In How to Make Biology Class Fun and Interactive Part 1and Part 2, methods and activities for a more interesting Biology class were tackled. The following are more tips on teaching Biology and getting students more involved and engaged in class.
Indoor Safari. If you have limited resources and can't head out for a field trip or hook up an LCD projector, no worries. Transform your classroom into an indoor rain forest or tundra, and turn your classes into indoor safaris. Put up props such as real plants, stuffed animals or posters of wildlife scenes. Play animal sound recordings using your trusty player. Wear khaki shorts and a hat ala Kuya Kim and be the entertaining tour guide. Or, turn your classroom into a blowup of the human anatomy, or of cellular life. Assign body parts or cellular processes to groups. Ask them to make models of these parts using recycled materials. During presentation, let the groups explain certain processes as the class moves from one installation to another.
The Power of Variety. You've done your best to involve your students in Biology class, no matter how many terms they need to remember and how complicated some processes may be. They've enjoyed the outdoor trips, the awesome photos and pondered on nature video clips. However, don't forget that students have different ways of learning and remembering—and also, of expressing and showing what they have learned. Some can rattle of a list of scientific names in a heartbeat, while others can draw features of an organism better than recalling its parts. Take into account these learning differences and predispositions. Give them choices on class outputs and homework when possible. For group activities, you can opt to mix students of different skills, or to combine those with similar strengths. Either way, your class presentations and outputs will be as varied as the flora and fauna you study.
The Power of Touch. That's right, touch. Don't settle on visual materials when you can invest on manipulatives. Yes, you have frogs to dissect, but why not take the leap (pun intended) and get yourself manipulative models of animals and even of the human body? Manipulatives eliminate the icky factors that hold your students back and gross them out (though let's admit, some do enjoy the dissections). Models are great investments for every Bio teacher because they are durable and, well, do not decompose. With manipulatives, your students can explore the inner workings of an animal's body, guilt-free.
Bio Breakthroughs. Science is not stagnant and discoveries are made even as you read this. The field of biology is no exception to the changing knowledge pool of the sciences. As you discuss topics from the curriculum, go the extra mile and research on any recent findings about your topic in class. Have scientists discovered a new species? Are there changes in Earth phenomena? You can also choose to conduct a regular Bio Breakthrough session in class. Ask students to research on bio news and tackle what the implications of the news are in the study of life and of their understanding of nature.
The Game of Life. What's a fun Bio class without a little running around and getting mucked up? In the spirit of the Survivor and Amazing Race shows, end to your year with a grand game. This can be held within school premises if your school grounds are spacious. Clues can be flora or fauna samples that you studied in class, or you can ask them to find the next clue at the Pterocarpus indicus beside your school building. Include tasks and clues that will squeeze the biology juices out of your students' brains! Make sure to plan out safety measures and to orient your students thoroughly regarding safety and first aid.