What will you find here?
K-12 curricula, supplemental teaching materials, and informative related materials on:
- teaching science
- teaching the interaction between science & faith
- books for young children on the early universe and the development of life.
Who is BioLogos?
Almost from the beginning, BioLogos has received requests for information on educational resources that present more options for those who desire to take their faith and science seriously. Resources like this can be challenging to find, but we are pleased to present some worth looking in to. New materials are being developed (including by a few of our Evolution & Christian Faith grantees), and we hope to continue to discover other good options. When we do, we will update this list. Plan to check back regularly to discover what’s new!
As always, we welcome your feedback and questions. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge.”
This new publisher offers a fresh mastery approach to science education and a balanced perspective on dealing with evolutionary content. (Christian, middle school and high school, primarily for use in schools)
This is a new publisher which offers a fresh mastery approach to science education. Their aim is to transform the common student learning pattern of “cram, pass, and forget”. Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science, by John Mays, primary author for Novare, is a wonderful overview of their unique approach to science education. The chapter entitled “Dealing with Evolution” is well worth reading by anyone seriously interested in improving Christian science education in the U.S.. John Mays’ perspective is based on many years of teaching in a classical Christian school and is perhaps the best presentation we have seen offered by a Christian publisher on how to handle evolution in Christian classrooms. Though Novare does not currently offer a life science or biology text, their resources include materials on physical science, physics, and chemistry, as well as other teacher resources like solution manuals, experiment collections, and resource CD’s. Jeffrey Mays of Novare recently wrote a blog post for BioLogos.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This online material presents great coverage of science, including evolution, and educators can sample and search through all materials before purchasing. (Secular, K-8, for use in schools or homeschool)
Though the materials contain no evolutionary content, they call Christians to embrace science recognizing that through science we come to learn more about God and his world. (Christian, K-8, for schools)
Their goal is “to help students see God’s hand in the world around them.” For middle school students, texts cover life science, physical science and earth science. In the opening chapter of the Life Science text, the authors point to a healthy perspective on the study of science for Christians:
Some Christians are suspicious of science. They believe science tries to do away with God or that people will depend on scientific solutions to their problems instead of on God. Other Christians don’t trust science because some scientific theories (such as evolution) disagree with the literal interpretation of Genesis. Still other Christians worry that some scientific advancements (such as cloning) allow us to make decisions that belong only to God. But Christians should embrace science. Science is the systematic study of creation using methods based on observation and experimentation. In fact, God calls many Christians to be scientists. Science helps Christians to better understand God and his world by observing, experimenting, and finding relationships among the things of the world.
There is currently no mention of evolution in CSI’s materials, but the Earth Science text includes discussion about radioactive dating methods and other methods that point to the earth being around 3.9 billion to 4.6 billion years old. They also point to the scientific consensus that the universe itself is quite old. In the opening to the chapter on “The Universe” we read,
God is the Creator and Sustainer of this vast universe of galaxies, galaxy clusters, and superclusters…The Bible tells us that God spoke and brought creation into being—it does not tell us what methods God used to create the universe. Some Christians believe that when God spoke creation into being, in a human instant it looked very similar to what it looks like now. Studying God’s creation, however, suggests that God created the universe through a longer process billions of years ago. Most astronomers and scientists believe that the universe is ancient…based on their findings, they propose that the universe is 10-16 billion years old.
Published by Prentice Hall and authored by Ken Miller and Joe Levine. This material contains extensive coverage of evolution and has been widely used, including in Christian schools and by homeschooling families wanting thorough science content. (Secular, high school, primarily for schools)
This substantial text presents in-depth coverage of biology, including many chapters on evolution, and has come to be one of the most respected and widely used high school biology texts in the U.S.. It has been used in many different settings including public schools, private schools (including Christian schools), and by homeschooling families wanting the most complete presentation of biology available. The newest edition has a macaw on the front, but many find the dragonfly book still highly useful and copies tend to be cheaper (these books are often referred to by what’s on the cover—“the dragonfly book” or “the macaw book”). The text’s accompanying websites house supplemental resources for teachers and students including interesting videos created by Untamed Science to heighten student interest and understanding of one concept from each chapter and extensive author notes for each chapter. Also see Miller and Levine’s site for numerous resources and articles including general science news as well as their perspective on teaching evolution in a climate of controversy. Dr. Miller is a man of faith who has been vocal in his support of the teaching of evolution.
Published by Gravitas. These materials offer a broader selection of science content for young students in order to develop a good foundation moving forward. (Secular, K-8, primarily for homeschool)
These materials provide schedules and supplemental materials for parents while relying on outside books (published by Usborne, DK and others) for the bulk of the science content. Beginning in fall 2014, they will also offer live online high school courses in biology and physical science. (Secular, pre-school through high school, homeschool)
Elemental Science provides several choices of printed science curricula, including a “classical” track for the Grammar and Logic stages. Their materials provide schedules, plans, and supplemental materials while relying on outside books for the bulk of the science content like: The Usborne Internet-linked Science Encyclopedia and The Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Science; and DK books like Human Body. Though the author is a Christian, she does not include a religious viewpoint in the materials. Elemental Science includes books that come from an evolutionary standpoint.
