Homeostasis Lesson Plans: How to Teach Homeostasis to Middle School Students

I always enjoyed teaching homeostasis to my seventh grade science students. It was a quick unit perfect for including activities and projects. In the hopes of making your teaching life easier and saving you planning time, I’m going to break down my unit to give you some ideas for teaching homeostasis in your own classroom. Before you go, be sure to download the free homeostasis worksheet found in the homework section below.

Homeostasis Standards

Depending on your location and the grade level of the students you teach, you might be using one of the following standards.


Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis. Examples of investigations could include heart rate response to exercise, stomate response to moisture and temperature, and root development in response to water levels. Assessment does not include the cellular processes involved in the feedback mechanism.


Knowledge & Skill Statement - 7.13: The student knows that a living organism must be able to maintain balance in stable internal conditions in response to external and internal stimuli. The student is expected to:
  • Student Expectation - 7.13A: Investigate how organisms respond to external stimuli found in the environment such as phototropism and fight or flight.
  • Student Expectation - 7.13B: Describe and relate responses in organisms that may result from internal stimuli such as wilting in plants and fever or vomiting in animals that allow them to maintain balance.

Homeostasis Student Objectives

Below you’ll find some of the homeostasis objectives I have used in my seventh grade science classroom.
  • Students will be able to define homeostasis.
  • Students will be able to list examples of homeostasis and explain how those examples demonstrate homeostasis.
  • Students will be able to analyze a graph or data set showing homeostasis.
  • Students will be able to conclude what happens when an organism does not have homeostasis. 

Why should students learn about homeostasis?

Something I always like to include at the beginning of a new unit is the rationale for learning about something. I find that including “why” increases student participation and engagement. For homeostasis, we discuss that each of our bodies use homeostasis all day, every day. Students should know about homeostasis so they can keep their bodies healthy and understand how their choices can directly impact their health.

Homeostasis Unit Length

I generally spend about a week on homeostasis. I’ve taught homeostasis in a variety of school schedules—90 minute block classes, 45 minute classes, 50 minute classes, etc. In order to give you a timeline of how I teach homeostasis, I’m going to break down how I teach homeostasis during a week of five classes that are each fifty minutes long.  

  • Day 1: Homeostasis introduction and notes
  • Day 2: Homeostasis activity and discussion
  • Day 3: Homeostasis activity with graphing component 
  • Day 4: Begin homeostasis project
  • Day 5: Continue homeostasis project and assessment

A Detailed Look at Each Day

Homeostasis Day 1

I start almost all of my classes with a bellringer students complete on their own. It keeps students busy while I do things like take attendance and address matters with individual students. On day one of our homeostasis unit, my students complete a homeostasis bellringer to see what they already know. Example questions for day one’s bellringer might involve predicting the meaning of homeostasis and explaining whether or not they think shivering has a purpose. After quickly discussing student answers, we start our unit by sharing objectives and the rationale for learning about homeostasis. The remainder of the class period is spent taking notes about homeostasis. I use a homeostasis PowerPoint and guided interactive notebook pages. At the end of class, we glue our notes in our interactive science notebooks and have a quick review of the day’s material. (If you’re new to interactive notebooks, please check out this INB how-to guide and download a free INB check.)

Homeostasis Day 2

Once again, students complete a bellringer on their own (this time reviewing or reflecting on the previous day’s material) and discuss it together as a class. Then it’s activity time! My students and I love the two activities we do for homeostasis. Students love the activities because they can get out of their seats and make meaningful connections with the content. I love the activities because they don’t require any prep time and supplies are minimal and readily available. Perfect! On this day of our homeostasis unit, we complete the shorter of the two activities. It typically lasts between 20-30 minutes. This activity involves students balancing on one foot, discussing the experience as a class, and linking it with homeostasis. We finish the day with a homework assignment that students can begin in class and finish at home. (Check out the homework section below for ideas.)

Homeostasis Day 3

Students hand in their homework from the previous day. This is the rare day in class when we do not do a bellringer because we’ll likely need the whole class period for the day’s activity. This homeostasis activity involves finding resting heartrates and tracking the heartrate changes that come with and after exercise. One thing that surprised me the first time we did this activity was the struggle students had locating their pulse the first time, so be sure to account for that in your lesson planning. For the activity, students are up doing jumping jacks or running in place. Then they record, graph, and analyze how their heartrate changes in the minutes after exercise. (I love including graphing and data analysis in lessons as often as I can and have a whole lot of data analysis and graph interpretation resources in my store.)

Homeostasis Day 4

We start this day with a bellringer; this time I ask students to dig a little deeper into homeostasis. If your students are familiar with organ systems, now is a great time to tie in homeostasis with an organ system’s function. (For example: How does the respiratory system demonstrate homeostasis?) After we discuss bellringer answers, we begin a creative homeostasis project. I’ve tried two different projects with my students. My artsy students especially enjoy the homeostasis comic project. I provide clear guidelines and a rubric for them to follow so the comic is as rigorous as it is creative. Another thing I’ve tried with students is a homeostasis brochure project. The brochure has more in-depth requirements than the comic. I like to use the brochure with advanced classes or students who need a challenge. However, I make each project worth the same amount of points, so allowing students to make their own decision about which project they want to tackle can be a possibility. 

Homeostasis Day 5

Today’s bellringer asks students to consider when they’ve experienced homeostasis in their own lives. Once we’ve discussed answers as a class, the students continue working on the homeostasis projects they began the day before. We all know that students work at different rates. Students who need more than the two provided class periods are allowed to have the weekend to finish their projects. We finish the class period with a quick homeostasis quiz

Depending on the results of the assessment, we either move on to the next unit after the weekend or we may spend an extra day going over homeostasis. If an additional day is needed, students might spend time providing feedback on one another’s homeostasis projects and/or completing one of the homework options below.

Homeostasis Homework Options

  • Free Homeostasis Reading Worksheet: Here’s a free worksheet I use with my students. It is perfect to introduce homeostasis or reinforce the material at the beginning of the unit. It also makes a great homework assignment for students who were absent on the day you introduced homeostasis. 
  • Homeostasis Practice Sheet: This is my favorite homeostasis homework assignment because students answer with both writing and drawing, plus it’s at a level that works for most of my students. It asks students to identify examples of homeostasis, draw those examples, and explain why they are examples of homeostasis. 
  • Analyzing Data Heart Rate Worksheet: Remember when I said I like to bring in data analysis whenever I can? This is a line graph worksheet I use with homeostasis, the circulatory system, or around Valentine’s Day.
  • Homeostasis Odd One Out Worksheet: I reserve this worksheet for my more advanced classes or students. You may choose to go into more detail in your homeostasis unit by including internal and external stimuli. If so, then this worksheet will likely be a good fit for your students. My Odd One Out Worksheets promote critical thinking by asking students to examine four options and consider which option isn’t in line with the others. (Click here to learn more about how to use this questioning strategy in your classroom.)

Where to Get Homeostasis Resources

I hope this blog post helped you plan your homeostasis unit. All of the resources I mentioned can be purchased in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. My discounted Homeostasis Bundle has everything you need to teach your unit and will save you so much planning time. Check it out! And thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. 

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