BGuILE learning scenarios include hands-on discussion-based activities integrated with software investigations of rich simulations and datasets. The activities in our curricula have been designed by Chicago Public School teachers working collaboratively with researchers at Northwestern University, and piloted successfully in sixth and seventh grade Chicago Public School classrooms. Outlined below are our two curricula units.


A crisis event on an island in the Galapagos provides the problem context for this 6-week unit for sixth or seventh grade science classrooms. Students investigate the various interacting components of a complex ecosystem in order to find out what is killing many of the animals on this island, and whether there is a pattern that explains how some of the animals have managed to survive the crisis. The computer investigation and the activities that surround it provide a rich context for learning about geography, ecology, and natural selection.
Level: Middle school
The High School version, named The Evolution Unit, is forthcoming this summer.
The associated software unit is The Galapagos Finches.
To learn more about the Struggle for Survival or to download a PDF version:


This curriculum was developed out of our desire to increase interest and involvemet of middle and high school students in "whole organism biology." By this, we mean the study of the whole organism rather than its cellular and sub-cellular components, and animal behavior in particular. We hope to capitalize on the natural interest and fascination that most students have about animals. The interest is fostered and encouraged in the early grades, but tends to be less emphasized in student curricula in later grades.
Level: Middle through High school
The associated software unit is Animal Landlord.
To learn more about the Behavior Matters or to download a PDF version: