The Biology Corner
Biology is the study of life and living organisms, from the smallest bacteria to giant sequoias. Biologists use observation and experimentation to gain an understanding about the natural world. Branches of biology include anatomy, biotechnology, botany, cell biology, ecology, genetics, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, and zoology. Many people entering the field of biology become specialized in a particular area.
As a course, biology encompasses four main themes:
1. The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life
2. Biological systems utilize free energy to grow, reproduce, and maintain life functions
3. Living systems store and transmit information essential to life processes
4. Biological systems interact with each other, and those interactions possess complex properties.
The Biology Corner is a resource site for biology and science teachers and students. It contains a variety of lessons, quizzes, labs, web quests, and information on science topics for all levels, including introductory life science and advanced placement biology. You can find lessons related to biology topics in the links listed under “topics” on the sidebar as well as specific curriculum for biology classes taught in high school.
Spotlight Lessons: Evolution
Peppered Moth Online Simulation – uses an app to simulate capturing moths, measure changes in the color of moth populations (basic)
Evolution Lab – simulator models mutation rates and selection strengths with imaginary creatures (AP Biology)
Examining the Fossil Record – organize paper “fossils” to show change over time and determine when a species split into two
Explorations Through Time – explore Berkeley website on evolution, answer questions about geologic time
Case Studies on Evolution - case studies are a way for students to work in small groups to explore a problem, develop hypotheses, and analyze data collected in real science scenarios. These two case studies are an excellent addition to traditional lecture instruction and allow students to analyze real research in biology.
I’m Looking Over a White-Striped Clover – expore speciation in clover and the development of cyanide production as a defense mechanism, examine data on predatory responses to white stripes on clovers
My Brother’s Keeper - explores kin selection and animal behavior by analyzing data taken on the Belding Ground Squirrel
HS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
HS-LS4-1 Communicate scientific information that common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.
HS- LS4-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
HS-LS4-3 – Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
HS-LS4-4 – Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.*
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- What’s the Big Idea?
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- Classroom Collaboration Tools
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- Discovering Local Flora and Fauna
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- Mini Field Trip to the Park
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- Using G+ as a Community for Your Class
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