San Ramon Valley Unified School District
Biology Syllabus (draft 12/2011)

Grades 9-12
College Preparatory Biology
Prentice Hall Biology – Miller and Levine
Course Description:
(9-12) Biology is a lab-based college prep course that focuses on the major concepts of life science, methods of science, and inquiry-based learning.  Students will gain an understanding of many biological concepts including: science process, genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, human physiology, ecology, and evolution. Learning activities include but are not limited to:  analysis of scientific text, technical writing, individual and collaborative research, computer based applications, and discussions.
Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra 1. Concurrent enrollment in Geometry.
CSU/UC: “d”
California Standards Covered in this Course:
Biology follows the California State Science Content Standards for Biology/Life Scence. Emphasis in this course is on the skills identified in the Course outline below. A full description of the Standards can be accessed at:

Course Outline (Skills Taught):

Investigation and Experimentation
●    Develop meaningful questions and conduct careful investigations.
●    Select and use appropriate tools and technology to perform tests, collect data, analyze relationships, and display data.
    ○    Microscopy, Tools in Biotechnology, Graphing through computer based spreadsheets
●    Analyze the experiment in order to identify potential sources of error. Formulate ideas to minimize uncontrolled variables.
●    Solve mathematically based problems.
●    Investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyzing data, and communicating the findings. Apply scientific knowledge to societal issues in order to guide individual decision making.

Scientific Process
●    Formulate hypotheses, differentiate between types of variables, distinguish between hypothesis and theory
●    Scientific knowledge is distinct from other disciplines. It is based on repeatability, testability, and observable evidence from the physical and natural world.     Science constantly evolves as new information emerges.

●    Understand basics of chemistry as they apply to organic molecules and biological processes

Cell Biology
●    Differentiate between different types of cells
●    Identify and describe structure and function of cell organelles

●    Nucleic Acids and Protein Synthesis
    ○    Describe the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins
    ○    Understand the flow of information from DNA to RNA to Protein to Trait
    ○    Articulate sources of genetic variation (mutations, meiosis, sexual reproduction)
●    Mendelian Genetics
    ○    Predict the probable outcome of a genetic cross

●    Recognize and explain the sequence of how energy flows and matter cycles through the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem
●    Analyze how stability of an ecosystem is impacted  by biodiversity, alteration of habitat, human activity, and changes in population size

●    Apply genetic principles to demonstrate that populations evolve by natural selection in constantly changing environments
●    List several sources of evidence for evolution  from various branches of science

●    Understand that actions of all human body systems work together to promote homeostasis and combat disease
ELA/History/Other Science Tie-In:
●    Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concepts from more than one area of science.
●    Using equations and mathematical operations.
●    Addressing societal issues as they connect to biological concepts.
●    Reading for technical content, central ideas, biases, following multi-step procedures, and decoding words and symbols.
●    Support or refute hypotheses based on  data and evidence
●    Writing structured technical reports
●    Using accepted conventions of grammar
●    Use technology to gather relevant information from multiple sources and use proper citation techniques to avoid plagiarism