Biology Overview

Complemented by the Prentice Education's Biology (2009) textbook, this course is the study of life itself.  By building skills of inquiry, modeling, experimentation, and analyzing academic and scientific texts, students will gain a deeper comprehension of the world around them from the fundamentals of genetics to the complexity of large ecological systems.  In order to ensure students are college and career ready, students are regularly monitored through assessments on their mastery of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and end-of-year expectations for life science at the high school level.

Each unit below contains information on essential learning goals, data, daily lessons, objectives, activities, and labs. At the end of every week, Ms. Bailey will post her lecture to each lesson at the latest. Units become available for access throughout the year depending on our progress.


Unit 1: Ecosystem Interactions & Energy

Students use mathematical and computer models to determine the factors that affect the size and diversity of populations in ecosystems, including the availability of resources and interactions between organisms.  Book Chapters 1 - 6. Access to this unit will be become available once classes for the school year begin.


Unit 2: History of Earth’s Atmosphere (Photosynthesis and Respiration)

Students make a model that links photosynthesis and respiration in organisms to cycles of energy and matter in the Earth system.  They gather evidence about the linked history of Earth’s biosphere and atmosphere. Book Chapters 7 -10. Access to this unit will be become available after completion of Unit 1.


Unit 3: Evidence of Evolution

Students develop a model about how rock layers record evidence of evolution as fossils.  Building on their learning from previous grades, they focus on effectively communicating this evidence and relate it to principles of natural selection. Access to this unit will be become available after completion of Unit 2.


Unit 4: Inheritance of Traits

Students develop explanations about the specific mechanisms that enable parents to pass traits onto their offspring.  They make claims about which processes give rise to variation in deoxyribonucleic (DNA) codes and calculate the probability that offspring will inherit traits from their parents. Access to this unit will be become available after completion of Unit 3.


Unit 5: Structure, Function & Growth (From Cells to Organisms)

Students use models to create explanations of how cells use DNA to construct proteins, build biomass, reproduce and create complex multicellular organisms.  They investigate how these organisms maintain stability. Access to this unit will be become available after completion of Unit 4.


Unit 6: Ecosystem Stability and the Response to Climate Change

Students use computer models to investigate how Earth’s systems respond to changes, including climate change.  They make specific forecasts and design solutions to mitigate the impacts of these changes on the biosphere. Access to this unit will be become available after completion of Unit 5 and will close at the end of the school year.

*Adapted from the CA Framework for Life Sciences