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Biology Syllabus 2010-2011

Biology 2010-2011                                                                                                                                   Science Department                                                                                                                  Semester 2 Syllabus

Grade: 10                                                                                                                                                   Instructor: Kellie Burtch                                                                                                           kburtch@innovationcharter.org                                                                                                                    978-649-0432            ext 3154                                                                                                                                         

Extra Help: Tuesdays 3-4pm and by appointment                                                                                                     -Students with a score of C- or below are expected to attend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Course Summary: Biology curriculum will address state and national frameworks through interdisciplinary projects, research, experiments, and laboratory exercises. Emphasis will be placed on current events and real-world applications of coursework as well as career opportunities in the sciences.

Instructor Goals: provide as many opportunities as possible for you to make connections between the natural world and your personal interests. Make science fun, exciting, and accessible for all. Support a classroom of mutual respect and trust where everyone is comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and making mistakes.

Please bring the following to each class: notebook, three-ring binder, your planner, pen, and pencil.

Optional: digital camera, field guides. You will know in advance when we are going outside so you will be able to dress for the weather. 

Spring Semester Topics:

  • Mid Year Exam
  • Unit 4: Photosynthesis/Respiration-What is Earth’s ultimate source of energy?
  • Unit 5: Cell Growth and Division-Why does your existence depend on mitosis and meiosis?
  • Unit 6: Genetics-What do the latest discoveries mean to you and your family?
  • Unit 7: Evolution-How have humans shaped how organisms have changed over time?
  • Unit 8: Human Body Systems: An introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology!

Current Events Investigations: What’s happening out there? Major discoveries and breakthroughs in science are happening all the time. All students will be required to research a current event, create a poster/presentation, then lead a class discussion/debate focusing on their research. Posters will be displayed for the remainder of the semester on the “Current Events Wall.”

Plagiarism: Please be sure to only turn in work that is in your own words (ask if you are not sure)!! Any cases of plagiarism/academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action.



Many students are already participating in honors. If you are interested in obtaining credit for the second semester, please provide a written proposal by February 14.

Assessment Strands:

a) Experimentation: You will have weekly opportunities to conduct laboratory experiments. Throughout the year, you will design both team and independent experiments to further explore aspects of coursework. Results will be shared with the rest of the class and the IACS community in graphic and/or oral presentations. Goals of these activities include fostering a genuine curiosity for further discoveries and connections to real world applications.

b) Research: Writing scientific research papers are an important component of the course. This gives you the freedom to further explore areas of personal interest and make connections to scientists and professionals in the scientific community. Research findings will be shared through presentations, papers, and class discussions.

c) Modeling: Modeling comprehension of course objectives may be accomplished in many ways, including but not limited to: physical models, visual displays, videos, and through formal written assessments (exams and quizzes).  

d) Work Habits: Effective use of class time and homework time are of paramount importance to the success of you and the entire class. Grades on each project will reflect effective time management, classroom behavior, and self-direction. NEW IACS LATE POLICY=no credit after 7 days!!

Semester Overview:                                                                                                                             *Dates and times are approximate; please check grading rubrics and the online syllabus for updates.  

 Textbook: A copy of Prentice Hall Biology by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine will be provided for each student. Regular readings will be assigned that will be useful background information before starting projects. Additional readings will be suggested for students preparing to take the Biology SAT in June.

Online textbook available at www.biology.com The UN: ILOVEIACS PW: innovation

Mid Year Exam Jan 27, 28 Postponed one week due to snow days

Weeks 22-24 End of Jan-Feb Break

How do we obtain energy from food?

  • Respiration/fermentation 2.5

Photosynthesis-O2 and Respiration Lab 2.4, 2.5


Botany/Photosynthesis: growing plants from seed, design and teach a plant lesson to younger students at IACS. Guest speaker from Botany class later in the spring.

Text: 8.1, 8.2, 9.1, 9.2

Week 25 Cell Growth and Division Last week of Feb

·      Mitosis and meiosis

·      Cell differentiation

Text Chapter 10

Unit 4: Genetics

 Weeks 26-28 March-April

Goals: Generate interest in the field of genetics by studying the controversy surrounding GMOs  and the potential benefits and hazards on our personal health. 


  • Gregor Mendel’s Laws on Heredity 3.5
  • Punnett Squares Online lab 3.6
  • Dominance/expression 3.4
  • Inheritance
  • Project: Create a family pedigree chart for yourself or a friend

Text: 11.1-11.4

Genetically Modified Organisms-Harvest of Fear Video

Unit 5: Molecular Biology/DNA

Weeks 29-33 April-May


Projects: 3-D DNA Model, research impacts of DNA mutations, create video, game, or booklet to explain DNA replication

Text Chapters 12, 13


Unit 6: Evolution

Week 34, May:  Research an organism’s Phylogeny and create a poster sharing the results; create a series of models depicting how organisms have changed over time.

Text: Chapters 16 and 17


Unit 7: Human Bodies

Week 35-37, May-June: Human Organ Systems: Design an experiment to test one of the organ systems (ex. exercise and respiration); research project on organ system (impact of drugs on the nervous system, consequences of a diet high in saturated fats on the circulatory system), Personal Nutrition and Activity Evaluation.

Text Chapters 30-35

Final Exam