Biology Unit 1: Studying Life
Daily Plans are Linked Here

Unit Driving 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 do scientists use their findings in lab as evidence for their claims?
  5. How do the same atoms (C, H, O, N, P, S) make up nearly all of the structures that make up all living things?


  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.
  3. Atoms bond in many different patterns to form the molecules of life.
  4. *A living cell is composed of a small number of elements, mainly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous and sulfur.
  5. *Carbon, because of its small size and four available bonding electrons, can join to other carbon atoms in chains and rings to form large and complex molecules.
  6. *The essential functions of cells involve chemical reactions that involve water and carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids.
  7. *A special group of proteins, enzymes, enables chemical reactions to occur within living systems.

Ohio Standards**
Science Inquiry and Application

  • Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations
  • Design and conduct scientific investigations
  • Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communication
  • Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence (critical thinking)
  • Recognize and analyze explanations and models, and
  • Communicate and support a scientific argument
Academic Vocabulary: Bricks Academic Vocabulary: Mortar
  • cladogram
  • relatedness
  • dependent variable
  • independent variable
  • controlled variable
  • pillbug
  • experimental design
  • Organic molecule
  • Functional group
  • Covalent bond
  • Single, double, triple covalent bonds
  • Carboxyl group
  • Hydroxyl group
  • Amine group
  • Carbon ring
  • sugar
  • monosaccharide
  • disaccharide
  • polysaccharide
  • amino acid
  • ATP
  • carbohydrate
  • protein
  • lipid
  • nucleic acid
  • nucleotide
  • DNA
  • law (in science)
  • hypothesis
  • theory
  • classification
  • claim
  • evidence
  • reason
  • describe
  • calculate
  • analyze
  • classify
  • predict
  • interpret
  • protocols
  • compare
  • contrast
  • interpret
  • list; state
  • explain
  • define

Learning Targets:
Students will be able to....

  1. Learn collaboratively in a group.
  2. Describe safe behavior in the lab, practice safe behavior, and explain the rationale for safety protocols.
  3. Effectively use a science textbook: Look up vocabulary terms, find main ideas, interpret charts, tables, diagrams
  4. Construct and use a cladogram to show the relatedness between organisms (for plants - animals are later.)
  5. Prepare for a lab investigation:
    1. Propose an appropriate, tesable question
    2. Identify or select independent variable, dependent variables, and controlled variables.
    3. Design a procedure that will provide answers to your question
  6. Collect and analyze data
  7. Communicate findings using tables, graphs, and charts
  8. Use claim, evidence, reason format to explain their findings
  9. Draw a model of common atoms, including valence electrons
  10. Explain that ions form when atoms gain or lose electrons, creating a charge on an atom.
  11. Explain how electrons are gained or lost or shared to form ionic or covalent bonds
  12. Properties of water that result from hydrogen bonding - surface tension, specific heat capacity, cohesion/adhesion, density of ice as compared to water
  13. State the range and meaning of the numbers on the pH scale
  14. *State the role of functional groups in the molecules that make up carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acidids, and ATP
  15. *Explain why carbon is the backbone of so many kinds of molecules
  16. *Recognize 4 functional groups that identify 4 types of biological molecules and explain the function of the molecule is dependent on the functional group structure
  17. *Use functional groups and structural features to recognize the structures of 5 biological molecules
Activities Differentiation Assessment
  • Students rotate roles; Reader assigned initially based on AIR scores
  • Grapic organizer template (accomodation)
  • Students revise after initial feedback on drafts
  • Graphs are made on or on paper, student choice (TS)
  • students may type or searchon web for info, and print orglue on cards
  • Observation (FA)
  • Exit passes (FA)
  • Cladogram practice (FA) and quiz (SA)
  • Lab Safety quiz (SA)
  • Feedback on reading study guide (FA)
  • Pillbug draft prelab (FA) and final writeup (SA)


  • Desmos - chromebook extension for graphing