Mader TM Chapter 1

Chapter 1: A View of Life
AP Curriculum Alignment
We live in a world of rapid scientific discoveries and innovations. With the increased
depth of knowledge, the difficult challenge of covering so much material often left
students with a shallow understanding of a lot of information. With that in mind, the
College Board shifted focus from a traditional “content coverage” model of instruction
to one that focuses on enduring conceptual understandings and the content that
supports them. With more emphasis on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts,
students will develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices
used throughout their study of AP Biology. These skills include designing a plan for
collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical techniques, and connecting
concepts in and across domains. The student will then be ready to successfully complete
advanced topics in subsequent college courses.
The content that is essential for AP Biology is organized around four principles called
the four Big Ideas. Each Big Idea is then subdivided into Enduring Understandings
that are the core concepts that students should retain. Each Enduring Understanding is
further subdivided into Essential Knowledge that supports the enduring
understanding. All of the content in the outline is knowledge that that may be included
on the AP Biology Exam. The details of the content are preceded by “Evidence of
student learning is a demonstrated understanding of each of the following:”
Illustrative examples are given that provide teachers with optional conceptual context
that will help students achieve a deeper understanding of the concept at hand.
The Curriculum Framework also includes seven science practices (SPs). Each science
practice combines knowledge with a particular skill that is used to accomplish a
particular goal or task.
Each enduring understanding and accompanying content outline is followed by learning
objectives (LOs). Each learning objective merges content with the inquiry and
reasoning skills of the science practices. These help teachers by providing them with
clear information about how students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge
and abilities.
Chapter 1 explains each of the Big Ideas with examples that clarify the terminology for
students. The Science Practices and how they are applied are also detailed. This sets
the stage for students to understand how they will need to apply information for success
on the AP Biology exam.
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition, Chapter 1
Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building
blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to
information essential to life processes.
Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their
interactions possess complex properties.
Science Practices for AP Biology
Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate
scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
1.1 The student can create representations and models of natural or manmade
phenomena and systems in the domain.
1.2 The student can describe representations and models of natural or man-made
phenomena and systems in the domain.
1.3 The student can refine representations and models of natural or manmade
phenomena and systems in the domain.
1.4 The student can use representations and models to analyze situations or solve
problems qualitatively and quantitatively.
1.5 The student can reexpress key elements of natural phenomena across multiple
representations in the domain.
Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately.
2.1 The student can justify the selection of a mathematical routine to solve
2.2 The student can apply mathematical routines to quantities that describe
natural phenomena.
2.3 The student can estimate numerically quantities that describe natural
Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend
thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course.
3.1 The student can pose scientific questions.
3.2 The student can refine scientific questions.
3.3 The student can evaluate scientific questions.
Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies
appropriate to a particular scientific question.
4.1 The student can justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer a
particular scientific question.
4.2 The student can design a plan for collecting data to answer a particular
scientific question.
4.3 The student can collect data to answer a particular scientific question.
4.4 The student can evaluate sources of data to answer a particular scientific
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition Chapter 1
Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of
5.1 The student can analyze data to identify patterns or relationships.
5.2 The student can refine observations and measurements based on data analysis.
5.3 The student can evaluate the evidence provided by data sets in relation to a
particular scientific question.
Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories.
6.1 The student can justify claims with evidence.
6.2 The student can construct explanations of phenomena based on evidence
produced through scientific practices.
6.3 The student can articulate the reasons that scientific explanations and theories
are refined or replaced.
6.4 The student can make claims and predictions about natural phenomena based
on scientific theories and models.
6.5 The student can evaluate alternative scientific explanations.
Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across
various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains.
7.1 The student can connect phenomena and models across spatial and temporal
7.2 The student can connect concepts in and across domain(s) to generalize or
extrapolate in and/or across enduring understandings and/or big ideas.
