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My upcoming 7th grader will be studying life science next year.  She is less interested in the insides of animals and more interested in the outside, especially animal behavior, habitats, etc.  (No dissections here!)  Any ideas for resources?

Note:  She'll probably use at least part of a life science text, but I would like to include more about animals in a way that interests her.  She is considering a career with animals, though not a veterinarian.  Something more like a zoo keeper, dog trainer, boarding horses, etc.

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Has she ever used the Apologia Zoology books?  I know they say K-6th, but they would make a pretty thorough course if you have her work through all three in a school year.  

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On 4/22/2020 at 7:15 AM, kristin0713 said:

Has she ever used the Apologia Zoology books?  I know they say K-6th, but they would make a pretty thorough course if you have her work through all three in a school year.  

 

She has not.  I had not even thought of these.  How much of the books cover internal anatomy?

Edited by Lisa in the UP of MI

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4 hours ago, Lisa in the UP of MI said:

 

She has not.  I had not even thought of these.  How much of the books coves internal anatomy?

I would say minimal, if any.  In Swimming Creatures, there is at least one diagram of a fish that might include internal parts.  Nothing that I recall in Land Animals.  We did not use Flying Creatures so I can't comment on that.  But I would definitely say that they are more about animal behavior and habitats. 

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I took an animal behavior class in college. We had to spend time observing monkeys at the zoo and honeybees in my professor’s plexiglass hive in an office window. I’d encourage you to find local resources for hands on observations of what she’s learning. Zoos, local beekeeper society, service dog trainers, etc.  I loved that college class because of the hands on! 

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I do an animal behavior activity with worms for my classes.  They also make a worm jar where you layer sand and dirt, cover the outside with black paper and check it every few days to see how the worms mix up the soil. 

Also, there are sites where you can borrow models to use instead of dissections, plus Teachers Pay Teachers has a bunch of paper dissection models.  

Worm behavior:

Give each child one or two worms, a spray bottle of water, and a magnifying glass on their tray.   They can use the spray bottle to clean some of the dirt off their worms but should be careful not to get them too wet.  Worms breathe through their skin and we don’t want to drown them. Tell them to look at the head of their worms.  Do they see eyes, ears, nose or other sense organs?
Place a wet paper towel next to a dry paper towel, Place your worm with one half on each paper towel.  ObserveDoes your worm move toward the wet or toward the dry side?
Try it again with the worm oriented the opposite way.  Observe
Place the worm fully on the dry side. Observe.
Place the worm fully on the wet side.  Observe
Place wet paper towels on table

Shine a regular flashlight, then a UV flashlight on your worms.  Do they react to the light?Does it matter where on their body you shine the light? Do they move toward it or away from it? Does it matter where on their body you shine the light?Do they move toward or away from it? 

Place a small amount of water on a q-tip.  Wave the q-tip near your worm.  Does the worm react?  Does it matter which end you wave the q-tip near?

Place a small amount of vinegar on a q-tip.  Wave the q-tip near the worm. Does the worm react?Does it matter which end you wave the q-tip near?
 

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Scientists in the Field has a lot of really good animal behavior books. Right now I'm thinking of The Elephant Scientist (how scientists learned that elephants communicate over long distances) and Project UltraSwan (how people were training Trumpeter Swans to migrate because their numbers were too low to learn in the natural way), but there are a lot more. Each is about 60 pages long with fairly well-written text and a bibliography to follow up with if you are interested.

These might be on the young side (looks like their reading level is considered about grade 3-6 / 4-8 depending on who you ask), but sometimes I like using high quality pictures books to expose my kids to ideas and then let them follow up on the ones that spark the most interest. Also, they don't feel young. My book-snob birder took The Hive Detectives with him on the bus last year at age 14 to read because he'd started glancing through it at home and wanted to know more. If I commit to a 250-page adult book, I feel like they sometimes are forced to follow what I find interesting instead of what they find interesting. (The end of the story with DS-now-15 is that, due to that book, he is very interested in bees and reads current research papers on pollinators. He started a worm bin and has been learning about midwest native bees. This wouldn't have happened if he hadn't happened to pick up a picture book about bees one morning that he saw on the couch. He would not have committed to 250 pages on native bees at that point.)

And, of course, Their Blood Runs Cold is amazing.

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