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Miller Levine Biology for a 6th grade child? (or Zoology resources?)

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#1 TheAttachedMama


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:37 PM

I am trying to put out some feelers to see what resources exist for a science-crazy-middle-school-boy.   We are a Christian family but typically use secular resources.   My son is sort of obsessed with zoology and asked to study it next year.   However, I think he might benefit from an actual biology class.  He has some gaps that I would like to cover.


Looking around at resources, I stumbled across the Miller-Levine books.   I am specifically looking at the ipad version paired with the Home Scientist kit

Would I be crazy to use these as a spine for a 6th grader?   (If so, can someone offer a decent alternative?)

What exactly is the difference between the dragonfly and macaw books?   

What resources exist for these books?   (Does anyone publish lesson plans/tests/study guides?)



#2 SeaConquest


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:15 PM

I am crazier than you -- I plan to use Miller Levine with a 4th grader next year, so following and giving you a bump! :)

#3 EKS


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:16 PM

I considered using the Miller and Levine text with my HG+ seventh grader.  I ended up deciding that the ML book was just too much material and used Essential Biology instead.  I was very happy with Essential Biology and we had a good year.


That said, ML is excellent.

Edited by EKS, 22 October 2017 - 02:17 PM.

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#4 SeaConquest


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:17 PM

Also, this might help you/us:



Edited by SeaConquest, 22 October 2017 - 02:18 PM.

#5 SeaConquest


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:35 PM

Btw, Athena's uses this free, online, bio textbook.




I plan to enroll Sacha in that class next year, but wanted to have Miller Levine as a supplement, in case we want to dig deeper into a topic.


Another, inexpensive option is Holt Biology:




Some other resources include:


Online Biology Book: http://www2.estrella...biobooktoc.html


Interactive Bio Review: http://www.classzone...bio_intrev.html


Cells alive: https://www.cellsalive.com/


#6 klmama


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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:14 AM

If you want to consider a 6th grade life science text, dc enjoyed the Prentice Hall Science Explorer text. Cheap used copies on Amazon.

ETA: Sorry, just realized this is the accelerated learners board. This text is a normal middle school level, with much less detail than the ML bio text.

Edited by klmama, 23 October 2017 - 12:17 AM.

#7 J-rap


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Posted 23 October 2017 - 02:36 AM

I agree that the ML is a very thick text with lots of information.  It might appear overwhelming to a 6th grader (or 4th grader).  That said, I loved it for my 9th grader!  I had the Macaw edition which allowed us to use their online support -- which we also loved.  However, I hear that it's next to impossible to access it now as a homeschooler.  Other than that, I'm not sure what the difference is between that one and the earlier edition.

#8 katilac


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Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:38 PM

I cast my vote for zoology! He wants to study it, it's a branch of biology, and I really don't think of 6th-graders as possibly having very many gaps in their science education. 


What has he used before? What worked well and what didn't?


Whenever I am putting together a course at home, I google "high school SUBJECT syllabus" and usually get lots of good ideas and names of texts. So try "high school zoology syllabus." Change syllabus around to curriculum, class, etc, and you will get different hits. 


Libraries generally have a ton of zoology and related books and videos. Make sure to check their digital resources, like Hoopla. The Great Courses has a set of zoology lectures. Netflix and Amazon Video have tons of science and nature documentaries. I think you could easily match up resources to a syllabus if you don't find a suitable text. 


Do you have a local zoo with a volunteer program? Ours has a program for junior volunteers, you pay for a month of training over the summer, and then they take a weekly shift at the zoo during the year. They continue to have assignments and learn throughout the year as they volunteer. Wildlife refuge? Animal shelter? Woods or wildlife preserve with animals to observe? Zoology would be a great hands-on subject. 


It sounds so fun! Do it, lol! 



#9 dmmetler


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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:22 AM

The Zoology and Biology coloring books are great supplements, too :)

#10 eternalsummer


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Posted 24 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

We're doing Miller Levine, the dragonfly book, for bio for 7th.  It's going well - teaches to the student pretty clearly, lots of info but well organized (which is the point of biology study anyway, really, imo).  Some of the more abstract/process-based concepts take a few different presentations to get through, but that was normal when I used the same book for 9th grade honors bio.


A large part of the reason we're using it is to learn to take notes from a textbook; there are lots of resources online for this in relation to this particular book, as it's a pretty standard 9th grade advanced bio book, and teachers have their powerpoints or assignments or review sheets or notes outlines (very helpful!) posted online.  I search something like "9th grade biology prentice hall notes" or "9th grade biology prentice hall syllabus" or etc., and see what comes up.  

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#11 MamaSprout


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Posted 27 October 2017 - 03:37 PM

We liked Campbell Exploring Life for 6th grade along with Hoagland's Exploring the Way Life Works. I didn't need to adapt for output, except didn't do tests.