Biology Unit 1:

Course Goals:

  • To develop your understanding of the nature of science as it pertains to the physical world.
  • Learn to curate and utilize resources for learning about and investigating life.
  • Learn and apply the language of scientists to our work.
  • Apply principles of experimental and engineering design to learn and create.

Course Essential Questions

  • What should everyone know about life and living things?
  • Why is this learning important?
  • How are a system’s characteristics, form, and function attributed to the quantity, type, and nature of its components?
  • How might I use scientific inquiry to investigation the natural world?
  • How can I use my experience in science to learn to think and communicate clearly, logically, and critically in preparation for college and a career?
  • How can I best assess my own learning and progress?
  • How can I use technology in my learning and become a better digital citizen?
  • How can I think more divergently, creatively, and innovatively as a scientist?

Unit Essential Questions

  1. How do scientists learn and communicate?
  2. How are the basic concepts, skills, and understandings in science related to one another? interrelated?
  3. In what ways can data be used to visualize, display, and share new information?
  4. How so scientists use their findings in lab to


  1. Scientists use a common language to communicate about their work.
  2. Documenting what you do and what you learn is the basis for communicating new learning.
Learning Targets: Skills

Students will be able to....

  1. Describe safe behavior in the lab, practice safe behavior, and explain the rationale for safety protocols.
  2. Construct and use a cladogram to show the relatedness between organisms (for plants - animals are later.)
  3. Prepare for a lab investigation
  4. Collect and analyze data
  5. Communicate findings using tables, graphs, and charts
  6. Use claim, evidence, reason format to explain their findings
Learning Targets: Essential Question

Students will be able to.....

  1. State the essential question, and
  2. Explain how each topic of study is foundational to or otherwise related to our essential question.
Academic Vocabulary: Bricks Academic Vocabulary: Mortar
  • unit
  • cladogram
  • relatedness
  • dependent variable
  • independent variable
  • controlled variable
  • pillbug
  • density
  • describe
  • calculate
  • analyze
  • classify
  • predict
  • interpret
  • protocols
  • interpret
  • list; state
  • explain
  • define
  • law (in science)
  • hypothesis
  • theory
  • classification
  • claim
  • evidence
  • reason



  • Desmos - chromebook extension for graphing


Daily Learning Activities
Day 1
August 17
  • Reading from handbook
  • Review of syllabus and course outline

Day 2
August 18

Day 3
August 21

  • Classification of objects - using writing utensils to group and then organize into a cladogram, showing their relatedness
  • Classification of plants and construction of a cladogram, first using whiteboards in groups, and then each student creating their own from the group drawing
    • specimens - moss, fern, branches from gymnosperm and angiosperm plants

Day 4
August 22

Day 5
August 23

  • Lab Safety Quiz
  • Law, theory, hypothesis card sort and discussion

Day 6
August 24


  • Pillbug investigation - design and select variables
  • Data collection
    • plastic Petri dishes, paper towel, water, black paper,

Day 7
August 25

Pillbug investigation - data collection and analysis
Display your findings appropriately, in a graph (Desmos Chrome extension)
Analyze and interpret the data. Peer Review of labs, revise, turn in.

Pretest - atomic structure

Day 8
August 28

Atomic Structure Review - paper models showing protons, neutrons, electrons

Day 9
August 29
Biomolecules - identifying patterns to use in classifying biomolecules and
Day 10
August 30
Lab prep- organic molecules in foods
Day 11
August 31
Lab - organic molecules in foods
Day 12
Sept 1
Building models of organic molecules
Day 13
Sept 5
Complete biomolecule structures and notes. Make index cards for study. Quiz next class.
Day 14
Sept 6
Day 15
Sept 7


Energy in foods

Day 16
Sept 8

Biomolecule quiz

Work on Energy in Foods Lab - prep book OR do lab, if ready

Peer Review- lab books

  Get textbooks and use them, with a directed reading process, to:
- find and use reference sections
- Read for main ideas, objectives, and supporting detail
- Make use of figures and diagrams

Next Generation Science Standards:

SEP 1 Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

SEP 3 Planning and carrying out investigations

SEP 4 Analyzing and interpreting data

SEP 5 Using mathematics and computational thinking

SEP 6 Constructing explanations (science) and designing solutions (engineering)

SEP 7 Engaging in argument from evidence

SEP 8 Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating evidence

Common Core State Standards:

RI.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

RI.9-10.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.