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South Warren High School Science Department 2012-2013 Biology Syllabus
Course Description: The goal of this course is to develop scientifically literate students who are able to
understand the influence of science on technology and society and are able to use this knowledge to enhance
critical thinking skills and daily decision-making. Students will investigate, through laboratory and class work, the
cell as a building block for life. Students will understand that it is the subtle variations that exist within these small
building blocks that account for both the likenesses and differences in form and function that create the diversity of
life. Students will also explore the role natural selection plays in the diversity of species and examine the variety of
factors that influence the survival of a species, leading to an understanding of interdependence. Below is an outline
for the course. In parenthesis are the approximate numbers of weeks within each unit.
Week 1
 Characteristics of Life
 Viruses
Week 2
 Kingdoms
 Taxonomy
 Dichotomous Keys
Week 3
 Levels of Organization
 Food Webs and Food Chains
 Pyramid Analysis
 Types of Symbiotic Relationships
Week 4
 Spontaneous Generation
 Microscopes
 Cell Differentiation/Stem Cells
Week 5
 Mitosis
 Cancer
 Cell Membrane Introduction
Week 6
 Cell Membrane Structure
o Phospholipid structure
 Cell Transport
 Properties of Water
Week 7
 Chemical Reactions
 Enzymes
 pH
 Types of Bonds
Week 8
 Photosynthesis
o Carbohydrate structure
 Cellular Respiration
Week 9
 Fermentation
 Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
 Midterm Review
Week 10
 Discovery of DNA
 Structure of DNA
o Nucleic acid structure
 DNA Replication
Week 11
 Karyotypes
 Meiosis
 Genetic Disorders/Mutations
Week 12
 Mendel’s Laws
 Monohybrid/Dihybrid Crosses
 Incomplete vs. Codominance
Week 13
 Sex-linked Traits
 Pedigrees
Week 14
 DNA vs. RNA
 RNA Structures/Types
 Central Dogma
 Transcription and Translation
 Protein Synthesis
o Amino acid structure
Week 15
 DNA Mutations
Week 16
 Evidence for Biological Change
 Darwin and Natural Selection
 Types of Selection
 Catastrophism, Gradualism, and Punctuated
Week 17
 Scientific Method Project
 Portfolio Project
Week 18
 Complete Vocab and Binder Work
EOC Final Exam
 ACT Biology End of Course Assessment (10%
of Final Grade)