Lessons in This Chapter:

2.1 Characteristics of Living Organisms

2.2 Chemistry of Living Things

2.3 Classification of Living Things


The suggested activity for this chapter is to make a model of DNA. There are several options under the Activities tab to choose from. If you want to go all out, try extracting DNA, there are several options for that as well. If the weather is nice and you’d like to get outside, try playing with some of the dichotomous key ideas under the Extension Ideas tab.


Additional/Alternate Books


Plethora Lesson Notes

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Extension Ideas

Unfortunately, this text does not cover dichotomous keys, which can be a great extension activity. Dichotomous keys are a series of questions that help you identify a species. Here are some links to find out more. Many nature parks will have dichotomous keys available to identify local plants on a hike.

Dichotomous Keying – an introductory activity using beans, plus a dichotomous key for conifers in North America.

What Tree is That? – an online dichotomous key for trees in North America from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Taxonomy, Classification, and Dichotomous Keys – a fun worksheet to practice using a dichotomous key using aliens. You can also use cut-out cards found here.