Biology - intro & weeks 1 to 3

Largely because of the availability of Human Biology as a separate subject we opted for the Edexcel IGCSE (Specification and support materials here).

I’m basing each week’s work on the Scheme of work (docx file) supplied by Pearson. It assumes 2 hours of teaching time per week over 60 weeks but as you can imagine that’s not massively helpful as a guide for home ed. In some ways you can get it done quicker, but add in an occasional 1 hour documentary and the kind of activities that schools would set as homework and I’m timetabling in 4 hours just to be safe. If it takes less to cover the material great, if it takes longer then it takes longer.

Things are likely to get a little muddled at first as there’s a fair bit of overlap between biology and human biology to begin with, like the structure of animal cells and it took a while to get ourselves organised.

First the basic resources. I got the Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Biology Student Book: print and ebook bundle and Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) Biology Revision Guide with Student CD. Then, since we only had a cheepo kiddy microscope, I splashed out on an Apex Researcher Microscope and Minigrab. Expensive but you get what you pay for and this baby is awesome (yes I’m a geek). There are other books and materials in the house which will probably come in handy but I’ll mention them as and when we use them.

Since I didn’t start with the email list idea at the beginning I’m going to combine what I can remember into one post.

Week 1
DVD - Life on Earth episode 1 - once you get past the lack of CGI it’s still covering the basics and I have the whole series so why not.
A wrote out 8 characteristics of living things for her folder and read the Student Book pages on the 5 major groups of living organisms. Collected some water from one of the garden ponds and spent a while with the microscope looking at the things living in it.

Week 2
Video Viruses and Bacteria: What’s the difference and who cares anyway? - Plain and Simple Very funny and it’s such a pity that this is a vet channel and there isn’t more on general biology. Have to admit that we let things slide a bit this week, and didn’t really cover the scheme of work beyond reading the Student Book largely because it was all pretty much familiar material but she’ll need to go back over this with some activities at the end of the section just to be sure.

Week 3
Video Introduction to Cells: The Grand Cell Tour
Printed out the worksheets for this video.
Also printed out the Animal Cell, Plant Cell and Bacteria Cell worksheets from the Cells Alive web site. A filled in what she could watching the Amoeba Sisters video and then used the interactive cell models on this site to finish off.

Last Modified: Sunday, September 24th, 2017 @ 15:26

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