Student as a biologist

ME  AS  A BIOLOGIST - lesson



In this lesson (2 x 75 minutes) students are making small-scale studies about decomposer.

In last lesson, they have learned the theory about different kind of fungi like mushrooms, lichens, yeast and mold.

Students work in small groups like biologists. After this lesson, they will write a report about their studies.


Decomposer, like earthworms and fungi.


  • 21st century skills / transversal skills
  • goals of biology
  • Student show effort and take responsibility of my learning.
  • Student can work individually and collaboratively in the classroom and outdoors.
  • Student can carry out small-scale studies and report the findings.
  • Student can use appropriate research equipment.
  • Student can use ICT as a tool of learning.
  • Student recognize different species.
  • Student can describe structure and functions of organisms.
  • Student understand how every organism is important in world’s biodiversity.


Small-scale studies in classroom.


  • Student’s own phone
  • Microscopes and digital microscopes
  • i Pads
  • Terrarium for earthworms and another decomposer
  • Compost soil
  • Fungi like mushrooms, yeast, mold and lichens


  • Classroom
  • Optional homework outdoors: forest near the school and home


  • O365 (Outlook, OneNote/Word/PowerPoint/Sway)
  • Skitch
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram


  • High





Decomposer are organisms that break down dead organisms and release nutrients to the soil and plants. For example, fungi and earthworms are decomposers.


  • I show effort and take responsibility of my learning.
  • I can work individually and collaboratively in the classroom and outdoors.
  • I can carry out small-scale studies and report the findings.
  • I can use appropriate research equipment.
  • I can use ICT as a tool of learning.
  • I recognize different species.
  • I can describe structure and functions of organisms.
  • I understand how every organism is important in world’s biodiversity.


Do small-scale researches in small group (2-3 student in each group).

  • The goal is to make 2-3 small-scale research in this lesson.
  • Answer in your notebook.
  • Take pictures about your researches and organisms what you’ll see.
  • You can share your pictures in social media like Snapchat (in Biology! -story) or Instagram. Use hashtag #fungiandotherdecomposers


(Students has instructions of these studies in their textbooks or notebooks.)

  1. Wake up yeasts
  2. Microscope yeast and mold
  3. Recognize lichens
  4. Microscope lichens
  5. Digi-microscope fungi and another decomposer
  6. Stereomicroscope decomposer
  7. Investigate earthworms


Evaluate your working in this lesson. What grade would you give yourself?


Make a new file ME  AS A  BIOLOGIST  to Biology – folder.

  • The file can be OneNote, Word, PowerPoint etc.
  • Add photos from your phone to the file. Write descriptions of your research and outcomes.
  • Share photos with your co-workers.

Optional activities

  • Write in memoriam – words to decomposer . Choose on decomposer organism and write in memoriam – words to it. Describe organism’s character, role and importance in nature.
  • Go to the forest. Go to the forest and take your parents or friends with you. Take photos about different kind of fungi and recognize them.  Gather mushrooms which are eatable. Be sure that they are not poisonous. Make food about these mushrooms and tell about it your teacher of home economic.
  • Make a compost with earthworms. Make your own small compost to your kitchen. Follow the life of earthworms. Take photos and make some visual presentation. (Students get the instructions of compost.) 




Students take photos and make digital collage of organisms


My students are making digital collages or organisms (plants, animals, fungi, protists). They do it mainly at school but some do it at home too. Here is the description about why they are doing it and how.

Made by Rita Keskitalo, Perniön yhteiskoulu, Salo, Finland



Different organisms of Finland nature


Goals of transversal competences or 21st century skills:

  • thinking and learning to learn
  • ICT competence
  • participation and influence
  • building a sustainable future


Goals of biology:

  • student can make a photo collage of organisms
  • student recognize different species
  • student can explain classification of organisms
  • student can make a small-scale research
  • student can use ICT as a tool of learning
  • student can use social media as a learning environment
  • student can work individually and collaboratively in the classroom and outdoors

Activity / method

Students take pictures about organisms of Finnish nature like forests, lakes and seas.  They can make a digital collage to Instagram, WhatsApp or a slideshow with PowerPoint or publication with Adobe Spark. They observe all organisms they’ll see. They use microscopes or magnifying glasses. Students take photos, give organisms a name and classify them. They can write something interesting about their lives too. In social media they use suitable hashtags for example #animal #invertebrate #plankton #waterflea #cladocera. It is recommended that students follow other students’ digital collages in Instagram, comment and like them.





  • student’s own phone
  • magnifying glass
  • microscopes

Learning environments

  • classroom
  • school yard
  • outdoors: different ecosystems near the school and home
  • social media

Use of ICT, apps, websites

  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • PowerPoint
  • Adobe Spark
  • or something else

Students’ activity level


New ideas

We and our students together could make a digital collage of Nordic (Icelandic, Swedish and Finnish) species for example to Instagram.