One of my favorite biology activities is digital interactive notebooks. They are so easy, versatile, and helpful to students. Check out my blog post on 3 Surprising Reasons You Will Love Using Biology DINBs to see why I love them, and why you will too!
One of the most important parts of creating biology lessons is to keep them fun and engaging.
In other words, what can you do to keep Johnny from putting his head down and sleeping?
Am I right?!
Let’s take a look at 8 fun ideas that can be easily created in Google Slides to use in your digital interactive notebooks.
1 – Drag and Drop Activities
Drag-and-drop activities are another easy and adaptable activity to incorporate into digital interactive notebooks.
Drag-and-drop activities are great for reinforcing and reviewing important biology concepts and words. They can be a fun way for students to review and build on what they already know.
Drag-and-drop activities can be created for multiple concepts and topics. For example, they can be used to create models of various biological diagrams.
The picture below shows a drag-and-drop activity where students build and label DNA and RNA nucleotides.
By creating the nucleotides themselves, students are more likely to remember the structure.
2 – Crossword Puzzles for Review
Crossword puzzles can be a fun and useful way to review and reinforce important biology concepts and words. They can help students review and remember important information, and they can also be fun and interesting.
It is straightforward to include crossword puzzles in your digital interactive notebooks. All you need to do is compile a list of terms and their definitions. Once you have a list, you can use text boxes and shapes to create the puzzle.
Students can work individually or collaborate when completing the crossword puzzle.
Digital crossword puzzles can also help get students interested and make the review process more fun and interesting.
3 – Supplement and Reinforce Readings and Notes
Digital interactive notebooks are also a great way to take notes or review what was taught in class.
For example, students can highlight important parts of a reading passage. This is an inbuilt tool in Google Slides.
In the example below, students have to read and highlight key information in different colors, e.g. the definition of “phylogenetic” in yellow.
Having students fill out “true or false” tables is another way to help them remember what they’ve learned in class. In these tables, students can drag-and-drop true or false indicators or type whether the statement is true or false.
4 – Labeling Diagrams
We all know that biology is full of diagrams.
So. Many. Diagrams.
Students can find it difficult to keep all of the diagrams straight since there is so much information.
For this reason, incorporating the labeling of diagrams into digital interactive notebooks not only helps students understand the material but also keeps all of the information organized.
A big bonus – the diagrams can be in color! Yay! We all know that printing in color = not really an option. But with digital interactive notebooks, there is no limit. The more color, the better!
The use of color can help to increase our student’s attention and memory. These aren’t just pretty slides, they’re effective!
5 – Using GIFs
GIFs help make biology content more relatable to students. The use of GIFs helps students break down complex biological concepts into a more understandable format.
They can also provide some light comedic relief in a heavy lesson!
Since GIFs are technology-based, incorporating them into digital interactive notebooks is seamless.
You can find lots of great GIFs on Giphy.
In a digital interactive notebook, you can place a GIF on the left side of the slide – students then describe the GIF and how it relates to the current biological concept on the right side.
In the example above, the GIF is a channel protein with molecules moving through it to pass through the cell membrane. A moving diagram really helps students understand this!
6 – Graphic Organizers
Graphic organizers are great tools for students in the classroom. These learning tools help students organize and conceptualize biological concepts they have learned about.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to graphic organizers. There are Venn diagrams, KWL charts, flow charts, and so much more.
One of the issues with physical graphic organizers is the amount of paper they can use. Am I right?
To fix the paper problem, make your graphic organizers digital! A graphic organizer in a digital interactive notebook is great for review.
You can also differentiate the digital graphic organizers based on your students. The digital graphic organizers can be created as a typing or drag-and-drop activity.
7 – Building Models
Building biological models is a great activity that can be used with drag-and-drop elements.
For example, this is a great tool to create when teaching DNA mutations. Students can create the original strand of DNA by dragging the correct nucleotides. Then, students are given a certain type of mutation to model. The mutated DNA is created by dragging the nucleotides to a specific area. The two strands of DNA can then be compared on the same screen, which will lead to peer discussion within the classroom.
8 – Completing Punnett Squares
This is more of a specific example – Punnett Squares are an activity that can become very repetitive in the classroom when done on paper.
Doing Punnett Squares digitally will breathe new life into the subject.
A digital Punnett Square activity could be done in a variety of ways. For example, you, the teacher, can provide the scenario and the square, and students will have to type in the correct genotypes. To take it a step further, you could also provide visual images where students create the correct phenotypic representations.
Using a digital interactive Punnett Square to teach students about genetics and inheritance is a fun and engaging way for them to learn. It lets them try out different combinations of genotypes and see what happens. This helps them figure out how different genetic traits are passed down and expressed.
Try using biology Google Slides activities
I hope you enjoyed all of these lesson ideas for taking your biology lessons to the next level.
There are so many more possibilities than what is listed; the number of biology lessons that can be created using Google Slides is endless!
Let me know if there are any other types of Google Slides activities you like to use! Just hit reply to any of my weekly emails (and if you haven’t signed up, you can do this here!) – I’d love to hear your ideas!
And if you’d like to shop any of the Google Slides you see here, head on over to my store.
I hope you have a wonderful day,