REAL Science Odyssey: Biology 2 Teacher Guide

Chapter 1. All Living Things

A short discussion with Dr. Mark Young on what defines life and if viruses are alive:

Chapter 2: Types

And introduction to cell theory and Van Leeuwenhoek:

Information and activities about prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells:

Information on Van Leeuwenhoek:


Chapter 3: The Inside Story

Two videos comparing and contrasting plant and animal cells:

A video about new treatments for sickle cell:

Beautiful images of different cell types created with fluorescent microscopy:


Chapter 5: Let's Get Things Moving

This short video shows active transport across a cell membrane:

This video shows diffusion: passive transport, facilitated, and osmosis across a cell membrane:

Chapter 6: Cell Energy

Bill Nye episode about plants:

Photosynthesis and cellular respiration explained:

Autotrophs and heterotrophs:

A more detailed look at the chemical reactions of cellular respiration and photosynthesis: 

Chapter 7: The Message
Chapter 8: Mitosis- One Makes Two

Mitosis explained:

Introduction of stem cells and possible medical applications:


Chapter 9: Meiosis Divides by Two & Makes You
Chapter 11: Multicellular Organisms

About organ transplants:

Overview of organ systems:

This is a 13-minute video created in 1910 loosely based on the story of Frankenstein. It is silent and it is black and white.  The quality of film gets better about 3 minutes into it:


Chapter 12: Plant Anatomy

How plants store food:

A tutorial about the root and shoot system:


Chapter 16: Endocrine & Reproductive Systems
Chapter 18: Skeletal & Muscular Systems

Bill Nye on the muscular and skeletal systems:

Beautiful video introducing the biology of bone:

Forensic facial reconstruction:


A fun game to practice the names of the bones:

Chapter 19: Immune & Lymphatic Systems
Chapter 20: A Story of Luck
Chapter 21: How

As these two videos show, the earth is a constantly changing place. Lyell used Hutton’s research in his conclusions:

What is a scientific theory?:

NOVA PBS documentary on evolution:

What is natural selection?:

A very nice explanation of speciation:

The peppered moths of England:

An introduction to Charles Darwin:

A quick overview of Lamarck’s theories:

James Hutton, the father of geology:

A very nice lecture given by a college professor on The History of Evolutionary Thought. Possibly too advanced for some students:


Chapter 22: Evidence

New York Times article:

Bill Nye on fossils:

The Smithsonsian explains the types of evidence available to prove the validity of evolution:

A video on the evidence for evolution:

Archaeopteryx, the first bird:


Artifical selection in domesticated dogs:

How fossils are made:

Radiometric dating:

Fish with fingers:

How do we know evolution happens?:

Very interesting video about a famous fossil location in Alabama, made by students from the university:

A day in the life of a paleontologist:

Evolution of whales animation:



Chapter 23: When


Tells how scientists have determined the age of the earth:

This video explains carbon dating:
The Law of Superposition:

Chapter 24: The Biosphere

Interactive information on 7 major biomes:

Human impact on natural ecosystems:

The saguaro cactus, an important plant to the desert biome:

What happens when environments change, this video discusses the topic of succession, one I did not talk about in the text:

The alpine tundra:

The grassland biome:


Chapter 25: Predator & Prey

Abiotic and biotic factors:–Y

This interesting one-hour documentary is about famous scientist, E.O. Wilson, biodiversity, ants, human impacts on the environment, and biotic interactions:

A very funny and entertaining video explaining habitat and niche:

Symbiosis: Mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism:

Plant defense mechanisms to prevent predation:

Interspecific and infraspecific interactions:

Chapter 26: Cycles

Video about the hydrologic cycle:

How the hydrologic and carbon cycles always recycle:

Part 2, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles:

For a more extensive list of plants that are good for this lab:

Chapter 27: Threats

NASA and the vital signs of the climate:


What efforts are being made to save forests in the Philippines:

Entering the anthropocene epoch:

“Zero waste girl” how you can go off the trash grid:

Crash course on pollution:

CBS news report on cloning of endangered species and possible resurrection of extinct species; what do you think?:

Vanishing arctic ice cap:

Boogy Creek Farm explains organic farming:

TED talk on the threat of ocean acidification and its impact on corals:

What is a carbon footprint?:

Calculate your ecological footprint:

Racing Extinction; a wonderful film by the Discovery Channel available for rent from Amazon. Possibly can be found for free online as well:

Rachel Carson and the war on DDT:

Chapter 28: Taxonomy

The Natural History Museum made this film about Carolus Linnaeus:

An introduction to cladograms:

An advanced explanation of cladograms:

An advanced explanation of phylogenetics:

How to interpret a dichotomous key:

How to make a dichotomous key part1:

How to make a dichotomous key part 2:

Harry Potter and the dichotomous key, done with jelly beans:

Chapter 30: Kingdom Plantae

A good article about why trees can live so long:

Some cool information about different plants and their adaptations:

These are short videos that reinforce the text:

Introduction to plants:

The secret life of bryophytes:

Why ferns are cool:

Seed plants:

Suggested Books for Further Reading

Here are suggested books for further reading and exploring the topics of Bio 2.

