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Biology: The Scientific Study of Life


An Introduction: The Scientific Study of Life


The Scope of Biology
Hierarchy of Organization
The Process of Science
Limits of Science
Proving vs. Supporting a Hypothesis
Observations and Inferences
Properties of Life
Inductive Reasoning vs. Deductive Reasoning
Inductive Reasoning
Deductive Reasoning/Viruses
Evolution as a Unifying Theme in Biology

Laboratory / Demos / Tools / Coop Activities
3 Creatures – Observation vs. Inference
Viruses – argue for or against the inclusion of viruses as a living entity
know the: structures and functions, bodily defenses against viruses, symptoms of a viral

CH 2 – The Chemical Basis of Life
Atoms and Molecules
2.1 Describe the levels of organization from an actin molecule to a complex insect flight
2.2 Define matter, an element, and a trace element.- matter is everything that takes up space. there are 3 common forms of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. an element is an substance of matter that cannot be simplified or broken down any further than it is, the periodic table contains all of the elements. a trace element is a element that is nessesary for the life of some organisms, but only in minute quantities, like copper.
Give examples of each or identify each
2.3 Define a compound and explain how compounds in living organisms are different
from compounds in nonbiological materials.
Describe organic molecules and inorganic molecules
In Addition to this Guide, use the Textbook, Chapter Notes Sheets, Online Activities, and
Lecture Notes as Resources for Examples and Explanations.
2.4 Describe the structure of an atom.
Identify location of subatomic particles
Explain qualitative and quantitative characteristics of each subatomic particle
2.4 Define the atomic number and mass number of an atom.
Use a periodic table to draw LEDs, predict bonding, and talk about trends in
2.4 Define an isotope and explain what makes some isotopes radioactive.
2.5 Explain why radioactive isotopes are important to biologists.
Give examples of how biologists / doctors use isotopes

2.6 Explain how the electron configuration of an atom influences its chemical behavior.
Identify and predict ionic, covalent, and polar covalent bonding
Use correct diagrams and symbols for each
Explain the conservation of matter and its relevance to chemical reactions
Identify the products and reactants of a reaction
2.7-2.9 Distinguish among nonpolar covalent, polar covalent, and ionic bonds noting
their relative strengths and functions and the methods by which they are diagrammed.

The Properties of Water
2.10-2.14 Describe the special properties of water that make it vital to living systems.
Explain how these properties are related to hydrogen bonding.
Apply your understanding of these properties to problems or situations in
biology or organisms
Explain how life would not exist if water did not have these properties
2.14 Define a solute, a solvent, and a solution.
Describe and apply Molarity, (Moles / Liter) concentration, and identify common
solutions and solvents
2.15 Explain how acids and bases directly or indirectly affect the hydrogen ion
concentration of a solution.
Explain how buffers function within cells, compare and contrast buffers, acids
and bases
2.15 Explain the basis for the pH scale.
Relate it to [H+], compare the strength of different solutions based upon pH and
2.15 Explain how buffers work.
2.16 Describe the causes of acid precipitation and explain how it adversely affects the
fitness of the environment.

Rearrangements of Atoms
2.17 Define a chemical reaction and distinguish between the reactants and products.
Identify which direction a reaction is occurring from a chemical equation

Laboratory / Demos / Tools
Buffer Lab / Graphing and Analyzing Graphs/ Slope / Controls / Constants
Capilary Action
Periodic Table
pH meter

CH 3
Biologically Important Molecules

CH 4
4.4 prokaryotic cells are small and structurally simple

CH 5

CH 6
Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration - The Big Picture

CH 7

CH 21
Digestion and Nutrition

CH 36 - Communities and Ecosystems
36.1 Describe the four properties of a community.

In Addition to this Guide, use the Textbook, Chapter Notes Sheets, Online Activities, and
Lecture Notes as Resources for Examples and Explanations.
Structural Features of Communities
36.2 Describe the concepts of the "competitive exclusion principle," "resource
partitioning," and an ecological "niche."
Identify examples of each and analyze experiments concerning the above
concepts for predicted results and observations – ie: barnacles
36.3 Describe the different types of predation, define coevolution, and distinguish
between Batesian and Müllerian mimicry.
36.4 Define a keystone species and describe two examples.
What happens when a KS is taken out of a community
36.5 Describe the three different types of symbiotic relationships, noting examples of
36.6 Explain how disturbances can be beneficial to a community. Distinguish between
primary and secondary succession.
36.7 Describe the roles of fire in shaping ecosystems.
Ie: prairie community and forest community

Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics
36.8 Describe and compare energy flow and chemical cycling in ecosystems.
36.9 Describe the trophic structure of food chains.
Analyze different ecosystems for trophic structure
36.10 Explain how food chains interconnect to form food webs.
Create webs, analyze webs, compare and contrast
36.11, 36.12 Describe the movement of energy through a food chain. Explain why there
are more producers than consumers and why eating meat is considered a great luxury.
What happens to a community when there are more consumers than producers?
36.13-36.17 Explain how water, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus are cycled within
ecosystems. (Generalities – ie: sources / sinks / abiotic reservoirs)

Ecosystem Alteration
36.18 Describe what we have learned from the experiments at the Hubbard Brook
Experimental Forest. (Altered vs. Unalterted sites for run-off and nutrient flow)
36.19 Define eutrophication and explain how we learned that phosphorus is the main
cause of this problem.
Give examples of how eutrophication can be cause by human intervention
Explain how eutrophication can harm the members of an aquatic community

Laboratory / Demos / Tools / Coop Activities
Microarthropod Community Analysis Lab
Lichens and Bracket Fungi
Dissecting Microscope
Berlesse Funnel Extraction
Dichotomous Keys
Calculation for diversity (don’t memorize, but show a calculation), order richness
The three steps to show for all calculations
Community Structure Coop Activity – Copy Online

All Chapters - Sample Open Response Questions
1. Organisms rarely exist alone in the natural environment. The following are five examples
of symbiotic relationships.
• Plant root nodules
• Liver Fluke
• Epiphytic plants
• AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
• Lichens
In Addition to this Guide, use the Textbook, Chapter Notes Sheets, Online Activities, and
Lecture Notes as Resources for Examples and Explanations.

Choose FOUR of the above and for each example chosen,
(a) identify the participants involved in the symbiosis and describe the symbiotic relationship,
(b) discuss the specific benefit or detriment, if any, that each participant receives from the

2. Using your knowledge of food chains, food webs and trophic levels explain why
vegetarianism would be a better use of the earth's resources. Use a diagram / graph in
your answer and specifically talk about its meaning in your essay to illustrate your
understanding of these concepts.

3. Historically, scientists have reasoned that wherever water was found in the solar
system, there would be a high likelihood of finding life there as well. Water is a very
special molecule with very special properties:
a. High Heat Capacity
b. Universal Solvent
c. Cohesion
d. Surface Tension
e. Ice is less dense than water
Explain the importance of water to life using 4 of its properties

4. Look at the following graph created by a student who completed the Buffer Lab.
a. Add an appropriate title to the figure below.
b. Add a label and units to the y-axis
c. Write a caption including two inferences and observations that support these