GS 311

Karen Bledsoe, Instructor

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GS 311: Biology for Elementary Schools

Downloadable documents are in PDF format. You will need Acrobat Reader or other PDF reader (such as Preview on the Mac) to read these documents.

I have no GS 311 courses this term (Winter 2010). However, students from other sections are welcome to use these resources.


Summer 2009 Syllabus (PDF file)

What is GS 311?

This is a largely hands-on, inquiry-oriented biology course for preservice elementary teachers. The course will be structured around the three areas of life science content from the National Education Standards for grades K-4 (see link below).

Readings and Resources

Further Resources

Many of the class activities will be from (or adapted from) the following resources:

  • Ansberry, K.R. & Morgan, E. (2005). Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry, 3-6. Arlington, VA:NSTA Press.
  • Burnett, R. (1999). The Pillbug Project: A Guide to Investigation. Arlington, VA:NSTA Press.
  • Ingram, M. (2003). Bottle Biology (2nd. ed). Madison, WI: Kendall/Hunt. (also see the Bottle Biology Website)

More activity sources

  • Science for Ohio: Science curricula for all grades based on the Ohio State Standards.
  • BBC Science Clips: Many of these are useful for introducing topics, and some include an inquiry aspect. Be aware of "British-isms" in the text.
  • Learn Genetics site from the University of Utah: While most of these activities are for the upper grades, this is a great resource site for teacher background information on heredity. Some interactive activities could be used with advanced upper elementary students.
  • Understanding Evolution is a resource-packed site for teachers and students alike. Though a controversial topic in society, evolution is the foundational theory of modern biology and essential in developing our understanding of human health, ecology, diversity, and many other subjects. This site includes an excellent teacher section with resources for dealing wtih evolution in the classroom.
  • If you want to read a synthesis of the research on the 5E model of inquiry teaching, here is a good report: The BSCS 5E Instructional Model: Origins and Effectiveness.


Class announcements




Important dates:


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