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This interactive table contains links to and information about our Fellow-produced lesson plans. Use the search bar to selectively filter lessons to your classroom needs (e.g. search for ‘elementary’ or ‘bird’ lessons). You can also sort the table columns using the arrows next to each category. To access lesson materials, click on Lessons titles. If you’re looking for lessons designed to complement the BEST plots, they can be found here.

Lesson Title (short)Author(s)Year CreatedGrade LevelTime Commitment (# of 50 min. classes)KeywordsActivity Type
Building Evolutionary Trees: how did New World Oriole colors evolve?Cara Krieg2014High (AP biology)1.5Evolution, Evolutionary tree, Phylogeny, Cladogram, Common ancestor, Bird, Oriole, Model buildingdemonstration
Who’s the bravest of them all?: Using inquiry to explore cricket behaviorMichael Kuczynski2015Middle, High4+Inquiry, Scientific Method, Animal Behaviorinquiry, data interpretation
A Game of Selection: Exploring Evolution by Natural SelectionMichael Kuczynski2015Middle, High1-2Evolution, Natural Selection, Survival, Reproduction, Game, Animal Behaviorgame
Farming for Ecosystem ServicesDani Fegan, Susan Magnoli, Bonnie McGill2015Middle, High1ecosystem services, ecosystem function, biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis, decision-making game, agriculture, land managementgame
Expecting the Unexpected: Adventures in Critical ThinkingEmily Dittmar, Amanda Charbonneau2015Middle, High1hypothesis testing, evolution, inference, deductive reasoning, anti-vaccination, conspiracy, correlationdemonstration, data interpretation
Seeing the forest from the treesDi Liang, Brendan O'Neill2015Elementary1-2trees, light, water, leave shape, leaf sizedemonstration
Putting Down Roots: The Evolution of Plants from Water to LandPat Hanly, Andy Booms2015Elementary, Middle1plant, evolution, adaptation, microscopedemonstration
The Chi-square goodness of fit test: Application for testing genetic inheritance hypotheses
Bonnie McGill2014High, AP Biology, 10-12.1-2statistics, chi-square, datadata interpretation, mathematics
Why do species cooperate? A card-based simulation of the ant-acacia mutualismEmily Dittmar, Amanda Charboneau, Pat Hanly2014Upper Middle, High1game
Not in my stream! The Asian carp invadersBonnie McGill, Di Liang, Dani Fegan2014Elem, 3-51-2game
Connecting Landscapes in a Changing WorldDani Fegan, Emily Dittmar2014Middle, High1-2 fragmentation, human impacts, corridors, conservation, dispersal, reserve design, habitat requirementsdata interpretation, graphing, demonstration
Coevolving with Crossbills: A Tale of Two PineconesBrendan O’Neill, Susan Magnoli, Andy Booms2014Middle, High1game
Decomposition: The Ultimate Disappearing Act!Brendan O'Neill, Jennifer Boyle, Jodie Lugar-McManus2014Late Middle, Early High2soil, microbes, carbon loss, matter transitionsinquiry, data interpretation, graphing
Does Size Matter?
