San Ramon Valley Unified School District
Biology Syllabus (draft 12/2011)
College Preparatory Biology
Prentice Hall Biology – Miller and Levine
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.
California Standards Covered in this Course:
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
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
● 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
● 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
● 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