and explanations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

To Design Instruction (Cells and Systems Lessons)

These cell lessons can be used by professional developers who are using CTS sections II,III, and V, to help teachers apply CTS to design of instruction. The lesson clearly shows how a careful study of the benchmarks, combined with principles of teaching and learning, can lead to development of lessons that are well-aligned with learning goals. This particular example illustrates how two CTS guides (Cells and Systems) can be used to design instruction.

Bibliographic Citation: 
AAAS (1997). Resources for Science Literacy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. http://www.project2061.org/publications/rsl/online/GUIDE/CH2/IDESIGN.HTM

Sorting Living and Non-Living Things

Supplement for Section IV- Video shows a teacher eliciting first and second graders ideas about living vs. nonliving things.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Harvard Smithsonian Digital Video Library <http://www.hsdvl.org/video.php?record_serial=228&source=4>

Session 7- Energy Flow in Communities

Supplements to CTS: Section I- An ecologist describes what happens to energy as it flows through a community and distinguishes between energy and matter. A distinction is made between energy and matter and how both relate to food. Scientists describe the key role of photosynthesis and respiration to the energy needs of organisms. A visit to a compost research facility looks at decomposers and their role in energy flow. Section II- Dr. Herbert Their discusses the importance of building understandings of community-level phenomena in elementary grades.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Essential Science for Teachers- Life Science. Annenberg/CPB Professional Development Videos at www.learner.org

Private Universe- Tape 2 Lessons from Thin Air

Clips of Harvard and MIT graduates and middle school students, showing their misconceptions and struggles with ideas related to photosynthesis. Useful for Sections I and IV.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Available from Annenberg CPB

Is It Food for Plants?, Giant Sequoia Tree

These assessment probes can be used with CTS Section IV.These probes target student ideas related to how food is made and used in a plant The probes can be used to examine student work related to the biological concept of food and the transformation of matter that is involved when food is made or used. In addition, the teacher notes provide further information for CTS Sections II, III, and IV.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Keeley, P., Eberle, F., and Tugel, J. (2007). Uncovering student ideas in science-25 more formative assessment probes. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press (available at nsta.org; also available through amazon.com).

Intermediate Children's Ideas About the Things They Have in Their Bodies

This article can be used with CTS sections II and III. It is about a study conducted with upper elementary students in New Zealand that examined children's ideas about what was inside of their bodies.

Bibliographic Citation: 
Osborne, R. and Freyberg, P. (1985).Intermediate Children's Ideas About the Things They Have in Their Bodies- from an unpublished manuscript accessed online at <http://www.mmsa.org/>
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