Apologia Biology: Module 1

Yesterday we met for the first official class session and I thought it was quite fun myself!  I hope the “Highly Intelligent Highschool Students” that are joining me for this journey enjoyed it too!  First and foremost you should enjoy learning, right?  We compared notes, so to speak, on how the week went.  The pace was quite quick for their first full study week, but no one complained, as least not to me,  and everyone thought it was a do-able schedule.  There were 27 vocabulary words to learn, along with Experiment 1.1 Using a Biological Key.  (Chart for Exp. 1.1:  Biology Exp1.1 Form)

At this session, we reviewed the results for Experiment 1.1 which was done at home, and proceeded to complete Experiment 1.2 together.  To start with, we reviewed the parts of the microscope from our Introductory Session.  We are working with a single microscope, so it was helpful to be able to hook it up to the laptop and view the specimen together.   Here are some of the things we looked at this week:

We started out by looking at some bright colors of thread.  (Click image for larger view.)

Then the “Highly Intelligent Highschool Students” made up their own slides of cheek cells, primarily for practice in making up slides and using Methylene Blue stain.   We didn’t take the time to look at everyone’s slide, but the “HIHS” had a lot of fun finding interesting things in the specimen we did view….sort of like finding an elephant in a cloud formation.  We were able to find such things as a llama, two kids on pogo sticks, and some sort of rare species of fish!   Wish I would have got the image capture then, I’m sure you’d love to see a llama made of cheek cells, but you can see some ordinary cheek cells here:  

Of course that experiment got us all curious so we had to check out some other things….we started with hair:

Then we got to wondering how it compared to cat and dog hair; and since there is no shortage of either one around here, we were able to check out their differences.  Once we were satisfied with that, we moved on to dust; which I unfortunately had to search high and low for (NOT!).   Dust is very interesting and I’m sure there could be a whole course on that alone.  We’re pretty sure we saw the carcus of a dead dust mite!

Before you go, here are a couple things you may find helpful….

Study Link:  Flashcards & Games at Quizlet.com

Here is an interesting video about Louis Pasteur’s Germ Theory….you may want to mute the music, it’s just a wee bit distracting!:

So that was pretty much it for this session.  Next week, they’ll complete the Study Guide for Module 1 and take the Module 1 Test at home.  Then it’s on to Module 2, Kingdom Monera….that’s Bacteria to you and me!  8)

Verse to Ponder:“..because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse..” Romans 1: 19-20



  1. #1 by Marty on August 28, 2010 - 5:01 pm

    I can already tell, you’re posts are going to be more interesting than mine! =)
    Glad you’re a little ahead of me. Gives me ideas. =D

  2. #2 by Marty on September 9, 2010 - 7:56 pm

    “that’s bacteria to you and me.”

    Okay, so how would one describe kingdom Protista?
    help, please!

  3. #3 by Marty on September 9, 2010 - 7:57 pm

    I forgot to click “Notify…” before I hit Submit. Wanted to make sure I got your reply! 😀

    • #4 by jlsgrant on September 9, 2010 - 9:33 pm

      Protista is Protozoa (like Amoeba and Paramecium – mostly single celled, small, yet strong….”don’t drink the water.”) and Algae….well, I don’t think I’d drink that water either! LOL

  4. #5 by Marty on September 9, 2010 - 9:35 pm

    Thank you. Still learning all this. =)

  5. #6 by Kathy on September 29, 2010 - 11:44 am

    I recently came across your website by doing some searches about Apologia Biology and I am SO thankful that I found you! You, Applie, and Donna Young will be lifesavers for me this year! We have been using Apologia science for several years and I really love the curriculum. I am a Physical Therapist, with a second major in biology and a minor in chemistry, so science is my favorite subject so I wanted my children to have a thorough education in it. I am a little slow in getting going this year, but I am going to do the Biology program and would like to get a good microscope. I saw a recommendation for the one on Christian Book, but then I found another recommendation for the ones on Home Training Tools, so now I am confused! Do you have any recommendations?

    • #7 by jlsgrant on September 29, 2010 - 12:12 pm

      I got mine from Hometrainingtools.com. We use the Ultimate Home Microscope and have been very happy with it.

  6. #8 by mel on August 8, 2012 - 10:19 am

    I appreciate all your work and documentation!! What a blessing! QUick question: what do you think about covering all of the classifications first then going back to cell parts, DNA, etc. We are trying to cover this in a 24 wk coop and add in a few weeks of anatomy.

    • #9 by jlsgrant on August 9, 2012 - 8:27 am

      Hey Mel – Thanks visiting Mindful Ramblings! I’m not sure that I would recommend changing this challenging course. If I remember correctly, each Module takes about 2 wks to complete and one of the Modules was stretched to 3 wks. There is pretty extensive vocabulary involved in this course. Since I have only facilitated it one time, you may want to check with Michelle over at Applie’s Place, as she has led the course several times.

  7. #10 by khorsandian5 on August 13, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Your posts are very helpful and I anticipate using them thruout the school year. I do have a question regarding using a microscope. I know that it would be best to purchase one for the course, however, do you feel that my daughter would still get a great deal out of the course without the use of a microscope – considering the exoense it is. Thanks so much!

    • #11 by jlsgrant on August 14, 2014 - 9:21 am

      Thanks for visiting Mindful Ramblings. While it is helpful to have your own microscope, the textbook contains may images or you can view most of the assigned images here. Your student should also be able to find most of them by searching the internet using “microscopic images” and the name of the specimen. For example: Microscopic Images Euglena.

  8. #12 by Ke'Sha on August 19, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    WOW! Thank you so much for this blog. What a blessing. I too was a Biology major in college, sooooo very long ago. After also changing my direction in life, I thought I’d give it a try by facilitating this class for our local Co-Op. Your blog will be a great source of support and help this year. Greatly appreciate not having to reinvent the wheel.

    • #13 by jlsgrant on August 25, 2014 - 11:27 am

      Thanks for visiting and hope you enjoy the course. Glad to help! 🙂

  9. #14 by judy weber on August 24, 2016 - 6:58 pm

    I could not get this link (Chart for Exp. 1.1: Biology Exp1.1 Form) to work. Seems like it could be very helpful though.

    • #15 by jlsgrant on August 24, 2016 - 8:44 pm

      Hey Judy – Thanks for visiting Mindful Ramblings. I just checked the link for the Chart and it worked fine for me. Maybe try again with a different browser?

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