It's a useful model for students to follow in learning about the environment.
Chapter 6: The Human Organism augments many of these ideas in the context of human beings.
In particular, they try to develop the concepts, principles, and theories that enable people to understand the living environment better.
Living organisms are made of the same components as all other matter, involve the same kinds of transformations of energy, and move using the same basic kinds of forces.
The teacher's task is to move students toward a more sophisticated understanding of the features of organisms that connect or differentiate them: from external features and behavior patterns, to internal structures and processes, to cellular activity, to molecular structure.
Understanding and appreciating the diversity of life does not come from students' knowing bits of information or classification categories about many different species; rather it comes from their ability to see in organisms the patterns of similarity and difference that permeate the living world.
Because only organisms with hard shells or skeletons are generally preserved, the fossil record does not preserve a good record of the even greater number of extinct species that have existed over the span of the earth's history.
This sense of wonder at the rich diversity and complexity of life is easily fostered in children. However, attempts to give them explanations for that diversity before they are able to handle the abstractions, or before they see the need for explanations, can dampen their natural curiosity.The point is to encourage them to ask questions for which they can find answers by looking carefully (using hand lenses when needed) at plants and animals and then checking their observations and answers with one another.The anthropomorphism embedded in most animal stories causes some worry. Stories sometimes give plants and animals attributes they do not have, but promoting student interest in reading is more important than giving students rigidly correct impressions in their reading.Students can be guided toward making distinctions between stories that portray animals the way they really are and those that do not.Differences among students over the correctness of the portrayal of animals or plants in books should lead the students to reference works, which are another source of information that students must start learning to use.Hand lenses, introduced earlier, should now be routinely used by students.