Investigating the Physical Properties of Soil and their Effects on Plants
Emily Dittmar, Russ Stolberg2014Middle, High2clay, sand, serpentine, permeability, geology, weathering, calcium, magnesium, waterdemonstration
Food Web Control of Beneficial and Pest Species: Who Eats Who and Why Should We Care?Pat Hanly, Marcia Angle2014Middle, Early High School, 5-93Food webs, biodiversity, pond, plankton, invertebrates, frogs, water chemistry, microscopyinquiry, demonstration
Fun with plants: understanding the functions of mineral elementsDi Liang, Marty Green2014Middle, High School 4 - 6 weeksnutrients, hydroponics, pH, PPM & EC probes, limiting & essential nutrientsInquiry, graphing
When mountains disappear where do they go? Inorganic carbon cycling in your belly and our ecosystemsBonne McGill, Meredith Hawkins, Sandy Erwin2014High School1+tums, weathering, carbon cycle, geology, lime, bufferdemonstration, data interpretation
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Species InteractionsSusan Magnoli, Caleb Fisher, Becky Drayton2014Elementary, Middle, High School modifications2environmental change, mutualism, parasitism, pollination, beneficial, negative, game, demonstration
Running the Gauntlet: Finding the Least Cost PathAndy Booms, Jamie Bowman, Shaun Davis2014Upper Elementary, Middle, Lower High School2-3animals, movement, dispersal, migration, map, habitat, Africa.demonstration, design
Bringing Biology to Urban Design: All Aboard the Poop Train!Sara Garnett, Jakob Nalley2014Elementary, Middle1,2agriculture, algae, bioluminescence, recycling, urban design, city, energy efficiencydemonstration
What’s in My Backyard? Identifying Winter Birds in MichiganCara Krieg2014Advanced Elementary, Middle, High1+classification, birds, Michigandemonstration, tour
Where the Wild Things Are: How Rainfall Drives Food Web InteractionsDani Fegan, Sarah Jones, Cara Krieg2013Elementary, Middle, High0.5-1food web, water cycle, Africa, migration, Serengetigame, demonstration
Wetlands: Not just a swampy placeAmanda Charbonneau, Susan Magnoli2013Elementary1-2wetlands, water, food webdemonstration
Sex Changes, Drugs, and Rockin’ Dead ZonesSara Garnett, Emily Dittmar, Jake Nalley2013Advanced Middle, High3 + dead zone, algal bloom, stratification, sex ratio, contaminantsdemonstration, game
Chi-Square tests: When and how to use Cara Krieg2013High (AP Biology)0.5-1chi-square, chi-square goodness of fit, statistics, data analysis, female song, wren
data interpretation, mathematics
BEST plots Landscape Legacy ApplicationJake Nalley, Cheryl Hach2013Middle, High1-2Landuse, Google EarthInquiry, data interpretation, graphing
Variety is the spice of life!Emily Dittmar2013Middle, High2genetic drift, heterozygous, homozygous, genotype, allele frequencies, Hardy-Weinbergdemonstration, game
Developing Research Questions Using BEST PlotsCara Krieg, Sara Garnett, Dustin Kincaid, Jake Nalley2013Elementary, Middle, High1inquiry, data interpretation
Bug Lyphe! An NGSS observational biodiversity studyDani Fegan, Marty Buehler2013Middle, High2-5Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Invertebrates, Ecosystem Function, Observational Study, Graphing, NGSS, Next Generation Science Standardsinquiry, data interpretation, graphing
Survivor: Extreme EnvironmentsAmanda Charbonneau2013High2Invasive plantsgame, demonstration
Roid Rage: Is it just for boys?Sarah Jones2013Middle, High1-2Steroids, Hyenas, Competitiondemonstration, game
Michigan's Most UnwantedSusan Magnoli, Marcia Angle, Jodie Lugar-McManus2013Middle, High1-2Invasive species, Sea lamprey, Dichotomous key, Graphing exercisedemonstration, graphing
What's the Buzz?Raffica La Rosa2008Middle, Upper Elementary1-1.5Plants, Flowers, Pollinators, Adaptationdemonstration
Forest of FortuneMelissa Kjelvik, Raffica La Rosa2009Elementary, Middle, High2Management, Human impacts, Ecology, Wildlifegame
How Do Scientists Study Succession?Emily Grman, Kane Keller2009High3-4Succession, Data, Graphing, Land management, Analysisdata interpretation, graphing