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking one of the links, Pandia Press receives a small commission at no cost to you.

Chapter 1: All Living Things

Five Kids & A Monkey Investigate a Vicious Virus, Blair, Beth L. and Riccio, Nina

Epidemic! The Battle against Polio, True Peters, Stephanie

Jonas Salk, (Inventors and Creators Series), Durrett, Deanne

Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine, Krohn, Katherine. This book is written in graphic format

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, Kehret, Peg

Jonas Salk: Conquering Polio (Lerner Biographies), Sammartino McPherson, Stephanie

Jonas Salk: Creator of the Polio Vaccine (Great Minds of Science), Tocci, Salvatore

Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine (Unlocking the Secrets of Science), Bankston, John

West Nile Virus (Diseases and Disorders), Abramovitz, Melissa

West Nile Virus: Epidemics Deadly Diseases Throughout History, Margulies, Phillip

Ebola Virus (Diseases and People), Willett, Edward

Understanding Viruses with Max Axiom, Biskup, Agniesezka

Killer Virus (Choose Your Own Adventure(R), Montgomery, R.A.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Kudlinski, Kathleen

Chapter 2: Types

The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom, Super Scientist, Keyser, Amber J.

Enjoy Your Cells, Balkwill, Fran

Germ Hunter: A Story About Louis Pasteur, Alphin, Elaine Marie

Lous Pasteur, Spengler, Kremena

Pasteur’s Fight Against Microbes, Birch, Beverly

Louis Pasteur: Founder of Modern Medicine, Tiner, John Hudson

Robert Hooke: Natural Philosopher and Scientific, Burgan, Michael

Micrographia- Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon, Hooke, Robert

Chapter 3: The Inside Story

Just the Facts, Sickle Cell Disease, Gillie, Oliver

Sickle Cell Disease, Gold, Susan Dudley

Animal Cells: Smallest Units of Life, Stillest, Darlene (Prokaryotic cells are smaller than eukaryotic cells so the title is a misnomer, but it’s still a good book.)

Plant Cells: The Building Blocks of Plants, Stillest, Darlene

The Cell Works: Microexplorers: An Expedition into the Fantastic World of Cells, Bauerle, Patrick and Landa, Norbert

Cell Wars, Balkwill, Frances

Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Biology

Eat Your Vegetables! Drink Your Milk! Silverstein, Dr. Alvin; Silverstein, Virginia; and Nunn, Laura Silverstein

Physical Fitness, Silverstein, Dr. Alvin; Silverstein, Virginia; and Nunn, Laura Silverstein

Water and Fiber for a Healthy Body, Royston, Angela

Proteins for a Healthy Body, Royston, Angela

Carbohydrates for a Healthy Body, Royston, Angela

Vitamins and Minerals for a Healthy Body, Royston, Angela

Chapter 6: Cell Energy

How Did We Find Out About Photosynthesis?, Asimov, Isaac

Top Secret, Gardiner, John Reynolds – This is a fun fiction book about a boy who decides to win the science fair with a project studying human photosynthesis. It is at a fairly easy reading level.


Chapter 7: The Message

Have a Nice DNA, Balkwill, Frances R., Ralph, Mic

Gene Machines, Balkwill, Frances R., Ralph, Mic

DNA Analysis: Forensic Fluids & Follicles, Hamilton, Sue

Understanding DNA: A Breakthrough in Medicine, Allan, Tony

Francis Crick and James Watson: Pioneers in DNA Research, Bankston, John

John Bankston (Author) – many books written by this author on the subject of DNA

Chapter 15: Integumentary, Digestive, and Urinary Systems

A Journey Through the Digestive System with Max Axiom, Super Scientist, Sohn, Emily

The Digestive System: Injury, Illness and Health, Ballard, Carol

Board Game: My Food Factory, The Digestive System and Nutrition Game. This is a very good game for helping to teach the names and functions of the major organs of the digestive and urinary systems.


Chapter 16: Endocrine and Reproductive Systems

The Reproductive System, How Living Creatures Multiply, Silverstein, Alvin, and Silverstein, Virginia

The Endocrine and Reproductive Systems, Kim, Melissa L.


Chapter 17: Circulatory and Respiratory Systems

Understanding the Human Body‒The Circulatory System, Walker, Pam and Wood, Elaine

The Circulatory System (The Human Body: How It Works), Whittemore, Susan

101 Questions About Blood and Circulation: With Answers Straight From the Heart, Brynie, Faith

The Respiratory System: How Living Creatures Breathe, Silverstein, Alvin

Understanding the Human Body‒The Respiratory System, Walker, Pam and Wood, Elaine

Sacred Mountain: Everest, Taylor-Butler, Christine

Living in the Himalayas, Spilsbury, Louise

An excellent book about a failed Everest expedition. It is written for adults, but very accessible for students: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster,Krakauer, Jon


