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Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level biology courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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Constructing Phylogenetic Trees: The Whippo Story part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Interactive Lectures:Examples
An interactive lecture in which students use data on feeding habits and habitat, skeletons, and DNA sequences to draw phylogenetic trees. -

Simple Mendelian Genetics: An interactive lecture using "DNA from the Beginning" part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Interactive Lectures:Examples
An interactive lecture that uses flash animations showing the researcher and their experiments that were used to develop the basic concepts in Mendelian genetics. Includes multiple choice questions students can ...

What Determines Gender in Humans? part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Interactive Lectures:Examples
In this activity students examine karyotypes from five individuals to try to identify which chromosomes determine gender in humans. This activity is also a good illustration of meiotic non-disjunction. -

Protein Evolution part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity students explore the evolution of proteins by comparing 2D and 3D alignments of orthologs and paralogs.

Long Term Ecological Resources part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students analyze data on temperature and precipitation collected from 26 different Long Term Ecological Research sites and compare them with annual net primary productivity. The students then form an ecological rule to explain their results.

Phenylketonuira part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity, students are assigned different alleles of the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase to research using OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man). They are then asked to both explain and illustrate how this mutation may cause the disease phenylketonuria (PKU).

Writing a Wikipedia Genetic Disease Article part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Writing a Wikipedia article about a genetic disease is a good culminating activity for a genetics course or module, as it requires synthesizing and interpreting a wide range of genetic information. This assignment also includes a potential service component, which is normally very difficult in genetics.

Monohybrid Fruit Fly Crosses: A Simulation part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
This assignment uses a computer simulation of fruit fly genetics to have students design and interpret monohybrid crosses of a trait with simple dominant and recessive alleles. Detailed instructions with animated examples, background material, a sample report and a rubric are included.

Searching Genbank part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
An active problem-based assignment that uses the Genbank database to teach the basics of molecular biology and molecular evolution

JiTT-Scientific Method part of Just in Time Teaching:Examples
A "Just in Time Teaching" question about he scientific method with follow-up class room activities and an exam question.

Light Reactions of Photosynthesis part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
Light reactions of photosynthesis including location and steps for non-cyclic and cyclic photophosphorylation.

Dark Reactions of Photosynthesis part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
The dark reactions of photosynthesis (Calvin Cycle) are presented in this learning experience to show where these processes take place in the plant as well as the specific reactions involved.

Plant Growth Regulation part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
Plant growth regulators, including auxin, gibberellin, cytokinin, abscisic acid, and ethylene, are investigated in this learning activity to demonstrate how these chemicals (hormones) affect plant growth and development.

Mitosis and Meiosis part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
Drawings and animations, are used to help participants understand the differences between and steps involved in mitosis and meiosis. The cell cycle as well as individual steps of mitosis and meiosis are included in this learning material.

Respiratory System part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
The purpose, components, and functions of the respiratory system are presented in this learning through disussion and visualizations. Participants learn about the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli.

Plant Anatomy part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
Tissues and cells of root, stem, and leaf anatomy in both dicots and monocots are investigated in this learning activity.

Plant Water Relations part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
Plant water relations are presented in this learning activity to help participants understand the components of water potential, explain how water moves through plants, provide examples of plant adaptations to water stress, and have a general understanding of how water potential can be measured.

Digestive System part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
The digestive system is investigated in this learning activity to help participants learn how food is broken down and prepared for absorption, and list the components of the digestive system as well as their functions. Organs investigated include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and anus.

Nervous System part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Visualizations:Examples
This learning strategy provides discussion and visualizations of the neuron and its function, as well as components and functions of different parts of the nervous system, including the human brain.

Evolution, Natural Selection and Speciation part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Conceptual Models:Examples
In this out of class tutorial, students explore several examples of natural selection and speciation.

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