Available for the first time in fall 2014, Elemental Science is launching two live online courses for high school students: either physical science or biology. These courses are two semester courses which meet twice weekly (beginning in August and running through December and then picking up for the second semester in January) with a live teacher in a classroom and lecture/discussion time. The course also includes homework, quizzes, and tests which are graded and the student receives a semester course grade for their work. The required text for the course is Biology, by authors Miller & Levine, which presents a thorough investigation of the topic, including significant coverage of evolution. More details about this text can be found above.
This site houses various curricular options from different publishers covering all subjects with almost all science curricula containing evolutionary content. (Secular, K-12, homeschool)
GSN houses seven different online curricular options in all core subjects as well as electives. Most options are for middle and high school and one of the seven options is labeled as “Christian”. With regard to science content, all of their science curricula include evolutionary content except the “Christian” option, which is described as coming from a “creationist” perspective. They also have several Honors/AP science courses available. A drawback of their materials may be that they can only be purchased as a complete annual curriculum on all subjects, meaning that families pay a licensing fee from that publisher and then are committed to using their curricula for all subjects during that academic year. Currently the licensing fee is about $450 per student per year.
- The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) offers Science NetLinks which is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education resource with numerous teaching tools, lessons, videos, podcasts, science news articles and more.
- http://evolution.berkeley.edu is one of the most widely used and respected sources for everything having to do with evolution.
- PBS’s evolution site contains numerous resources for students and teachers.
- Untamed Science houses numerous science videos aimed at students which are being used throughout the U.S. for elementary as well as upper level students.
- Becoming Human contains a cool interactive timeline with fossils spanning 7 million years of human development.
- Introduction to Human Evolution (part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History) contains evolution evidences as well as resources for teachers and students.
- biography.com includes several interesting videos about scientists, including people like Newton and Galileo as well as Stephen Hawking.
- Khan Academy houses numerous science videos including several related to evolution, natural selection, and variation in species.
- The official website of the Hubble Space Telescope with links to other NASA educational resources.
- Bio Interactive (part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) is devoted to providing educational materials for science teachers and students on various topics including evolution.
- The National Association of Biology Teachers houses resources for educators and students on various topics as well as information on conferences and student competition opportunities which include homeschoolers.
Materials include a book, 6 session DVD, and accompanying website. Schools and homeschooling families have found these resources very useful for learning more about the spectrum of Christian positions on origins issues while maintaining a gracious and respective tone. The accompanying website supplies numerous supplemental materials. (high school through adults) This book is the subject of the BioLogos Book Club beginning on September 12, 2014.
Four unit study. This curriculum reinforces the idea that both the Bible and science can tell us true things about the universe. The more we learn about creation, the more awe we can have of our living God. One student book is also need per group. (middle school)
Four unit study. Rather than taking one position on the creation/evolution debate, this resource helps students discover that there are multiple valid Christian views. Students receive colorful newspapers in each session, filled with stories, articles, and activities that explore how science and the Bible are not at war. (high school and young adults)
Videos with discussion guides. A biology instructor, school chaplain, and a scientist have produced a free downloadable multimedia curriculum for Christian high school students or youth groups. The free curriculum includes 8 videos for download on their site: 7 videos for use with youth, along with an introductory video to help leaders begin the dialogue on these topics. Leader’s guides are also available. Their goal is to, “reassure students that the study of science is compatible with their faith and it can enhance and deepen their relationship with God.” (high school)
Book with discussion questions [pdf] and supplemental materials. How have Christians responded to scientific claims and what can be done to bring harmony where there may appear to be discord? Dr. Francis Collins, geneticist and founder of The BioLogos Foundation, shares his journey from atheism to a faith which embraces scientific discovery, including evolutionary biology. He writes, “I do not believe that the God who created all the universe, and who communes with His people through prayer and spiritual insight, would expect us to deny the obvious truths of the natural world that science has revealed to us, in order to prove our love for Him.” (high school through adults)
Video course by Dr. John Walton. Discusses biblical interpretation of Genesis 1-2 within its cultural context which has implications for how Christians who uphold the authority of scripture deal with scientific claims. See Walton’s book The Lost World of Genesis One for a thorough presentation of the topic. (high school through adults)
DVD with study guide [pdf]. This video, produced in conjunction with BioLogos, is a fresh way to engage the current controversy surrounding science and faith. Includes interviews with John Polkinghorne, N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath and more. (high school through adults)
This multi-part blog series by BioLogos Fellow Dr. Ted Davis explains five approaches Christians have historically taken to understanding the Bible and origins. This substantial series could be taken as a whole or portions could be investigated which cover certain topics of interest like Creationism or Intelligent Design. (high school through adults)
Curriculum for use with the Test of Faith DVD (high school – separate adult materials have also been developed.). This unique program seeks to defend belief in God against claims that modern science eliminates the plausibility of religious faith and has flexibility for use in 3-8 week session formats. Viewers hear from scientists and theologians who are at the top of their academic fields and who also have a deep commitment to the Christian faith. Each session creates space for young people to explore the issues, express their thoughts, and learn about how the Bible relates to the issues. Both homeschool and youth group materials have been created.
