R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey

Read, Explore, Absorb, and Learn science Life/Biology

With RSO Life and Biology courses, students observe, speculate, hypothesize, experiment, and conclude through the topics of the human body, the plant kingdom, and the animal kingdom. Students learn by doing through engaging written lessons that are heavily reinforced by hands-on labs and activities.

View sample pages, book lists, supply lists, and more at Try Before You Buy.

Choose a level: Life (level one) - Appropriate for 1st through 4th grade Biology (level two) - Appropriate for 5th through 8th grade
Life - Level One
RSO Life (level one) is appropriate for 1st to 4th grade. The course is divided into three sections: the human body, the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom. Students study the major body systems through making models and doing tests on their own bodies. Classification and the five kingdoms of living things are studied as students make an animal kingdom book.
Animal kingdom labs include examining real worms, mollusks, arthropods, and butterfly metamorphosis. Students learn about the plant kingdom through looking at the makeup and function of seeds, flowers, leaves, stems, and roots.
The following is a list of topics your child will learn during the year while completing Life (level one). Each topic and/or subtopic will include 1 to 3 lessons complete with lesson story, labs, reading, and other activities. Each topic will take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to complete. Remember your child will also be having a whole lot of fun. Also included in this scope are laughing, playing, digging, exploring, reading, singing, and begging for more RSO!

What is Life?

  • Living vs. nonliving
  • Living characteristics

The Cell

  • Cell, nucleus, membrane, vacuole, chloroplast

The Human Body

  • Skeletal and muscular systems- structure and function
  • Circulatory system- structure and function, blood and blood types
  • Respiratory system- structure and function
  • Digestive system – structure and function
  • Nervous system – structure and function, five senses
  • Growth and genetics – stages of growth and inheritance

Classifying Life

  • Introduction to the Five Kingdoms of Living Things
  • How and why scientists classify things

Animal Kingdom

  • Cnidarians
  • Worms
  • Mollusk
  • Echinoderm
  • Arthropod (insects, arachnids, and crustaceans)
  • Invertebrates vs. vertebrates
  • Chordate (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals)

Plant Kingdom

  • Seeds (parts and function)
  • Flowers (parts and function)
  • Leaves (photosynthesis and types)
  • Stems and Roots (types and functions)

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Biology (Level 2)

RSO Biology (Level 2) is a comprehensive course for life science at the middle school level (grades 5 through 8). But unlike many science textbooks, RSO Biology 2 is not a dry collection of facts and worksheets but rather an in-depth course that engages young peopleʼs minds at the same time they are actively participating in the learning of biology.
RSO Biology 2 has been created specifically for home and small group use. The course assumes no science background for teacher or student, and thereʼs no need for an expensive laboratory. Biology 2 uses natural settings that encourage students to explore the world around them. Most materials needed for labs and activities are commonly found items. A few items such as a microscope (microscope labs are optional but highly encouraged) and dissection specimens are easily obtained from science supply vendors.
The course is contained in two books (student text and parent/teacherʼs text). The student text starts each chapter with an entertaining written lesson that is followed by several components intended to reinforce the lesson, address the needs of different learning styles, and engage students in hands-on learning and research. These components include lab sheets, lab reports, problem sets, activities, famous science research assignments, coloring sheets, microscope labs, poetry, and vocabulary review. The parent/teacherʼs text provides all the help a science novice needs to assist her student including suggested course scheduling, summaries, additional material and explanations, sample reports, learning objectives, answers and suggestions, tests, and quizzes. Divided into 32 chapters, both texts together provide a rigorous and complete middle school biology course that covers a 36 week school year.

RSO Biology (Level 2) Scope and Sequence: Cells

  • Cell theory
  • Unicellular organisms
  • Animal cell structure and function
  • Plant cell structure and function
  • Cell chemistry and nutrition
  • Diffusion and cellular transport
  • Photosynthesis and cellular respiration
  • Virus life cycle

Genetics

  • DNA, RNA
  • Purpose of DNA, protein synthesis
  • Life cycle of a cell and mitosis
  • Meiosis
  • Heredity
  • Structure and function of chromosomes
  • Punnett Squares

Organisms

  • Multicellular organisms
  • Dissection
  • Plant organisms and systems
  • Human organisms and organ systems
  • Human anatomy and physiology

Evolution

  • Theory of evolution
  • History of evolution
  • Evidence for evolution
  • Natural selection
  • Fossils and dating

Ecology and population dynamics

  • Biomes
  • Abiotic interactions
  • Ecosystems
  • Food web – producers, consumers, decomposers
  • Biotic interactions- predator/prey relationship, camouflage, symbiotic relationships, mimicry, competition
  • Biology cycles
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Environment balance and threats

Classification

  • History of classification
  • Modern classification
  • Dichotomous Key
  • Binomial nomenclature
  • Branching diagrams
  • Phylogeny
  • Cladistics
  • Archaea and Bacteria
  • Eukarya
  • Protists and fungi
  • Plantae
  • Animal