Top 3 grade 10 biology lesson ideas

New biology teaching resources for grade 10 science

It can be tough to come up with new and innovative ways to teach biology and science.  Maybe you are teaching grade 10 science for the first time and need some ideas.  I have come up with a list of 3 ideas that utilize primates to explain and expand on some of the main curriculum ideas in the Ontario guidelines for the biology section of grade 10 science.  By using primates as examples to explain the curriculum, the material becomes more relatable as we are primates ourselves.


1.  Have students research the history of HIV and how it made its was from the SIV virus in   monkeys to chimpanzees and then became HIV in humans. The accepted theory at this time is these chimpanzees hunted and ate two monkeys who had SIV, these SIV viruses combined to create one that could be passed in chimps and also to humans.   One of the chimps that had this new combined SIV virus was then hunted and eaten by humans and therefore the virus became present in us.  The hunter’s body was not able to fight of this strain of SIV and it became HIV.  This can get students to understand how zoonotic viruses can pass from animals to humans and visa versa and why zoonotic diseases are so dangerous as we come into close contact with animals on a regular basis.  

Transmission of SIV from monkeys to apes to humans

2. Have students debate the ethical issues of using animals, like primates, for medical research.  Investigate how primates have been used in medical research and what we have learned from them about ourselves. What are the moral and ethical implications of using primates in research.  What are our responsibilities to them? You can gives examples from HIV research, as many chimpanzees were infected with HIV, but it does not affect them like it does us, and then there were many HIV infected chimps no one wanted to take care of.  Some went to the Fauna foundation, a sanctuary just outside of Montreal.  You could also discuss the cloth mother study looking at attachment with infant monkeys and if this experiment was ethical or not given the affects it had on the infants. 

3.  Compare and contrast the respiratory and circulatory systems of humans and other apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans) to understand the similarities and differences between us and the species most closely related to us.  

Hopefully these tips give you some new ideas to explore the amazing world of primates and get your students excited about their grade 10 science class.  If you teach other grades check out our tips for grade 9 science, grade 11 biology and grade 12 biology. 

If you want a more in-depth look about the above topics for your students we would be happy to come and give a Primate Tales presentation to your class.  Check out our in-class program page for more information and book a program if you are interested.  

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