Where does plant mass come from?Emily Grman2008High2-3Photosynthesis, Respiration, Plant growth, Carbon cycleinquiry, data interpretation
To Fish or Not To FishEmily Grman, Nikhil Jaikumar2009High1-2Human impacts, Aquatic systems, Fish, Environmental sustainabilitydata interpretation, debate
Mycorrhizae: Mutualism or Parasitism?Emily Grman2009Middle2Mutualism, Parasitism, Soil, Species interactionsgame
Light and Plant BiomassEmily Grman, Sue Zygadlo2008Middle, High1-2Plant biomass, Photosynthesisinquiry, data interpretation
Invisible Friends UndergroundEmily Grman2012Middle, High, College3-4Soil, Species interactions, Microscopic organisms, Mutualismsinquiry, demonstration
Into thin air: What happens to leaves when they decompose?Emily Grman2009Middle, High4+Decomposition, Carbon cycle, Vernier sensors, Graphinginquiry, data interpretation, graphing
Animal MotionEmily Grman2009Elementary1Motion, Animals, Plants, Seed dispersal, Movementdemonstration
Albedo: How much of the sun's energy gets absorbed?Emily Grman2009Middle4Graph data, Interpret graphs, Light absorption, EnergyInquiry, data interpretation
Humans and BiodiversityKane Keller, Jay Sobel2008High5Biodiversity, Human impactsinquiry, data interpretation, mathematics
The Subliminal Significance of SoilJonathon Schramm2009High1Carbon cycle, Soil, Community ecology, Human impactsinquiry
Succession: patterns in the field and in seedsEmily Grman2008Middle, High2Succession, Adaptations, Biodiversitydemonstration, tour
Rotten but not forgottenHigh1-2Decomposition, Carbon cycleinquiry, demonstration
Microbes on TrialMiddle, High2Microbes, Species interactions, Ecosystemsdemonstration, student presentation
Lady Beetle BlitzBrook Wilke2009Elementary, Middle, High1-2Biodiversity, Invasive speciesinquiry, data interpretation
From Molecules to PopulationsRobin Tinghitella, Sandy BreitenbachElementary, Middle, HighGenetic tools, DNA, Genotype, Phenotypedata interpretation
Conserving water and calculating your water footprintSara Parr Syswerda2010Elementary, Middle, High1Water conservation, Human impacts, Human interactionsinquiry, student presentation
You're not yourself when you are hungry...Melissa Kjelvik, Connie High2010Elementary, Middle, High3Animal behavior, Variation, Personalityinquiry, game
Groundwater conceptions and processesTeachers, High1-3Water, Pollution, Human impactsdemonstration
Gases matter!Elementary1.5Gases, Mass, Matterdemonstration
Frogsicles: how frogs survive the winterEmily Grman, Sara Parr Syswerda2008Middle, High2Water properties, Osmosis, Adaptationsinquiry, demonstration
How Do Birds Fly?Brook WilkeElementary0.5Birds, Animals, Traitsdemonstration
Don't Shell Yourself ShortEmily Grman, Raffica La Rosa2008Middle, High2Evolution, Natural selection, Human impactsgame
Comparison of Historical Lake Ice Cover Data From Three Lakes in Michigan and WisconsinSara Parr Syswerda, Sigrid Smith2006Middle, High1-2Climate change, water, lakesdata interpretation, graphing
Where does plant mass come from?Brook WilkeElementary6Plants, carbon cycle, biomass, growthinquiry, data interpretation
Food ChainBrook WilkeElementary0.5Predator-Prey, Food Chain, Ecology, Trophic levelsgame
All About CornBrook WilkeUpper Elementary, Middle 1.5Plants, Agriculture, Math, Crops, Energydata interpretation, mathematics
Big Roots for Big ProblemsTyler Bassett, Dustin Kincaid, Jake Nalley, Michael Kuczynski2013Middle, High1.5Trees, Roots, Ecosystem Services, Flooding, Drought, Soil Retention, Project GREEEN, Erosiondemonstration, inquiry
BoxCar2D ~ Evolving better carsLiz Schultheis, Anne Royer, Sara Garnett2013Middle, High2Evolution, Engineering, Local Adaptation, Fitness, Traits, Natural Selectioninquiry, demonstration
BEST plots ~ Using real data in the classroomCara Krieg, Alycia Lackey, Tomomi Suwa2013Elementary, Middle, High2Biofuel, BEST Plots, Data Nuggets, Diversity, Competition, Nutrients, Plants, Insects, Invertebrates, Graphing, Claims, Evidence, Reasoningdata interpretation, graphing
