Backyard Biology
Investigate Habitats Outside Your Door with 25 Projects

Life is everywhere, thriving in the city and in the country, teeming in ecosystems around the planet—in deserts, oceans, and even the Arctic. And life is right outside your door! Backyard Biology invites children ages 9 and up to investigate living things—especially in yards, parks, nature areas, and playgrounds. 

 

Readers become Nature Detectives with activities and projects that encourage children to make discoveries. Construct a plankton net to collect pond samples, and grow microorganisms in a Winogradsky Column. Discover what mystery plants sprout from collected soil samples and build a rolypoly habitat. In Backyard Biology, children will scout out different habitats to observe and investigate—and do their part to protect them.


ISBN 13: 9781619301511
Price: $15.95 US
GRL: T
Grade Level: 4-6
Ages: 9-12
Subject: Environment
Trim Size: 8 x 10
Color: Black & White
Page Count: 128 Pages
Author: Donna Latham
Illustrator: Beth Hetland
Also Available: E-Books

Publishers Weekly—“This addition to the Build It Yourself series incorporates 25 projects for kids to try as they explore the ‘ecosystems that are outside your door.’ The book’s eight chapters cover biology (and microbiology), cells, and the life cycles of both plants and animals, among other topics; definitions of key terms appear throughout, as do Hetland’s cartoons and diagrams. Latham’s accessible, encouraging tone, along with such experiments as creating habitats for woodlice (aka roly-polies) and building bird nests using natural materials, should pique kids’ interest and get them outdoors. Ages 9–12.” Read online

 

School Library Journal—“This resource guide contains a wealth of information and challenging activities for budding scientists. It provides nature projects that can easily be implemented and includes growing microbes, molds, and yeasts; engaging in chemical chromatography; and learning what average people can do to protect neighborhood habitats. Each activity begins with an overview, provides a list of needed supplies, and then usually offers two pages of numbered directions. Many illustrations, diagrams, and sidebars are integrated into the text. The ‘Did you know’ boxes contain interesting facts about the topics of investigation. Each activity expands students’ vocabularies through ‘Words to Know’ mini-glossaries on the pages on which they appear. An appended master glossary contains approximately 180 terms. A good choice for science collections.”

 

Dr. H. Thorsten Lumbsch, MacArthur Associate Curator and Chair, Department of Botany, The Field Museum—“Backyard Biology does a great job in sparking interest in biology and encouraging kids to look around them at plants and animals. This book has the potential of sowing the seeds for a new biologist or conservationist!”

 

Holly L. Lutz, Department of Zoology, The Field Museum—“I love science—it should be fun and exciting, and Backyard Biology does an excellent job of making it both! These experiments are a perfect introduction to the diversity of life for aspiring young scientists and explorers, and they can all be done in your very own backyard!”

 

Christine Fanning, Executive Director, The Outdoor Foundation—“What better place to learn about biology than in your backyard! From spores to butterflies to organelles, this book teaches kids how to explore habitats right outside their door and to enjoy the scientific process along the way. Whether in the country or in the city, this book encourages kids to grab a microscope, get curious, and head outside!”

 
Yeast is a single-celled fungus. Shake a few grains into your palm, and check it out. It may not seem to be alive but it’s just dormant right now. But watch what happens when you activate a yeast culture. Can you inflate a balloon with it?
Hint: Don’t use hot water. That will kill the yeast.
 

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