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition, Chapter 1
Key Concepts Summary
Big Idea 1: Evolution
• Big Idea 1, evolution, explains how life on Earth be so different and yet be so
o Organisms are all composed of cells. Their genes are composed of DNA, and
they carry out the same metabolic reactions to acquire energy and maintain
their organization.
o Natural selection determines which traits are passed on to the next
o Mutation introduces variations among the members of a population.
o Organisms are classified into species, genus, family, order, class, phylum,
kingdom, and domain.
o There are three domains: domain Bacteria, domain Archaea, and domain
o Scientists use the system of binomial nomenclature to give each organism a
scientific name that consists of its genus and species.
Big Idea 2: Energy and Molecular Building Blocks
• Big Idea 2 explains that organisms need a constant supply of energy and
nutrients to organization or carry on life’s activities.
o Metabolism includes all the chemical reactions that occur in a cell.
o All life on Earth acquires energy by metabolizing nutrient molecules made
by photosynthesizers.
o The energy and chemical flow between organisms also defines how an
ecosystem functions.
o Homeostasis, which is biological balance, is maintained in multicellular
organisms by systems that monitor internal conditions and make routine
and necessary adjustments.
Big Idea 3: Information Storage, Transmission, and Response
• Big Idea 3 takes a look at all sorts of information that is relevant to living
o All forms of life have the ability to reproduce.
o When living organisms reproduce, their genes are passed on to the next
o Mutation in DNA provides an important source of variation in the genetic
o Living organisms interact with the environment as well as with other
o Organisms display a variety of behaviors as they maintain homeostasis and
search and compete for energy, nutrients, shelter, and mates.
o Adaptations are unintentional, but they provide the framework for
evolutionary change.
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition Chapter 1
Big Idea 4: Interdependent Relationships
• Big Idea 4 emphasizes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
o Life begins with atoms, that combine to form small molecules, which join to
form larger molecules within a cell, the smallest unit of life.
o In multicellular organisms, similar cells combine to form a tissue. Tissues
make up organs. Organs work together to form organ systems.
o All the members of one species in a particular area belong to a population.
o Populations that interact in the same area make up communities.
o The community of populations interacts with the physical environment to
form an ecosystem. The Earth’s ecosystems make up the biosphere.
o Moving up the hierarchy, each level acquires new emergent properties, or
new, unique characteristics, that are determined by the interactions between
the individual parts.
AP Science Practices
• Science Practice 1 is concerned with Communicating with Models or
• Science Practice 2 is concerned with using math appropriately while analyzing
• Science Practice 3 is concerned with questioning scientifically.
• Science Practice 4 is concerned with collecting data responsibly.
• Science Practice 5 is concerned with analyzing and evaluating data.
• Science Practice 6 is concerned with justifying conclusions and theories.
• Science Practice 7 is concerned with expanding understandings and
• The scientific process uses the scientific method, a standard series of steps used
in gaining new knowledge that is widely accepted among scientists.
Key Terms
None. Terms in this chapter should be familiar to AP Biology students, and will be
reviewed in depth in later chapters.
Teaching Strategies
There is little in the way of biology content in Chapter 1. Most of the concepts, such as
evolution, natural selection, taxonomy, and genetics, are mentioned in brief and more as
examples. Time will best be spent familiarizing students with the AP framework and
Class time: Two 45 minute class periods
Day 1: lecture – 15 minutes on the four Big Ideas, explaining the Enduring
Understandings and Essential knowledge.
Activity 1: Big Ideas research and presentation – 30 minutes
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition, Chapter 1
Day 2: lecture – 15 minutes on the Science Practices
Activity 2: Command terms – 30 minutes
Suggested Approaches
The importance of chapter one is to introduce students to the four Big Ideas and the
seven science practices. Understanding the structure of AP Biology will enable students
to maximize their success. For example, Big Idea 1 states that evolution drives the
unity and diversity of life. This may be hard for students to understand. Put in the
context that the unity of life suggests that all organisms are descended from a common
ancestor- the first cell or cells make this concept easier for students to understand.
Student Misconceptions and Pitfalls
The AP Curriculum will be new for students. They may not realize that science
practices are a big portion of the AP Biology course. Encourage students to think
about these practices as they move through the contextual portion of the course.
Suggested Activities
1. Researching the Big Ideas
Materials needed:
Large poster paper
Colored markers
Computers should be used with this activity if possible. Have students go to the
College Board website and
download the AP Biology Course and Exam Description. If computers are not
available, download this and divide it into sections for student use.
Divide students into groups of 3 or four. Assign each group one of the Big Ideas.
Students should read the material in their assigned Big Idea and make a poster
depicting the information that they are required to know. They should use a
combination of words and pictures.
Each group will present their work and explain their choice of pictures and phrases.
You may wish to laminate and post this student work. It will be a constant
reminder of the four big ideas.
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition Chapter 1
2. Researching the Science Practices
Make copies of the Science Practices that are listed above. Divide students into groups
of 3 or 4. Have students pick out the command terms (what they are being asked to
do) from the science practices. Each group should identify 10 command terms and
explain the meaning of each of those terms. Have each group share their work.
Student Edition Chapter Review Answers
Answers to Assess Questions
1. a; 2. c; 3. d; 4. a; 5. b; 6. c; 7. a; 8. b; 9. b; 10. a; 11. b; 12. C
Answers to Applying the Big Ideas Questions
1. As a field biologist, you have observed that populations of sparrows in the northern
portion of the United States have larger bodies than the populations of sparrows in
the southern United States. You hypothesize that these differences in body size
relative to geography are the result of natural selection, because several hundred
years ago all of the birds in this species were of similar size.
Describe an experimental design that would help you determine if colder weather
selects for the larger birds in this species. Include in your description an explanation
of what type of data you would collect, describe how the data would be represented
visually (graphically), and how you would evaluate the data to investigate the role
of natural selection in the evolution of these birds.
1.A.1: Natural selection is a major mechanism of evolution.
4.2: The student can design a plan for collecting data to
answer a particular scientific question.
5.3: The student can evaluate the evidence provided by data
sets in relation to a particular scientific question.
1.2: The student is able to evaluate evidence provided by data
to qualitatively and quantitatively investigate the role of
natural selection in evolution.
4 points maximum.
Description of experimental design procedure may address the following (1 point
• Background research – What have other scientists investigated about different
characteristics in this species in different locations? Do these birds migrate? Do
the two different populations interact with one another? How detailed are the
records of sparrow observations over centuries?
• Hypothesis – Has natural selection has played a role in the divergence of
sparrow populations in the north and south of the United States? Is cold
weather in the north selecting for larger-bodied birds?
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition, Chapter 1
Experimental variable (temperature and/or other climate considerations) and
responding variable (size of birds)
Test and control groups; model system or model organism – Is there a way to
test this without having to wait for generations of birds to hatch and
Graphing – What type of graph would be represent this data? Is there a line
graph to represent a potential relationship between temperature and size of
birds or to show rate of change in bird size over generations?
Data – What would make the data valid or invalid? Have they accounted for
small sampling or would they find a large sample? How would they know if the
data is invalid? How will they know the relationship is strong enough to
indicate that natural selection is playing a role in the evolution of these
Accounting for possible sources of error – Have they proposed an explanation
for them as well as a rationale for how they should be dealt with?
Answers to Applying the Science Practices Questions
Think Critically
1. Call pulse rates increase with the rise of temperature.
2. The rate of pulses increases by a ratio of about 2.5:1 with Species A and by a
ratio of about 1:1 with Species B. For example, Species B emits 22 pulses per
second at 20° C; Species A emits 47 pulses per second at 20° C.
3. The calls of frogs should be specific to the species so the frogs can identify one
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition Chapter 1
Additional Questions for AP Practice
1. Describe what Science Practice 7.1 means to you: The student can connect
phenomena and models across spatial and temporal scales.
2. Select the best definition for predict.
A) give several expected results
B) give one expected result.
C) give one known result
D) give several known results
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition, Chapter 1
Answers to Additional Questions for AP Practice
1. The student is able to describe through narrative and/or annotated visual
representation how biological processes are connected across various scales
such as time, size and complexity.
2. Answer is B.
Mader, Biology, 12th Edition Chapter 1