Skills and Key Features of Biology: How Life Works, 4e

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Skills and Key Features of Biology: How Life Works, 4e

Achieve for Morris, Biology: How Life Works, 4e includes multiple features which focus on building scientific skills. These can help students review skills they may have learned in previous courses and reinforce key biology concepts. 


Skills Primers

The Skills Primers are self-paced tutorials that guide students to learn, practice, and use skills, like data visualization and graphing, experimental design, working with numbers, reading and building phylogenies, and working with models. These short tutorials can be used throughout the course as refreshers to aid students with the core skills they need to work with data.

How Do We Know? Activities

How Do We Know? activities are designed to provide practice for students in the skills they need to think like a scientist. These activities are available in every chapter and accompany the How Do We Know? feature in the textbook—walking students through scientific inquiry and data analysis⁠, and ending with application questions that extend to new information.


A key feature of How Life Works is that it connects key concepts to one another, highlighting the bigger relevance of understanding biology. Throughout the textbook, Cases and Visual Synthesis figures provide a framework for connecting and assimilating information. The eight Cases highlight topics, such as cancer and climate change, and showcase how concepts learned in individual chapters connect to these larger, relevant areas of biology.

Visual Syntheses

Every Visual Synthesis figure in the textbook has an interactive counterpart in Achieve. Each interactive offers an immersive, highly visual learning environment that includes informative text, embedded animations, simulations, virtual tours, and links between interactives, helping students see how individual concepts connect to tell a single story. New to this edition: two new Visual Syntheses covering the History of Earth and Life, and Homeostasis can be found in the textbook and Achieve.

How Life Works Podcasts

The How Life Works Podcasts cover pertinent topics that relate directly to the material in the textbook. New to this edition: the authors of How Life Works interview a diverse selection of scientists about research topics, which directly align with each of the eight Cases found in the textbook. Each podcast includes background information about the author and a set of open-ended reflection questions that can be assigned to students.


Which features do you use? Comment below to let us know!