Archive for category Apologia Biology

Apologia Biology: Module 15

I have recently been under fire for not disclosing that there were informative gory and interesting disgusting photos in some of my previous posts.  So consider yourself warned….Module 15 has its share of dissections just like the past few modules!  Proceed cautiously, and for heaven’s sake, sit down before viewing if it bothers you! 😮

But first, a couple of fun videos about plants before we get down to business….This is a really cool plant.  Wonder if they grow here??

While I was out Googling and such I found this cool museum of carnivorous plants:   Galleria Carnivora.  (Like the Micropolitan Museum that we looked at sometime around Module 3 or 4, choose the floor and click the specimen you’d like to see.)

And no mention of the Venus Fly Trap is complete without talking about the movie Little Shop of Horrors…but you’ll have to check that one out on your own.

Experiment 15.1 – Flower Anatomy

The object of this experiment was to observe various types of flowers and compare their differences and similarities. Each series of images below shows full flower, followed by vertical cross-section, then magnification of the corresponding pollen (click to enlarge):

Experiment 15.2 – Fruit Classification

Who knew?  Fruit classification is not quite as easy as you might think! 🙂  But we sure had a lot of fun in the process AND a we all had a very healthy snack!  We used Bananas, Tangerines, Kiwi, Avocado, Sweet Peas, Tomato, Cucumber, Green Pepper, Grapes, Apples, and Peanuts.

The object of this experiment was to observe the various types of fruits and compare their differences….especially in their flavor! 🙂

For help in Fruit Classifications, try these websites:

Bellevue College


Everyone was quite courageous during our dissections.  No one sat on the side lines. One student did look a little green after eating a piece of tomato, but that is to be expected!

I think the feeling was quite unanimous; this was one of our favorite experiments to date!

 A few of our sliced specimen…


Dissected peanut…see the tiny embryo at the top?

These are referred to as, “the leavings” and should be thrown out or composted once experiment is complete!

We made quite a mess during this experiment…but at least we have a barkuum! 😉

Study Link:  Flashcards & Games at

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Apologia Biology: Module 14

Kingdom Plantae:  Anatomy & Classification

So this Module really clarified something for me!  Remember when you first learned that tomatoes were actually a fruit?  I remember being told that was because it had seeds on the inside.  This was never a logical argument for me, because what about green beans, peas, and corn??  And don’t forget about strawberries with seed on the outside…All my life this has bothered me!

OK, so here’s the rule:  “If a food item is a reproductive plant organ, it is a fruit” 1

Basically, if it has seeds or is a seed, it is considered a fruit!  Now aren’t you glad you visited today? 🙂

For Module 14, the students completed Experiment 14.1: Leaf Collection & Identification, at home.  I did give them some creative leeway on this one; they could use the instructions in the book or be a little more creative.  (The thought of doing the whole leaf and waxed paper thing was a bit too Kindergarten for us!)  So here are a couple editional ideas:

*  Take a hike at a local nature preserve or in your own backyard, photograph, print and place in Lab Notebook with identications

*  Pick a good variety of leaves, make a color copy of them for your notebook and label

*  If you’re really a techie, use a scanner to scan each leaf, use a photo editing program to add labels, then print for your lab notebook

*  Have fun, be creative!

If we had more time, I would have taken the class on a Leaf Scavenger Hunt; the goal being to locate and identify all of the mosiacs, shapes, venations, margins, etc.   (With real or photographic evidence to support their findings!)

Experiment 14.2How Antocyanins and pH Help Determine Leaf Color

This is a fun experiment, but I forgot to get my camera out.  There are some great pictures and comments on this one over at Applie’s Place, so be sure to head over and check it out.    Here’s a video of a different approach to this experiment from Dux College in Sydney Australia:

This experiment made me think of Hydrangeas, as you can change the color of the flower by adjusting the acidity of the soil.  Check out this article from the University of Rhode Island’s Horticulture Department. (Scroll down to the part on Color Confusion.)

Experiment 14.3Cross Sections of Roots, Stems, and a Leaf

Compare the images below from our specimen, with the images in your book.  (Figures 14..7, 14.11, and 14.12)  We were not able to identify all the structures in all the samples, but you should be able to find most of them.  (Click on the image to see it larger.)

A.  Observation of a Leaf Cross Section:

B.  Observation of a lateral cross section of a Ranunculus Root

C.  Observation of a lateral cross section of a Zea mays root

D.  Observation of a lateral cross section of a Zea mays stem

E.  Observation of a lateral cross section of a Ranunculus Stem

Here’s an extra experiment to try:  Find the Hidden Colors of Autumn Leaves

Study Link:  Flashcards & Games at

Footnote: 1 Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc., Apologia Biology, 2nd Edition, Page 430 

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