Curriculum Overview Subject: Science Course: Biology/AP (228) Grade Level: 11-12




Essential Activities/Agreements

I.                     Science as a Process

II.                   Evolution

III.                 Energy Transfer

IV.                 Continuity and Change

V.                   Relationship of  Structure to Function

VI.                 Regulation

VII.               Interdependence in Nature

VIII.             Science, Technology and Society

Note:  All topics and units below fall within 3 major categories: 

     A.  Molecules and Cells

     B.  Heredity and Evolution

     C.  Organisms and Populations


Ecology: Population dynamics, biotic potential, limiting factors, Interactions between species, Ecosystems, energy flow, productivity, Biological communities, succession, biomes, Biogeochemical cycles, future of the biosphere


Chemistry of Life: Biological chemistry, pH, functional groups, Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, Dehydration synthesis, hydrolysis, free-energy changes, equilibrium, Enzymes, coenzymes, cofactors, activity rates, regulation


Cell Structure and Function

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, Plant, animal and fungal cells, organelles, subcellular components of motility, cytoskeleton, Diffusion and osmosis, Osmotic balance and water potential, Cell membrane structure and function, Passive and active transport mechanisms, Cell communication


Cellular Energetics: Oxidation-reduction, thermodynamics and free energy, ATP and energy transfer,  Coupled reactions and chemiosmosis, Glycolysis, fermentation,  and aerobic respiration, Photosynthesis, photosystems I and II, Calvin cycle and carbon fixation, C3 and C4 photosynthesis, Evolution of metabolism


Cell Reproduction and Molecular Genetics: Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell reproduction. Cell cycle, mitosis, cytokinesis, DNA: structure and replication, experimental evidence, Eukaryotic chromosomal structure, nucleosome, transposable elements, RNA: transcription, mRNA editing, translation, DNA and RNA viruses, Regulation of gene expression


Meiosis, Genetics, & Gene Technology:

Meiosis, sexual reproduction, gene recombination, Mendel’s Laws, probability, genetic crosses, Inheritance patterns: chromosomes, genes, alleles, interactions, Mutations, Recombinant DNA, DNA cloning, hybridization, DNA sequencing, Genetic engineering applications


Evolution and Classification: Evidence for evolution, Natural selection, Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg principle, factors influencing allelic frequencies, Speciation: isolating mechanisms, allopatry, sympatry, adaptive radiation, Patterns of evolution, gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, Animal diversity: classification, phylogeny, survey of acoelomate, pseudocoelomate, protosome and deutersome phyla


Animal Anatomy and Physiology:

Organization of the vertebrate body, Structure and function of tissues, organs and systems used for locomotion and digestion, Animal adaptations for locomotion and digestion, Structure and function of tissues, organs and systems used for circulation, respiration and excretion, Animal adaptations for circulation, respiration and excretion


Homeostasis: Structure and function of tissues and organs of the nervous, sensory, endocrine and immune systems, Animal adaptations in the nervous, sensory, endocrine and immune systems, Maintaining homeostasis


Reproduction, Development, and Behavior: Structure and function of tissues, organs needed for reproduction, Animal adaptations for reproduction, Gametogenesis, fertilization, embryology, development, Cellular mechanisms of development, Animal behavior


Plant Structure and Function:

Plant diversity: classification, divisions, adaptations to land, alternation of generations in moss, fern, pine, and the flowering plants, Structure and physiology of vascular plants, Seed formation, germination, growth in seed plants, Hormonal regulation of plant growth

Plant response to stimuli: tropisms, photo-periodicity


Invertebrate and Vertebrate Dissections and Independent Research


Students will:

·         Extract information from written sources

·         Construct and interpret graphs

·         Demonstrate understanding of mathematical modeling

·         Develop models and recognize their limitations

·         Apply scientific method to problem solving.

·         Recognize science as an ongoing  process with continual  revision

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

·         Relate structure to function

·         demonstrate a solid understanding of the processes of life

·         Use and care for microscopes correctly

·         Estimate size of microscopic specimens

·         Demonstrate understanding of slide preparation techniques

·         Perform unit conversions

·         Model and analyze complex chemical processes

·         Understand component relationships in complex systems

·         Construct an evolutionary time line

·         Model and analyze complex molecular processes

·         Understand component relationships in complex systems

·         Use Punnett squares and probability to solve genetics problems

·         Construct and analyze pedigrees

·         Perform statistical analysis of data using Chi Square

·         Use the microscope

·         Model and analyze complex molecular processes

·         Construct a genetic map

·         Understand classification

·         Construct dichotomous keys to identify organisms

·         Construct a phylum chart

·         Draw inferences from data

·         Construct an evolutionary diagram

·         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.

·         Demonstrate understanding of classification

·         Extract information from written/internet sources.

·         Collect, interpret and assess information from multiple sources.


Essential Laboratory Experiments:

·          Dissolved Oxygen*

·          Biologically Important Molecules

·          Analysis of Unknown Protein

·          Gel Electrophoresis Activity

·          The Microscope: Basic Skills

·          Cells: Size, Structure and Function

·          Diffusion and Osmosis*

·          Plasmolysis Lab

·          Enzyme Catalysis*

·          Mitosis and Meiosis*

·          Mitosis Stages Identification

·          DNA Structure and Replication

·          RNA Transcription & Protein Synthesis

·          The Principles of Mendel Lab

·          Human Genetics Traits Lab

·          Genetics of Drosophilia*

·          DNA Fingerprinting Activity

·          Population Genetics and Evolution*

·          Genetic Drift Lab

·          Protista and Fungi Lab

·          Animal Phyla Identification

·          Vertebrate Animal Tissues Lab

·          The Human Skeletal Lab

·          Muscles and Muscle Contraction Lab

·          Human Breathing Rate Lab

·          Circulatory System*

·          Blood Pressure Lab

·          Reflex and Senses Lab

·          Brain Function Activity

·          Leukocyte Identification Lab

·          Gametogenesis Lab

·          Comparative Embryology Lab

·          Behavior: Habitat Selection*

·          Survey of Plant Kingdom Lab

·          Plant Anatomy Lab

·          Transpiration*

·          Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis*

·         Dissection Labs


* Required b

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