Where can I find facts and information about biology?
ContentsUseful words General websites Books
Entry last updated: 9/02/23
Biology is a branch of science that studies organisms (living things) and their changes. It includes the study of cells, plants, animals and the human body. It studies all forms of life no matter where they exist, from the largest to the smallest.
Here are some words you may come across when learning about biology:
Organisms: All living things are called organisms. Plants, animals, humans, and even germs are all organisms.
Cells: All living things are made up of cells. Some living things like bacteria are made up of just one cell. Animals and plants are made up of millions of cells.
Genes: Genes determine how living things grow and function. They pass down characteristics from parents to children like hair colour and eye colour.
Life cycle: The stages that all living things go through from the beginning of life until the end of life.
Food chain: A food chain shows how living things get food from other living things. For example, cows eat grass and humans eat cows. Grass is lower in the food chain than cows and cows are lower than humans.
Body systems: These are organs and systems that keep the body functioning. They include the lungs in the respiratory system, the heart in the circulatory system and the stomach in the digestive system.
Habitat: A place where living things live. It provides organisms with what they need to survive.
Evolution: A process where living things change over time.
The sites below will help you understand the basics of biology.
This is one of the EPIC resources, which is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
- Choose Primary for an easy-to-read summary, or Middle for little more detail.
- Use the search bar to enter 'biology'.
- Choose Biology for an overview.
- Try other words like 'life cycle', 'food chain' or 'body systems'.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
This is another EPIC resource with easy-to-read information on lots of topics, including biology.
- Use the search box to look for biology topics.
- Or, choose Science from the front page.
- Then select Biology and Nature to see all the biology topics.
- Each biology topic will have an overview and then other information like book articles, pictures, and videos.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg life cycle. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This is an educational YouTube channel with short videos about lots of science topics.
- Go to Playlists and find the playlist Life Science: Ecosystems and Flow of Energy.
- This is a list of videos about different biology topics including habitats, food webs, classifying organisms, and more.
This site is funded by the New Zealand Government. It has lots of articles, videos and activities for intermediate students. There are also lots of videos and interactives for primary students too. You can search by topic, concept or search feature.
- Go to Topics, then choose to explore biology related topics like Animal behaviour or Life cycles.
- Go to Concepts and check out Cells, Food webs or Ecosystems.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.
This is a great site for senior primary students. Each biology topic has diagrams and lots of facts.
- From the links on the home page, choose biology topics like cells, microbes, plants and invertebrates.
- Or, use the search bar to find information.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. You can see at the bottom of the page that this website belongs to Andrew Rader Studios.
There are many books written on biology. Check out your local public library or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are:
- Bubbling Biology by Steve Parker
- All about biology by Robert Winston
- It's alive: the science of biology by John Lesley
- Animal bodies: extreme anatomies by Louise Spilsbury
- The micro world of animal and plant cells by Precious McKenzie.
SCIS no: 1850838
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