These materials were developed for use in British religious education in public schools and aim to address how the big questions of life intersect with science. American educators may find some useful content. (for elementary through upper grades)
(2007) for pre-schoolers to age 5 (Christian). This colorful book exposes children to the wonderful creatures, colors, and textures God has made. Over and over we hear the question: “Who made ______?” And the answer is always, “God did!” Along the way, children are invited to touch the turtle’s rough shell, the bark on a tree, or the coat of a zebra. This book portrays the diversity of life and points to God as creator, without mention of the Genesis 6 “days” of creation.
(1994) for pre-schoolers to age 5 (Christian). This book takes passages from the Psalms and re-writes them in rhyming, child-friendly language. We read of God as the Shepherd who watches over us while we sleep and the God of forgiveness. We also recognize God as Creator by pointing to passages found in the Psalms like Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare in a voice as still, As moonlight streaming over the hill, The heavens declare in a voice so still—God is there.” And from Psalm 147:4 “Do you suppose the stars have names Like Sally, Henry, Sue, or James? I couldn’t tell—But just the same, God calls every star By name!”
(2003) for ages 3 – 8 (secular). This book follows the earliest life forms along their evolutionary path to the current creatures that exist - including us humans. "All of us are part of an old, old family. The roots of our family tree reach back millions of years to the beginning of life on earth. Open this family album and embark on an amazing journey. You'll meet some of our oldest relatives--from both the land and the sea--and discover what we inherited from each of them along the many steps of our wondrous past.” The book colorfully shows the development of life and our connectedness to all living things. A weakness is that it minimizes the uniqueness of humans by always using the term “we” when describing early living organisms well before the appearance of humans.
(2011) ages 3 – 8 (secular). Interested in a children’s book that tackles Big Bang cosmology, early solar system formation and development of life on earth? The title presents the emphasis of the book: all the organisms on earth today, even our own bodies, are made of elements present from the very, very, early beginnings of our universe. Pre-schoolers through elementary graders will appreciate this lively trek over billions of years, and adult readers will appreciate the sing-songy rhythm of the text: “This is the sun, our daily view, that was born from the dust, so old and new, thrown from the blast intense enough, to hurl the atoms so strong and tough, that formed in the star of red-hot stuff, that burst from the gas in a giant puff, that spun from the blocks that formed from the bits, that were born in the bang, when the world began.” More detailed paragraphs are included that could be skipped for younger children: “In time, some of the atoms in the ocean joined together to form tiny living creatures. At first, these creatures were so simple they didn’t think or even swim—they just floated in the water. But over time they evolved, getting bigger and more complex.”
(2011) for ages 5 – 8 (secular). This story uses time travel alongside great science to investigate how the unusual kiwi bird came to have the characteristics it does (for example it is wing-less, doesn’t fly, and has whiskers.) We see how ancestors of kiwis may have had advantages when they didn’t fly because they were away from flying predators. Early kiwis that had whiskers could also get around easier at night because their whiskers would help them feel their way through the terrain. Each new generation that exhibited these beneficial characteristics would have advantages when it came to surviving, and would pass these on to the next generation and the next. The concepts of evolution and natural selection come through wonderfully without ever having to use the actual terms, and the creative story-telling makes these important scientific concepts accessible to young people.
(2002) for ages 5 – 10 (secular). How have so many different forms of life developed across earth’s 4.5 billion year history? Using colorful torn-paper illustrations throughout, this book shows that some life forms are better suited to their surroundings and thus are able to survive and reproduce. “After many generations, variations and mutations can make a species larger, or more colorful, or different in some other way. Each difference is tested by natural selection: either as change makes a plant or animal better able to survive and pass on new features to its offspring or it makes survival less likely. After millions of years, accumulated small differences between one generation and the next have become big differences.” All of the illustrated creatures are named at the back of the book and, interestingly, the book includes several now extinct creatures. Children will appreciate these glimpses into the earth’s past
(2000) for ages 8 – 12 (Christian). Few creatures capture the interest of children like dinosaurs! This is a great resource for discovering more about these creatures but we also read of the science behind the age of the earth and how the earth has changed over time. Scientists point to fossils, stratification, and radiometric dating to give clues about the past. The authors recognize that Christians differ about their thoughts on when and how life developed on earth, but the most important thing to focus on is the new life offered in God’s Son, Jesus.
(2010) for ages 8 – 12 (Christian). The strength of this book is its accurate but accessible scientific information about our atmosphere, light, oceans, plants, other galaxies, fish, birds, land animals, and humans. Though the topics are organized within the 6 “days” spoken of in Genesis, the emphasis is the interesting science we’ve learned about various aspects of creation. There is no mention of evolutionary processes, but the authors do include a statement recognizing different views among Christians when it comes to age of the earth: “Even though all Christians agree that God created the earth and everything in and around it, some of them disagree over how long it took God to do it. Some believe the earth is very young- between 6,000 and 10,000 years old-while others believe the earth is very old...maybe billions of years old.”