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Encyclopedia of Life

Found In: Science, Social Studies, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) houses information and pictures of all known species of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria. EOL has more than a million webpages and more than 1.5 million images. One way to become familiar with EOL is to jump in and explore the pages, images, podcasts, multimedia, collections and tools. For a formal introduction, visit the Introduction and Overview. Here users can find tutorials and examples.

And then there is the search function. A search for “tiger” produces a main entry with tabs that encompass everything on EOL pertinent to tigers:

  • details,
  • media,
  • maps,
  • resources,
  • literature, and
  • links to subspecies and related species.

EOL’s search function is an especially good one for suggesting reasonable alternatives for misspelled words. A real plus for a site aimed at young users.   


Education offers tutorials, biodiversity articles, collections, lessons & activities, podcasts, tools, and more. Two features, Field Guides and Collections, are especially useful for teachers and students.

Lessons & Activities include EOL Collections and podcasts that can be used to supplement existing curriculum or on their own. Lessons and activities in behavior, biodiversity, classification, citizen science, ecology, evolution, environmental impacts, and research are designed for upper elementary and middle school students but can be modified for primary or high school students. Lessons and activities are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

High School Biology

A program for high school biology educators is the HHMI High School Lab Series, a discovery-based lab series and professional development workshop designed to modernize biology labs and lesson plans with inquiry, real-world research, biotechnology, microbiology, and symbiosis. See “Using the Wolbachia Bacterial Symbiont to Teach Inquiry-Based Science: A High School Laboratory Series” (PDF icon PDF, 392 KB, 6 pgs.) for more details.



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