Curriculum Overview Subject: Science Course: Biology/Honors (224) Grade Level: 9-12




Essential Activities/Agreements


Students will:


·         examine systems from the molecular level, organ level, and at the level of organisms and populations

·         demonstrate a solid understanding of the processes of life

·         Explain why there are so many different kinds of organisms on earth

·         Explain why organisms of distantly related species share biochemical, anatomical, and functional characteristics

·         Explain why species become extinct, and how different kinds of organisms are related to one another.

·         make informed decisions related to their health, and to the health of the planet

Introduction: Definition of life, Darwinian theory, Microscopy, Measurement


The Cell: Cell theory, Cell organelles, Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic, Plant vs. animal cells, Membrane systems, Transport


Chemistry of Life: Organic vs. inorganic molecules, pH scale, buffers, dehydration synthesis, hydrolysis, molecules of life (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins)


Genetics I: Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic cell cycles, DNA, RNA, Protein synthesis, Mutations, Gene regulation, Asexual vs. sexual reproduction, mitosis vs. meiosis


Genetics II: Inheritance, Punnett square analyses, probability theory, biotechnology, genetic diseases, medial ethics


Evolution: Origin of life, Evidence for evolution, Mutations, Hardy-Weinberg theory, gradualism and punctuated equilibrium, origins of the eukaryotic cell


Taxonomy: Taxonomic hierarchy, Contributions of Aristotle and Linnaeus, 5 kingdoms, consideration of a 6 kingdom scheme


Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration:

Enzymes, ATP, stages and purpose of respiration and photosynthesis


Systems of the Human Body: Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Excretory, Nervous, Endocrine, and Reproductive systems

Students will:


·          Apply the principles of the scientific method

·          Perform organelle identification and description of function

·          Demonstrate correct microscope technique, slide prep, and staining

·          Identify and describe the principle organic compounds in living systems

·          Explain the importance of buffers in living systems

·          Identify types of reactions

·          Compare and contrast cell cycles of prokaryotes and eukaryotes

·          Explain the function of mitosis

·          Compare and contrast RNA and DNA

·          Explain the steps of protein synthesis

·          Compare and contrast asexual vs. sexual reproduction

·          Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis

·          Use Punnett squares to illustrate monohybrid and dihybrid crosses

·          Examine incomplete dominance, codominance, multiple alleles, polygenic inheritance, gene interactions, and environmental influence

·          Solve genetics problems using probabilities

·          Discuss the importance of genetic diversity

·          Examine basic concepts of Biotechnology

·          Interpret simple pedigrees

·          Examine some genetic diseases

·          Discuss ethical issues in medical genetics

·          Discuss contributions to theories of evolution

·          Explain how mutations contribute to variability in a species

·          Discuss the history of life on earth, including origins of various life forms

·          Solve and construct dichotomous keys

·          Discuss the importance of ATP

·          Describe the function and importance of cell respiration and photosynthesis

·          Understand basic structure and function of human body systems

·         Perform dissection

Common Laboratory Experiments:


·         Introduction to the Microscope

·         The Cell

·         Diffusion

·         Surface area to Volume Ratio

·         Osmosis

·         Molecular Modeling

·         Homeostasis and Buffers

·         Biologically Important Molecules

·         DNA Structure

·         DNA Replication

·         Protein Synthesis

·         The Human Face (Genetics)

·         Dichotomous Keys

·         Influence of temperature on enzymatic action

·         Examination of leaves

·         Cycling of Energy

·         Circulatory System

·         Earthworm dissection

·         Fish dissection

·         Frog dissection

·         Energy content in foods

·         Nutrition in paramecium

·         Reproduction in plants


Other Essential Activities:

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