Education Technology

Best of Biology Activities for the Fall Semester

Posted 10/09/2020 by Erick Archer

The website is an excellent resource for any science teacher looking for lessons and content that can be used either in person or online. The colorful and engaging simulations help bring the concepts to life for students by enabling them to test variables and challenge their own ideas. Take a look at some of the best biology activities below. These are just a few of the many activities available for free with your TI-Nspire™ CX Premium Teacher Software or TI-Nspire™ CX or TI-Nspire™ CX II graphing calculator. Don’t have the software? Click here to get started.

1. Skills of Science: Building and Interpreting Graphs
This is a great activity to help students learn about using graphs to represent the results of experiments and observations. It’s a great resource for students new to graphs or who need a little review.

Building and Interpreting Graphs screenshot
Screenshot from the Building and Interpreting Graphs activity.

2. Cells: Cell Size and Transport — Cell Structure and Function
This lesson is great for introducing the concepts of animal and plant cells, as well as organelles. The colorful animations and interactivity make exploring cells fun and engaging.

Cell Structure and Function screenshots
Screenshots from the Cell Structure and Function activity.

3. Genetics: Cellular Division — Addition by Division
This activity is an interesting approach to exploring how cells make copies of themselves. Students break down the stages of mitosis by evaluating how different cell types reproduce at different rates, all while seeing images of cells in prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

Addition by Division< screenshots
Screenshots from the Addition by Division activity.

4. Genetics: DNA/RNA/Protein Synthesis — DNA Structure, DNA Replication, Transcription and Translation
This set of three individual activities break down the central dogma, that is, DNA to RNA to Protein, through the use of multiple interactive simulations. Students start with “DNA Structure” and break down the molecules that are used to create DNA. Next, they’ll explore “DNA Replication” to see the process of how DNA can make copies of itself and how that relates back to mitosis. And finally, students will dig into how DNA leads to the creation of vital proteins through the processes of “Transcription and Translation.”

DNA Structure, DNA Replication, Transcription and Translation screenshots
Screenshots from the DNA Structure, DNA Replication, and Transcription and Translation activities.

5. Genetics: Mendelian Genetics — Punnett Pea Predictor
This activity enables students to explore the rules of Mendelian Genetics through an interactive Punnett square. Students are given multiple scenarios of pea plant “parents” that they must identify the possible genotypes.

Punnett Pea Predictor screenshots
Screenshots from the Punnett Pea Predictor activity.

About the author: Erick Archer is a Market Strategy Manager at Texas Instruments and works with science and STEM teachers in the implementation of TI technology. He is also a former high school science teacher, father of two sons, married to his high school sweetheart and LOVES baseball.