Water in the classroom: Lake MixingJake Nalley2013Middle1Lake Mixing, Stratification, Turn-over, Ocean Layering, Temperature, Salinitydemonstration
Water and WinterAnne Royer, Raffica La Rosa2009Elementary, Middle, High2Water, Chemistry, Winter, Lakes, Limnologydemonstration
Pollination: what’s on your flowers? Anne Royer2009Elementary, Middle, High2Ecology, Mutualism, Pollination, Plant Ecology, Insects, Flowersinquiry
Natural selection in the classroomAnne Royer, Jay Sobel2009High Full semester, yearEvolution, Natural Selection, Plants, Crayfish, Snailsinquiry
Effect of fish on pond invertebrate community structureAnne Royer, Melissa Kjelvik2009Elementary, Middle, High4, KBS field activityAquatic Invertebrates, Keystone Predator, Community Ecology, Insects, Fishinquiry, data interpretation
Weeds! Tricks of the tradeTyler Bassett, Cara Krieg, Dustin Kincaid2012High1Dispersal, Seed Bank, Landscape Ecology, Graphing, Weeds, Volunteersdemonstration, graphing
Seeds on the RunAnne Royer, Michael Kuczynski, Sara Garnett2012Middle, High1Dispersal, Seeds, Trade-offs, Herbivory, Gamegame
The Double Life of A SquirrelElizabeth Schultheis, Tomomi Suwa, Jakob Nalley2012Middle2Foraging, Project Squirrel, Observational Study, Animal Behavior, Dispersal, Predation, Seed, Citizen Scienceinquiry, data interpretation
The New Farmer's AlmanacTomomi Suwa, Anne Royer2012High1.5Climate Change, Michigan, Weather Patterns, Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Soybean, Wheat, Farm, Rain, Precipitation, Temperaturedata interpretation, graphing
The climate is changingTyler Bassett, Sara Garnett, Cara Krieg2012Middle, High0.75Climate Change, Michigan, Weather Patterns, Daily Life, Agriculture, Economicsdemonstration
The Best Genes for the JobMichael Kuczynski, Kate Steensma2011Middle, High1Evolution, Mimicry, Game, Density Dependent, Predator, Prey, Survivalgame
Dividends from DiversityTyler Bassett, Michael Kuczynski2011Middle1.5Diversity, Game, Invertebrates, Ecosystem Servicesgame
Why fly south?Elizabeth Schultheis, Dustin Kincaid2012Middle, High1Phenology, Flower Time, Lake Ice Cover, Climate Change, Citizen Sciencedata interpretation, graphing
It's Getting Hot in Here!Jakob Nalley, Michael Kuczynski2012Elementary, Middle, High1Climate change, Impacts on Flora and Fauna, Games, Polar Bear, Nemo, Clownfish, Bullwinklegame
Why is there variation in fish personality type?Nick Ballew<2011High2Bass, Simulation, Evolution, Natural Selection, Phenotype, Heritability, Sustainabilitygame
The Hunger GamesMichael Kuczynski, Kate Steensma2012Middle, High1Evolution, Genetics, Genotype, Phenotype, Game, Graphinggame
Geeked About BeaksAlycia Lackey2012Elementary, Middle, High1.5Survival, Reproduction, Animal Behavior, Game, Animal Behavior, Evolution, Environment, Environmental Change, Predator, Preygame
CannibalismSara Garnett2012High1Tadpoles, Animal Behavior, Game, Evolution, Kin Selection, Strategygame
Angry BirdsCara Krieg2012High1Birds, Animal Behavior, Game, Aggression, House Wrens, Territoriesgame
Algal BiofuelsJakob Nalley2012Middle, High1Algal biofuels, Sustainability, Alternative Fuels, Algae, Phytoplankton, Renewable Energygame, demonstration
Evolving to InvadeTomomi Suwa, Elizabeth Schultheis, Marcia Angle2012Middle, High1Invasive Species, Evolution, Seeds, Gamegame
Invasion: Total Take-Over!Kate Steensma, Michael Kuczynski<2011Middle, High1Invasive Species, Biological Control, Human Impacts, Game, Michigan, Monstersgame
How seeds get aroundElizabeth Schultheis, Alycia Lackey2011Elementary1.5Seed, Wind, Water, Animal Dispersal, Physical Characteristics, Adaptationdemonstration, inquiry
Experimental Design and Communicating Scientific FindingsTyler Bassett, Tomomi Suwa<2011Middle, High1Scientific Poster, Presentation, Method, Controlled Experimentdemonstration, student presentation
Climate Change: the basis of beliefNick Ballew<2011Global Warming, Quantitative, Claim, Graphs, Figures, Evidencedata interpretation
