Plant a Mystery Greenhouse Garden

Plant a Mystery Greenhouse Garden

What might be lurking in the soil? Find out by taking samples of soil from three different sites and seeing what grows!
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How Are Humans Adapted?

How Are Humans Adapted?

From Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations

Humans are mammals, too. And we live in many different ecosystems on earth: deserts, tropical rain forests, Arctic regions, mountains, and grasslands.

Extract DNA from a Strawberry

Extract DNA from a Strawberry

From The Human Genome

Cells are the basic unit of life. Inside most cells, you’ll find DNA. This large molecule carries all the genetic information for a cell. Simply put, DNA holds the instruction manual for life. Each DNA molecule is a long, thin thread. See for yourself!

Build a Working Arm Muscle

Build a Working Arm Muscle

From Inside the Human Body

How many times a day do you use your arm? In this activity, you’ll create a model of a working arm muscle to see how the muscles in your arm work together to help you bend your elbow and move your arm.

Choices and Consequences

Choices and Consequences

From Psychology

Risk-taking behavior can offer learning opportunities! And not all risk taking leads to bad outcomes. Taking risks can fall into six categories of risk, all affecting you in different ways. Take a look.



Praise for a previous edition of this book

Publishers Weekly
“Latham’s accessible, encouraging tone, along with such experiments as creating habitats for woodlice (aka roly-polies) and building bird nests using natural materials, should pique kids’ interest and get them outdoors.”

School Library Journal
“This resource guide contains a wealth of information and challenging activities for budding scientists.  A good choice for science collections.”

Detailed Book Description

AVAILABLE APRIL 2020. This updated edition incorporates new scientific discoveries and a sharper look at the impact human actions have on the natural world!

Biology is the study of life, and life is all around you! You can find life thriving in the city and in the country, teeming in ecosystems around the planet—in deserts, oceans, and even the Arctic. Backyard Biology: Discover the Life Cycles and Adaptations Outside Your Door with Hands-On Science Activities introduces readers ages 9 to 12 to the amazing world of life science right outside their doors, no matter where they live.

Throughout Backyard Biology, hands-on STEM activities, essential questions, and links to online primary resources help readers learn the basics of life science, including cell structures, adaptations, life cycles, and microbes.

Try these hands-on biology projects!

  • Grow microbes in a Winogradsky column
  • Organize a clean up
  • Make animal tracker plaster caster
  • Study growth in a geotropism
Available In:
Paperback, $17.95
Hardcover, $22.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Charts | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8x10 size | 4-color | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Biology | Life Science


Backyards Around the World

The Study of Life

Chapter 1
Cells Alive!

Chapter 2
Microbiology Reveals an Invisible World

Chapter 3
Plants Make Life Possible

Chapter 4
Plant Life Cycles

Chapter 5
Adaptations Are a Matter of Life and Death

Chapter 6
Animal Life Cycles

Chapter 7
Be the Difference

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions