Authored by: Suzanne Monkemeier, Linda Luparella,
and Stanley Pazden
Reviewed by: Dr. Barbara Sargent
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Board of Education approval: July 25, 2006
Members of the Board of Education:
Lisa Ellis, President
Patrick Rowe, Vice-President
Kevin Blair
Diane Fastiggi
Linda Gilbert
George Martin
Angelo Santoro
Patricia Sarasohn
Superintendent: Dr. Richard Noonan
Madison Public Schools
359 Woodland Road, Madison, NJ 07940
This college preparatory course is designed for students to increase understanding of basic scientific
knowledge and processes. This is a survey course covering historical development, evolutionary theories, cellular
basis of life, reproduction, genetics and ecology of organisms. Through the use of laboratory investigations, class
discussions and evaluation, the students are required to analyze data, understand abstract concepts and apply
knowledge to solve new problems.
There has been an exponential growth in biological knowledge in recent years. This new knowledge has had
a profound impact on how we view our world. Major advances in technology, DNA manipulation, cloning,
stem cell research, cell biology and genetics have presented humanity with solutions to problems of the past, and
have been the source of new challenges. Students need a sound understand ing of fundamental biological
concepts. This will enable them to make informed decisions regarding their health, the environment and
bioethical issues.
Student Outcomes
A. The following list identifies the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards:
5.1 All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills, reflect by formulating
usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and
analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communic ating results.
5.2 All students will develop an understanding of how people of various cultures have contributed to the
advancement of science and technology, and how major discoveries and events have advanced science and
5.3 All students will integrate mathematics as a tool for problem-solving in science as a means of expressing
and / or modeling scientific theories.
5.4 All students will understand the interrelationships between science and technology and develop a
conceptual understandin g of the nature and process of technology.
5.5 All students will gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics, and basic needs of organisms and
will investigate the diversity of life.
5.6 All students will gain an understanding of the structure and behavior of matter.
5.7 All students will gain an understanding of natural laws as they apply to motion, forces, and energy
5.8 All students will gain an understanding of the structure, dynamics and geophysical system of the earth.
5.9 All students will gain an understanding of the origin, evolution, and structures of the universe.
5.10 All students will develop and understanding of the environment as a system of interdependent
components affected by human activity and natural phenomena.
Essential Questions and Content
Introduction to Biology
Essential Questions:
 What is the nature of science?
 What is the nature of scientific inquiry?
 How does scientific knowledge affect our lives?
Students should be able to:
 List and describe the steps of the scientific method. (5.1 B)
 State the proper format for a hypothesis. (5.1 B)
 Explain how quantitative and qualitative data differ from each other.
(5.3 D)
 State the differences between the following terms: independent variable, dependent variable, experimental and
control. (5.1 A)
 Demonstrate proper use of various microscopes. (5.4 A)
 Identify and state the functions of the parts of a light microscope. (5.4 A)
 Calculate total magnification of an image when objective and ocular lens magnification are given. (5.3 B)
 Measure the diameter of the field of view of a microscope and use magnification information to
 approximate actual size of image. (5.3 B)
 State how the field of view, magnification, brightness and resolution of a light microscope changes when going
from low to high power objective.
(5.4 B)
 Explain the differences between light microscopes, scanning electron
microscope and transmission electron
microscope with respect to source
of image, magnification, preparation of specimen, type of image and
ease of use. (5.4 B)
 Define biology and explain the characteristics of life. (5.5 A)
 Explain what is meant by the term bioethics and give examples. (5.1 B)
 Know and apply proper safety procedures. (5.1 C)
 Utilize scientific equipment properly. (5.4 A)
Chemistry of Life
Essential Questions:
 What is the chemical basis of living organisms?
 How are atoms arranged into molecules and cells?
Students should be able to:
 Describe the structure of an atom with respect to the following subatomic particles: proton, electron and neutron.
(5.6 A)
 Interpret the Periodic Table.(5.6 A)
 Explain the differences between molecules and ions. (5.6 A)
 Define the isotope and give common examples. (5.6 A)
 State how chemical formulas differ from structural formulas. (5.6 A)
 Explain how covalent and ionic bonds are formed and how they differ using valence electrons. (5.6 A)
 Explain how hydrogen bonding occurs between molecules and the relevance of the electronegativity fluorine,
oxygen and nitrogen. (5.6 A)
 Explain how ions are related to the pH scale. (5.6 A)
 Explain how the pH scale relates to acidity and alkalinity of solutions. (5.6 A)
 Identify the components of a reaction. (5.6 B)
 Explain dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis. (5.6 B)
 Explain endergonic and exergonic chemical reactions with respect to absorbing and releasing free energy. (5.7 B)
 Describe the major properties of water. (5.6 A)
 Explain why water is an important biological solvent. (5.6 A)
Explain the importance of carbon to organisms. (5.6 A)
List the monomers of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. (5.6 A)
Describe the structure and function of various carbohydrates. (5.6 A)
List the different categories of lipids. (5.6 A)
Describe the structure and function of the various categories of lipids. (5.6 A)
Describe the structure of an amino acid. (5.6 A)
Explain the four levels of protein structure. (5.6 A)
State how the following terms are related: catalyst, enzyme, activation energy, active site, substrate and coenzyme.
(5.7 B)
List the basic structure of a nucleotide and state how DNA and RNA differ with respect to the kinds of nucleotides.
(5.6 A)
Explain the differences between DNA and RNA. (5.6 A)
Essential Questions:
 What is the basic structural and functional unit of organisms?
 Are there different types of cells?
 How do cells function?
 How are cells organized?
Students should be able to:
 List and describe the contributions of the following scientists: Hooke, Schleiden, Schwann, Van Leeuehenhoek,
and Virchow, (5.2 B)
 Explain The Cell Theory. (5.5 A)
 State how the ratio of surface area of cell membrane to cell volume limits the size to which cells can grow. (5.6 A)
 Draw and label the structures found in a typical prokaryotic cell. (5.5 A)
 List and describe the functions of organelles found in typical eukaryotic cells. (5.5 A)
 Explain the differences between prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. (5.5 A)
 Explain the major differences between plant and animal cells. (5.5 A)
 Explain the fluid mosaic model of the cell membrane. (5.6 A)
 Explain the movement of substances into and out of cells. (5.5 A)
 State the differences between active and passive transport and give examples of each form of transport.(5.5 A)
 Describe the following processes: endocytosis, exocytosis, phagocytosis, pinocytosis with regard to cell transport.
(5.5 A)
Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
Essential Questions:
 How do organisms acquire the energy needed to sustain life?
 How is energy transferred from one type of organism to another type?
Students should be able to:
 Describe the basic processes of photosynthesis. (5.5 A)
 Explain why photosynthesis is of vital importance to life on earth.
 Relate the structure of the chloroplast to its function. (5.5 A)
 State how carbon dioxide and water necessary for photosynthesis reach the chloroplast. (5.5 A)
 Name and explain the role of the pigment molecules involved in photosynthesis. (5.5 A)
 List the major events of the light reactions of photosynthesis. (5.5 A)
 Summarize the Calvin Cycle. (5.5 A)
 Describe the energy transfers that occur during photosynthesis. (5.5 A, 5.7 B)
 Differentiate between cyclic and non-cyclic phosphorylation. (5.5 A)
 Discuss the effects of temperature, light intensity, oxygen concentration and carbon dioxide concentration on the
rate of photosynthesis. (5.6 B, 5.10 A)
Describe photorespiration and discuss the conditions under which it occurs. (5.5 A)
Explain how C4 and CAM allow plants to survive under adverse conditions. (5.5 A)
Distinguish between anaerobic and aerobic respiration. (5.5 A)
Differentiate between lactic acid fermentation and alcohol fermentation. (5.5 A)
Name the major stages of aerobic respiration. (5.5 A)
Describe the major intermediaries and energy carrying molecules generated during each stage of aerobic
respiration. (5.5 A, 5.7 B)
Explain the role of oxidation and reduction reactions in cellular respiration.
(5.6 B)
Relate the structure of the mitochondrion to its role in cellular respiration.
(5.5 A)
Summarize the differences in energy output between aerobic and anaerobic respiration. (5.7 B)
State the role of oxygen in aerobic respiration. (5.6 B)
Explain the endosymbiont hypothesis and provide evidence to support it.
(5.5 A)
DNA and Protein Synthesis
Essential Questions:
 How does DNA ensure the continuity of life?
 How is the information encoded in a DNA molecule used to build complex organisms?
Students should be able to:
 Describe the structure of a DNA molecule. (5.5 A)
 Describe the structure of an RNA molecule. (5.5 A)
 List the differences between DNA and RNA molecules. (5.5 A)
 Differentiate between the three types of RNA molecules. (5.5 A, 5.6 B)
 Summarize the events of DNA replication. (5.5 C)
 Summarize the process of transcription. (5.5 C)
 Explain how the primary RNA transcript is modified in eukaryotes. (5.5 A)
 Describe translation. (5.5 A, 5.5 C)
 Give examples of post translational modifications. (5.6 B)
 Explain how errors in DNA replication are detected and repaired. (5.6 B)
 List the different types of mutations that occur during replication. (5.5 B, 5.5 C)
 Describe common techniques that are used in biotechnology.(5.4 B)
Reproduction, Genetics and Heredity
Essential Questions:
 What processes ensure the continuation of life?
 How are characteristics inherited?
 What are the ways to detect hereditary information?
Students should be able to:
 Explain the basic differences in the processes of mitosis and meiosis. (5.5 C)
 Summarize the events of each stage of mitosis and meiosis. (5.5 C)
 Differentiate between spermatogenesis and oogenesis. (5.5 C)
 List the differences which occur between cytokinesis in plants and animals. (5.5 A)
 Explain synapsis, tetrad formation and crossing over. (5.5 A, 5.5 C)
 Describe the early developmental stages of sexually reproducing organisms. (5.5 C)
 Explain the basic mechanisms responsible for cellular differentiation and morphogenesis. (5.5 A)
 List and explain Mendel’s basic principles. (5.5 C)
 Solve genetic word problems using a Punnett Square. (5.3 C)
 Demonstrate understanding of various modes of inheritance. (5.5 C)
 Employ simple probability to calculate genotypic and phenotypic ratios. (5.3 B)
 Interpret pedigrees and discern patterns of inheritance. (5.3 C, 5.5 C)
Explain what a gene map is and state how one is constructed. (5.5 A)
Explain how karyotypes are made and tell why they are important in genetic studies. (5.4 A)
List the various types of mutations that can occur. (5.5 A, 5.5 B, 5.5 C)
Explain why amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling and ultrasound images are important tools in genetic
counseling. (5.4 A)
Provide examples of relatively common human genetic problems and explain their genetic basis. (5.5 C, 5.3 C)
Name common mutagenic agents. (5.10 B)
Evolution and Natural Selection
Essential Questions:
 How did the chemical basis of life evolve?
 How do organisms change through time?
Students should be able to:
 State the “Big Bang” theory. (5.8 C, 5.9 A)
 Provide a timeline for the formation of the universe. (5.9 A)
 Describe the conditions found on Earth at the time scientists believe life began. (5.8 B)
 Explain Oparin’s theory about the origin of life. (5.5 B)
 Distinguish between biogenesis and abiogenesis. (5.5 B)
 Describe the experiments of Redi, Spallanzani and Pasteur.
(5.5 B, 5.2 A, 5.2 B)
 Explain the “Heterotroph Hypothesis”. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
 Interpret a phylogenetic tree. (5.5 A)
 Explain the “Endosymbiont hypothesis” and give evidence to support it. (5.5 B)
 Explain the theory of evolution. (5.5 B)
 Distinguish between evolution by means of inheritance of acquired characteristics and evolution by means of
Natural Selection. (5.5 B)
 Explain Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection. (5.5 B)
 Describe common misconceptions regarding evolution. (5.5 B)
 Cite evidence which supports the theory of evolution. (5.5 B, 5.8 D)
 Explain the theory of punctuated equilibrium. (5.5 B)
 Give examples of how speciation may occur. (5.5 B)
 Trace the phylogeny of modern humans. (5.5 B)
 Discuss alternate theories regarding how life on earth arose. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
Classification and Taxonomy
Essential Questions:
 Are there evolutionary relationships between organisms?
 What are the structural and functional adaptations in organisms?
 How do organisms grow?
Students should be able to:
 Describe the taxonomic system devised by Linnaeus. (5.5 A)
 Write the scientific names of organisms correctly. (5.5 A)
 List the major taxons in the proper hierarchical order. (5.5 A)
 Show an awareness that there are various ways of classifying organisms.
(5.5 B)
 Name the five major kingdoms and list the distinguishing characteristic s of each kingdom. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
 Distinguish between archaebacteria and eubacteria. (5.5 B)
 Explain the difference between Gram- positive and Gram -negative bacteria. (5.5 A)
 Describe the process of binary fission. (5.5 C)
 Distinguish between vascular and nonvascular plants. (5.5 A)
 Describe alternation of generations in plants. (5.5 C)
Describe pollination, seed formation and growth in plants. (5.5 A, 5.5 C)
List and describe the major plant growth regulators. (5.5 A)
Name the major organs of a plant and describe their functions. (5.5 A)
Explain major differences between plant and animal cells. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
List and provide the distinguishing characteristics for the major phyla of animals. (5.5 B)
Sketch and label organs and organ systems of selected phyla. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
Compare and contrast the three major life cycles of organisms. (5.5 A, 5.5 C)
Essential Questions:
 What is ecology?
 How do organisms interact with each other?
 How do organisms interact with their environment?
Students should be able to:
 Define ecology. (5.10 A)
 Distinguish between populations, communities, ecosystems, biomes and the biosphere. (5.10 A)
 Draw and interpret food chains and food webs. (5.10 A)
 Draw and interpret energy pyramids based upon mass. (5.10 A)
 Identify the various trophic levels. (5.7 B)
 Follow the energy transfers through ecosystems. (5.7 B, 5.10 A)
 Differentiate between biotic and abiotic factors in various ecosystems and biomes. (5.5 A)
 Show an understanding of symbiosis by providing examples of the various types of relationships. (5.5 A, 5.5 B)
 Demonstrate an awareness of how human activity affects the earth’s ecology. (5.10 b
Strategies may include:
Lecture discussion
Power Point Presentations
Overhead transparencies
Hand outs
Demonstrat ions
Smart Board
Computer animations, simulations and web quests
Laboratory activities
Small group discussions
Scientific Games
Model building
Digital Projector
Study Guides
On line computer tutorials and self evaluations
Assessments may include:
Class work
Lab reports
Lab Notebook
Lab practical
Final Exam
Required Resources
A. Recommended Text:
Postlethwait and Hopson. Modern Biology. Holt, Rhinehardt and Winston. New York, 2006.
On line tutorials and self evaluations, study guides and other associated materials.
B. Additional Resources
Greenberg, Jon. BSCS Biology, 8th ed.. Glencoe, McGraw-Hill. New
York, 2001.
Raven and Johnson. Understanding Biology , 3rd ed. Wm. C.
Publishers. Boston, 1995.
VIII. Scope and Sequence
Number of Weeks
Introduction to Biology
Scientific Method
What is Life?
Chemistry of Life
The structure of the atom
Periodic table
Molecules and Ions
pH and solutions
Chemical reactions
Properties of Water
Organic Chemistry
Historical development / cell theory
Structure / function of organelles
Prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic
Structure of cell membrane
Cell cycle
Mitosis and binary fission
Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
Overview of process of photosynthesis
Structure of the leaf
Structure of the chloroplast
Energy transfers and flow of energy
Factors affecting rate of photosynthesis
Plant adaptations
Overview of cellular respiration
Anaerobic vs. aerobic
Glycolysis, Kreb’s cycle, electron transport chain
Structure of the mitochondria
Endosymbi osis hypothesis
DNA and Protein Synthesis
DNA / RNA Structure and Function
Repair and mutations
Genetics and Heredity
Mitosis / development
Mendelian genetics
Human genetics
Evolution and Natural Selection
Origin of the earth
Human evolution
Classification and Taxonomy
Overview of domains
Overview of criteria for placement into kingdoms
Overview of kingdoms
Sections of the biosphere
Food chain and food web
Energy pyramid
Biotic and abiotic factors
Human activity