Biology Study Guide: Form 3-4 (grades 7-9)

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Living Science Study Guides
A Charlotte Mason Resource for Exploring Science, a Vast and Joyous Realm


In this middle school biology study guide, students will be introduced to the principles and tools of biological study, food webs, life processes, some anatomy, adaptation, natural selection, extinction, cell theory, simple genetics, and reproduction. It includes:

  • Reading assignments
  • Activities based on the reading
  • Recommended supplemental books, videos, and articles
  • Notebooking prompts
  • Discussion prompts
  • Suggested free reads if your student takes a particular interest in the topic covered
  • Links to current events
  • Weekly supply list, including printable resources
  • Exam questions

Spine Text

This study guide is based on the book Men, Microscopes, and Living Things by Katherine B. Shippen (1955), reprinted as So Many Marvels (1968).

Buy a newly reprinted copy of this book from Living Library Press!

You may also be able to find a used copy of this book on Amazon, or search for a thorough internet search, or borrow it through

  • 183 pages, 18 chapters
  • Reading Level: 6 grade and up
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Newbery Winner in 1956
  • Note: Because this book was written in 1955, you might assume that the ideas are out of date, however, because it is addressing the history of biology–its foundational ideas, it is not outdated. In order to cover the discoveries which have happened since 1955, primarily in the area of cell theory and genetics, we will use supplementary resources.

*This study guide would work well for a Form 4 (grade 9) student, as well. While the reading level of Men, Microscopes, and Living Things is not difficult, the quality of the material is worth reading at any age.


This study guide includes 33 lessons, each requiring approximately 30-40 minutes. You can either schedule it:

  • Three times a week for 11 weeks allowing for exams during the 12th week, or
  • Once a week for an entire year, allowing time for exams at the end of each term, and including other science subjects on the other days of the week.

Sample Lessons:

Sample Lesson 1 Sample Lesson 2 Sample Lesson 3

We have started your guide and I think we’re going to love it! My pharmacist husband was very impressed with it!” -Robin, Children’s Legacy Library