Below are links to some biology teaching resources that I have written. They are all free to download and share.
Genetic modification, transgenic animals
The process by which the infamous spider goats were created is an example of genetic modification. This resource can be used to teach the method and can be used with KS5 students when studying recombinant DNA or as a way of extending the more able at GCSE.
accuracy, estimation, fieldwork, population, quadrats, KS4
This resource guides students through how quadrats can be used to estimate population. Contains printable worksheets.
MRSA, analysing results, antibiotic resistance, KS4
The starter activity aims to find out what students already know about MRSA and then the experiment is shown as a flash file. The final slide asks the students to discuss what these results tell us about how to reduce the spread of MRSA infection.
Adaptation, habitat, Solar system, KS3, KS4
A resource about what aliens might look like and why. Contains two slides that could be used as starters or plenaries to lessons on adaptation. The first is more suitable to KS3 classes, whereas the second is more detailed and suitable for KS4 biology.
Binomial name, classification, evolution, speciation, species, KS4, KS5
A starter slide that shows images and names of the two species of clouded leopard. Can be used to discuss what species names show, why new species are given binomial names and what we mean by a ‘species’ and ‘sub-species’.
DNA profiling, genetic fingerprinting, KS4, KS5
Can be used with a class when doing a topic on DNA profiling. It contains starter questions and information about how the test is carried out (including a link to an interactive lab where students can carry out the procedure themselves). The final two slides contain DNA profiles obtained from the paternity tests carried out on two families for the students to analyse. These can be printed out as sheets to give to groups.
Asexual reproduction, cloning, species, taxonomy, KS4, KS5
The slides discuss the story of a new species of lizard that was being served up for lunch and asks questions about the lizards and how they reproduce. The final question ‘Do you think it is an advantage or a disadvantage for the lizards to be able to reproduce like this?’ could be used to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of asexual reproduction. This species is healthy in the short term because it has the genes of a successful mother but is in danger of extinction because of its inability to adapt to a change in its environment.
Selective breeding, KS3, KS4
This PowerPoint can be used as a starter or a plenary. It asks students to suggest to a farmer how he may go about breeding micro pigs in order to cash in on this new craze. Students should suggest that he breed the smallest pigs together and after several generations, he should start to have smaller pigs. However, this is not going to make him rich quick as it will take several generations and by that time the craze will probably be over anyway!
Evolution, natural selection, KS4, KS5
Worksheet that asks students to organise the stages of the evolution of the peppered moth into the correct order.
Two page PowerPoint presentation containing an activity looking at why the dodo went extinct. Contains a starter and group activity.
Conservation, deforestation, KS4
Discussing deforestation is a great way of teaching about conservation this two slide PowerPoint can be used as an introduction to a lesson on this. The first slide asks students to think about why the forests are being cleared. The second asks them to discuss global impacts of this.
Drug testing/trialling, KS4
This Powerpoint slide can be used as a starter when learning about how and why drugs are tested before becoming approved and prescribed. Even though Sativex is made by a company in the UK, it has taken a long time to get to this point – why is this?
Controlling populations, predation, competition, KS3, KS4
This Powerpoint presentation includes a starter to make students think about the impact that invasive species have in the UK. The next slide explains the task, and they can then work in groups to look at the different animals on the next two slides (which can be printed out and cut into cards), in order to give each animal an overall score to find out which of these animals in the UK they would say had the most impact.
Balanced diet, nutrition, food groups, healthy lifestyle, KS3, KS4
The Powerpoint contains nutritional content of the PB&C milkshake and the recommended daily amounts of each nutrient for a teenager. Students can study this and explain why you shouldn’t drink too many of these. This will lead them to talk about the effects of too much saturated fat and sugar in the diet.
Biotechnology, stem cell, organ transplants, immunology, KS4, KS5
Contains two tables that contain information about three new bibiotechnologyrocedures. You can leave out some of the information – what and how much will depend on the level of the students. They then use copies of the news-stories (see post for weblinks), and their knowledge, to fill in the gaps.
Biotechnology, chromosome, DNA, ethics, gene, genetics, KS4, KS5
This Powerpoint shows students how Ventner and his team made the first man-made cell. It tests students’ understanding of genetics and their ability to apply their knowledge.
Adaptation, DNA, genes, mutation, KS3, KS4
Contains a KS3 starter which looks at how vampires are adapted to be able to attract their prey and a KS4 starter which asks students to discuss how vampires have these adaptations in terms of DNA mutation.
Nervous system, reaction times, KS4
In this Powerpoint, students watch some of the greatest goal saves of all time and then test their knowledge of the nervous system to explain what happens in a goalie’s body as he tries to save a goal. It can be used at the start of a GCSE topic on the nervous system or for a bit of revision before the exam.
Selective breeding, plant reproduction, KS3
The Powerpoint introduces the students to the Redlove apple and then asks them to work out how it was produced. The third slide explains how this was carried out by selective breeding and the fourth slide goes into more detail about exactly how plants can be artificially pollinated (this can be printed out and given to the students). The final slide contains a task where they have to write an article for a magazine which explains how the Redlove apple was created and why it took so long.
Cloning, ethics, KS3, KS4
Two worksheets. The first worksheet teaches students how the cloning process of cows works. They have to use the diagram to rearrange the steps of the process into the correct order. The second asks them to think about possible other uses of animal cloning including cloning humans. The examples are thought-provoking and should make interesting topics for debate in the classroom.
Microbes, transmission, infectious diseases, PSHE, KS2, KS3
Powerpoint containing two starters. The first uses the reasons that Dr Cutler put forward as why school infections are on the increase (increased international travel, resistance to antibiotics and the effects of climate change) and asks students to discuss how these things have an effect. The second is a more general discussion point which asks them to discuss how infection is spread.
Invasive species, food webs, food chains, predation
Killer shrimps are an invasive predatory species which have been found in Britain for the first time. This Powerpoint contains a starter and an activity where students use a food web of a pond to discuss how this ecosystem will be disrupted if the killer shrimps enter the pond.
Genetics, inherited disorders, recessive disorder, punnet squares
Contains a starter activity on what a recessive disorder is. Also two activities: A task where students have to figure out the probability of them being a carrier of cystic fibrosis if both of their parents are and then a written assessment of writing a talk for a school assembly on cystic fibrosis and how it affects a sufferer. Also contains a ‘grade ladder’ which can be used for peer of self-assessment of this task.
Drug trials, placebo, KS4
The students are told that they are going to try out a new type of chocolate that improves memory. They carry out a double-blind trial and analyse their results to find out if the chocolate does what it is told. An interesting way for students to experience how a medical trial is carried out. This resource contains teacher’s notes on how to carry out the investigation as well as a slide that contains questions for students to analyse their results.
If you use a resource, please leave a comment to let me know how it went