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(Previous title: Living Roots)
Latin & Greek Roots for Biology
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For Basic Roots, check out Vocabulary Vine.
More fun, more reinforcement, less money!


Would you like an easier way to learn the study terms in Biology? How about a life-long tool to help understand terms from medicine, zoology, botany, and other life sciences?

Announcing Science Roots, a Latin & Greek roots curriculum for biology students. This nonconsumable course is designed to work alongside your textbook. It teaches the roots in over 160 of the study terms in Apologia's Exploring Creation With Biology* in the same sequence as the book (plus almost 50 roots from other life science fields). You can use it with other textbooks as well. As you learn the roots, you learn your biology terms more easily, you understand biology better, and you gain a tool which will help you in all future science studies.

      Science Roots cover
Why study biology roots?

Latin and Greek roots build an overwhelming majority of life science terms. Learning one root can unlock as many as nine new study terms from your biology course. This book gives you that knowledge of the roots, which gives you a boost in your biology studies. Not only does this make your biology studies easier, but it also helps you learn terms from other science studies in future years.

How does it work?

  • Procedure - You typically learn one root per day. Science Roots gives you the root, its meaning, the source language, and at least three example words (derivatives). Use the example words to create study cards. (Over 160 of these example words are study terms from Exploring Creation With Biology and are common in other textbooks as well). Then compose your own definitions for the first three example words, emphasizing the meanings of the roots.

  • Create a card - Let's imagine you are studying "hypo." You create a card and write the root, its meaning, and its language on the top. Then you list the example words found in the book. One Example Word is "hypodermic," so you compose a definition which emphasizes the meanings of its roots. For "hypodermic" you could write, "puts medicine UNDER the SKIN," since "hypo" means "under" and "derm" means "skin."

  • Reinforcement - As you use this root and its meaning in your three example words, you memorize the meaning of the root. The next day you study the root "derm," so in the process you review "hypo" again. Remember, many of these words are study terms from your textbook. So as you apply these roots in biology studies, you reinforce the roots you've learned and you also learn your biology terms better. The two books support each other. Use the optional games for further review.

    In addition to learning the roots throughout the course, the glossary defines every root found in the book, not just the ones you study. There are nine optional zero-prep games for review, and an in-depth taxonomy chart with all the classifications (and their roots!) from your textbook and more.

  • Arrangement - While you're studying Module 1 of Exploring Creation With Biology, you need to learn Study Terms which will be on the test. Lesson 1 of Science Roots teaches the roots of many of those Study Terms. (The lessons are coordinated, so Lesson 2 of Science Roots teaches the roots in Module 2 of your textbook, Lesson 3 is matched to Module 3, etc.) Learning the roots makes it easier to learn the Study Terms in biology and also other vocabulary throughout later science study.

Who is it for?
See the When Can I Start table.
  • If you are taking high school biology this year, get Science Roots now and learn the roots as you learn the related biology terms.

  • If you plan to take biology next year, get Science Roots now and spread it over two years to lighten the load. The appendix suggests a two-year study sequence, so you learn general life science roots (derm, cardio, etc.) the first year and biology-specific terms (cyto, leuco, etc.) the second year when you're taking biology.

  • If you are a younger student (at least sixth grade) and you are interested in science, medicine, animal care, botany, etc., get it now and start learning the generic life science terms right away.
How much time does it take?

It takes between 15 and 20 minutes per new root. You study five new roots per week the first half of the year and three per week the second half. You can buy Partially Completed Study Cards to lighten the work load - the cards have the roots and the example words, and the student completes them by adding definitions for them (typically 3 example words per card).

Where can I get it? How much does it cost?

You can order by PayPal or by mail. I'll be happy to sign it if you so request. The cost is only $9.95 plus shipping. Co-op's and groups, get a $1 discount on orders of 10 or more of Science Roots, Study Cards, and/or Vocabulary Vine (mix-n-match). Valid on mail orders only.

Further Study

If you would like to teach basic roots, get Vocabulary Vine. It teaches 108 common Latin & Greek roots using a spiral study approach, all familiar example words, and a dozen zero-prep games.

Partially Completed Study Cards for Science Roots

(See sample.) If you have a full schedule, consider the optional Partially Completed Study Cards to save time and lighten your course load. The card already has the root and Example Words. The student completes the card by adding the root's translation and the example words' definitions. They are 3"x5", printed on colored cardstock, five to a sheet, and you cut them up yourself. This card set is optional and costs $9.50.

A few families requested these cards because the student already gets a good deal of reinforcement by using the roots in biology. These cards lighten the work load of Science Roots by quite a bit, but the student is still composing and writing definitions for the example words, thus reinforcing the meanings of the roots. There is no equivalent card set for Vocabulary Vine.

I do not recommend using the cards without the Science Roots book. You would miss too much of the program this way.

* References to Exploring Creation With Biology are used with the permission of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

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