Chapter 18: Skeletal and Muscular Systems

Skeletal System (Invisible World), Avnau, Edward

The Illustrated Guide To the Human Body: Skeletal and Muscular System, Bender, Lionel

How Our Muscles Work (Invisible World), Avila, Victoria

The Skeletal System Frameworks for Life, Silverstein, Alvin, and Silverstein, Virginia


Chapter 19: Immune and Lymphatic Systems

Immune System: Your Magic Doctor, Garvy, Helen

Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Discovery of the Smallpox Vaccine, Marrin, Albert


Chapter 20: A Story of Luck

Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story: Book 1 (Sharing Nature With Children Book), Morgan, Jennifer

From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth’s Story (Sharing Nature With Children Book), Morgan, Jennifer

Evolution of Life, Understanding Science and Nature, Time-Life


Chapter 21: How

Evolution Revolution, Winston, Robert

Evolution (DK Eyewitness Books), Gamlin, Linda

The Leakeys: Uncovering the Origins of Humankind, Poynter, Margaret

Evolution, Silverstein, Alvin

Mammals Who Morph, Morgan, Jennifer


Chapter 22: Evidence

Charles Darwin, Giant of Science, Krull, Kathleen

Charles Darwin and Evolution, Parker, Steve

Mr. Darwin’s Voyage, Altman, Linda Jacobs

Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas, Lawson, Kristan

Lucy Long Ago, Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came from, Thimmesh, Catherine

Dinomummy, the Life, Death, and Discovery of Dakota, A Dinosaur from Hell Creek, Manning, Phillip

Fossil Fish Found Alive: Discovering the Coelacanth, Walker, Salley M.

Is There a Dinosaur in Your Backyard?: The World’s Most Fascinating Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals, Christian, Spencer

Fantastic Fossils, Shone, Paul

Dinosaurs Down Under and Other Fossils from Australia, Arnold, Caroline

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin, Sis, Peter

A very interesting work of fiction is The Kinby Peter Dickenson. It is lengthy and makes a great read-aloud. The setting is Africa 200,000 years ago. It follows a group of hominids, who already have speech, on a search for a new place to live. They meet other hominid groups, some who have no speech.

Board Game: “American Megafauna, The Continuing Contest Between Dinosaurs and Mammals” This board game is complicated but fun to play once you figure it out. It is a good game about evolution.


Chapter 24: The Biosphere

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Biskup, Agnieszka

The Biosphere Realm of Life, Vogt, Gregory

For those of you who live in a city-Take a City Nature Walk, Kirkland, Jane

Eyewitness Ecology, Pollock, Steve


Chapter 25: Predator and Prey

Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Biskup, Agnieszka

A Journey into Adaptation with Max Axiom, Biskup, Agnieszka

The World of Food Chains with Max Axiom, O’Donnnell, Liam

Totally Amazing Rainforests, Golden Books

Fur, Feathers, and Flippers: How Animals Live Where They Do, Lauber, Patricia

Food Chains and Webs, Wallace, Holly

One of the many books written about or by Jane Goodall; one suggestion is: My Life with the Chimpanzees


Chapter 26: Cycles

Carbon-Oxygen and Nitrogen Cycles: Respiration, Photosynthesis, and Decomposition, Harman, Rebecca

Chapter 27: Threats

There are so many books on the environment, here are just a few:

A Kid’s Guide to Global Warming and Climate Change: How to Take Action, Kaye, Cathryn Berger

From Windmills to Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Discovering Alternative Energy, Morgan, Sally

Sustaining Our Natural Resources, Green, Jen

Recycling, Kallen, Steve

Alternative Energy, Petersen, Christine

Silent Spring, Carson, Rachel

Rachel Carson, Pioneer of Ecology, Kudlinski, Kathleen

Rachel Carson: A Twentieth Century Life, Levine, Ellen

Rachel Carson, Biologist and Writer, Stewart, Melissa


Happy Feet



The 11th Hour

Planet in Peril

A Civil Action


Chapter 28: Taxonomy

Carl Linnaeus: Father of Classification, Great Minds of Science, Anderson, Margaret J.


Chapter 29: Domains Bacteria and Archaea

The Surprising World of Bacteria with Max Axiom, Biskup, Agnieszka

The Benefits of Bacteria, Sneddon, Robert

Bacteria: Staph, Strep, Clostridium, and Other Bacteria, Wearing, Judy

Archaea: Salt-Lovers, Methane-Makers, Thermophiles, and Other Archaeans, Barker, David M.

This book includes organisms that are not bacteria and archaea: Human Wildlife: The Life That Lives on Us, Buckman, Robert


Chapter 30: Kingdom Plantae

George Washington Carver Botanist, Adair, Gene

Shanleya’s Quest A Botany Adventure for Kids Ages 9 to 99, Elpel, Thomas J. This is an interesting story approach to plant identification. It is the story of a girl who takes her canoe island-hopping. On each island she looks at the traits and then the book identifies the plant based on the traits.

Plants & Fungi Multicelled Life, Snedden, Robert


Chapter 31: Kingdom Animalia

You can find many books about animals at your local library. Some that I like are:

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