Biotic Resistance - What can stop invasive species?Elizabeth Schultheis2011Middle1Invasive Species, Enemy Release, Biotic Resistance, Herbivory, Disease, Predation, Gamegame
The Marvels of MudLauren Kinsman, Liz Ratashak<2011Middle, High2Sediment, Aquatic Ecosystems, Water, Phosphorus, Experimental Control, Treatment, Observation, Ecosystem Effectsinquiry
Survivor: Who will be the best competitor?Alycia Lackey, Steve Barry, Sandy Erwin<2011Elementary, Middle, High1.5Survival, Competition, Game, Evolution, Predation, Predator, Preygame
How do mutations and invasions affect populations?Kate Steensma, Marty Beuhler<2011Elementary, Middle, High1Resources, Natural Selection, Extinction, Displacement, Competition, Theory, Graphs, Hypothesis, Observation, Advantageous Traitgame
Sounds of SelectionMichael Kuczynski, Marty Green<2011Middle, High1.5Frogs, Survival, Reproduction, Strategy, Game, Human Impactsgame
N20: It's no laughing matterLeilei Ruan, Sandy Erwin<2011Middle, High1Biofuels, Global Warming, Gas, Carbon, Greenhouse, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Nitrogen, Emissionsinquiry
Mutualism in ActionTomomi Suwa, Sandy Breitenbach<2011Middle, High2Mutualist, Symbiosis, Soybean, Rhizobia, Bacteria, Nitrogen, Light, Agriculture, Plant, Cropinquiry
Invasive Species GameElizabeth Schultheis, Melissa Kjelvik2010Middle1.5Invasive Species, Michigan Plants, Enemy Release, Introduced Species, Native Species, Human Disturbancegame
Take students on a field trip to do a forest walk!Alycia Lackey<2011Elementary, Middle1.5+Outdoors, Michigan, Animals, Plants, Observation, Identificationdemonstration, tour
Do herbivores prefer local or exotic foods?Elizabeth Schultheis, Marcia Angle2010Elementary, Middle, High2Invasive Species, Enemy Release, Herbivory, Disease, Oaks, Galls, Native Speciesinquiry, data interpretation, graphing
BEST Plot Soils ProtocolGK-12 FellowsElementary, Middle, HighVariableSoil, Chemistry, Nitrogen, Inquiryinquiry, BEST protocol
BEST Plot Landscape ProtocolGK-12 FellowsElementary, Middle, HighVariableLand Use, Human Impact, Inquiry, Mapsinquiry, BEST protocol
Best Plot Biomass ProtocolGK-12 FellowsElementary, Middle, HighVariableBiofuels, Bioenergy, Inquiry, Data Interpretationinquiry, BEST protocol
BEST Plot Biodiversity ProtocolGK-12 FellowsElementary, Middle, HighVariableBiofuels, Biodiversity, Inquiry, Data Interpretationinquiry, BEST protocol
The Pig Bang Theory: Implications of Ignoring EvolutionAmanda Charbonneau, Sarah Jones2014High School1+evolution, antibiotic resistance, organic, farming, foodgame, data interpretation
Building Bliss for ButterfliesDustin Kincaid, Susan Magnoli, Cara Krieg2014Elementary1migration, Monarchs, phenology, plants, flowers, insects, climate changegame, demonstration
Winter Schoolyard: Soil and Air TemperatureBrook WilkeElementary, Middle1.0Winter Ecology, Soil, Weatherinquiry
Winter Cover CropsBrook WilkeMiddle, High4.0Agriculture, Winter Ecology, Plant Traitsinquiry, student presentation
Thinking about WasteBrook WilkeElementary1.0Conservationdemonstration
Volume of Snow and WaterBrook WilkeElementary, Middle1.0Physical Science, States of Matterinquiry, demonstration
Rainy Day Habitat LessonBrook WilkeElementary1.0Habitat, Invertebrates, inquiry
Microscopic Life in WaterBrook Wilke2006Elementary1.0Algae, Aquatic, Water, Microscopedemonstration
Land Conservation DebateBrook Wilke2006Middle, High1.0Conservation, Land Managementdebate
Is CO2 An Atmospheric Pollutant?Brook Wilke2006Middle2.0Pollution, Carbon, Gases data interpretation, panel discussion
Iron In CerealBrook WilkeElementary1.0Nutrition, Magnetisminquiry, demonstration
History and Diversity of American CropsBrook WilkeMiddle6Crops, Managementdemonstration
Hairy LeavesBrook WilkeMiddle1Plants, Physiology, Inquiryinquiry, graphing
Habitat Loss and Fragmentation: The Good, Bad, and UglyBrook WilkeMiddle1Habitat loss, Management, Habitat Fragmentation, game