Analyzing a Biology Textbook for Instructional Purposes

Michigan High School Content Substandard Used: B3.5 Populations

Katharina Daub

October 9, 2006

PART I: Textbook Used

Title: Biology: Principles and Explorations
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston (A Harcourt Classroom Education Company)
Date of Publication: 2001
Authors: George B. Johnson and Peter H. Raven
Specific Subject: Biology
Grade: 9th, 10th
Age: 13-15
Ability Level: Assumed all because no specific mention.

PART II: Select and Unpack a Learning Goal

Unpacking of a learning goal done by Biology students in ED 422 can be found on the TeacherKnowledge Wiki under “Biology” and then the appropriate link in the contents on the left.

PART III: Analysis of textbook

Here is a link to the criteria used in the analysis:
Category III. Engaging Students with Relevant Phenomena
Criterion III.A: Providing variety of phenomena. Does the material provide multiple and varied phenomena to support the key ideas?
Criterion III.B: Providing vivid experiences. Does the material include activities that provide firsthand experiences with phenomena when practical or provide students with a vicarious sense of the phenomena when not practical?
Category IV. Developing and Using Scientific Ideas
Criterion IV.B: Representing ideas effectively. Does the material include accurate and comprehensible representations of the key ideas?

PART IV: Modifications in light of the analysis

As a result of my analysis, I found that this book is very comprehensive for the three parts that I analyzed. If I were to teach this chapter, I would definitely focus my teaching around the many already-present resources and especially the opportunities to include vivid experiences. It is important for students to be able to see the connections of what they are learning to their life and their experiences, which can be done with vivid experiences. This way they will have more interest in the topic. In terms of representations, I might include a lesson on teaching students how to make their own graphs in addition to focusing on analyzing the graphs that are already in the text. I would make use of the teacher guidance that is included in the teacher’s edition, for example, it gives tips on active reading strategies for students. It also gives some great ideas on how to guide students in their understanding of the material. For example it discusses the use of concept maps and other content organizers. This book seems to be very helpful to both the student and the teacher.