Bags o' Bread Mold

Bags o' Bread Mold

Fungi lack chlorophyll, so they can't obtain energy from the sun and can't produce their own food. To get energy, many fungi feast on dead organisms. Mold is a fuzzy, multicellular fungus that flourishes in many environments. It reproduces with spores. You can grow your own mold on slices of bread. What happens when you place them in different environments? Caution: Some people are allergic to mold spores. Inhaling spores can be harmful. Keep ziplock bags tightly sealed at all...
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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.



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.”

Children's Literature Review
“Being a biologist, I smiled at all of the exciting information packed into this book. There is plenty of biology vocabulary in this book . . . The reader will learn some fascinating history of biology, chromatography, tropisms, amazing animal stories, and so much more. This book would also be a great addition to an elementary teacher's collection to help them introduce their students to the wonderful world of biology. It should be a home-schooled must.”

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

Dr. H. Thorsten Lumbsch, MacArthur Associate Curator and Chair, Department of Botany, The Field Museum
“Backyard Biology does a great job in sparking interest in biology and encouraging kids to look around them at plants and animals. This book has the potential of sowing the seeds for a new biologist or conservationist!”

Holly L. Lutz, Department of Zoology, The Field Museum
“I love science - it should be fun and exciting, and Backyard Biology does an excellent job of making it both! These experiments are a perfect introduction to the diversity of life for aspiring young scientists and explorers, and they can all be done in your very own backyard!”

Christine Fanning, Executive Director, The Outdoor Foundation
“What better place to learn about biology than in your backyard! From spores to butterflies to organelles, this book teaches kids how to explore habitats right outside their door and to enjoy the scientific process along the way. Whether in the country or in the city, this book encourages kids to grab a microscope, get curious, and head outside!”

Detailed Book Description

Biology is the study of life. Life is everywhere, thriving in the city and in the country, teeming in ecosystems around the planet-in deserts, oceans, and even the Arctic. And life is right outside your door! Backyard Biology invites children ages 9 and up to investigate living things-especially in yards, parks, nature areas, and playgrounds. Trivia and fun facts bring animals, plants, and microorganisms to life, in all their wonder.

Readers become Nature Detectives with activities and projects that encourage children to make discoveries. Children will construct a plankton net to collect pond samples, and they'll grow microorganisms in a Winogradsky Column. They'll discover what mystery plants sprout from collected soil samples and build a rolypoly habitat. When children experiment with phototropism and geotropism, they'll discover the ways plants move. In Backyard Biology, children will scout out different habitats to observe and investigate-and do their part to protect them.

Available In:
Hardcover, $21.95
Paperback, $15.95
eBook, $12.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Glossary | Resources | Index
Specs: 8 x 10 size | black and white interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Life Science
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Become a Nature Detective

Chapter 1
The Study of Life

Chapter 2
Cells Alive!

Chapter 3
Microbiology Reveals an Invisible World

Chapter 4
Plants Make Life Possible

Chapter 5
Plant Life Cycles

Chapter 6
Adaptations Are a Matter of Life and Death

Chapter 7
Animal Life Cycles

Chapter 8
Protect Living Things