Here's a great way to open a biology course. Finding yourself without a text? No worries...the characteristics of life summary reading and guided notes provide text and a balanced literacy activity. Characteristics covered are cellular organization, reproduction, response to stimuli, growth and development, movement, adaptation, and homeostasis.The lab introduces some common math skills associated with graphing. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. The cut and paste is a fun way to reinforce introductory biology vocabulary. Answer keys are included and easily projected for class discussion.