AP Biology Course Syllabus AP Biology Course Syllabus AP ...
AP Biology Course Syllabus
Classes meet on alternating days in a 90 minute block. Each block centers around a 45-60
minute lecture with an accompanying activity. Full blocks are set aside along with four
Saturday mornings to cover the required AP labs. The focus of the course is preparation
for the AP exam along with application of the topics covered to real life events. Students
are required to write extensively through practice essays and abstract summaries of current
The course is organized into 7 units, focused around the eight major themes of the AP
Biology course. The lecture for each unit incorporates these themes.
Theme 1-Science as a Process
Theme 3-Energy transfer
Theme 4-Continuity and change
Theme 5-Relationship of Structure to Function
Theme 7-Interdependence in Nature
Theme 8-Science, Technology and Society
AP Biology, 7th ed. by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece, Pearson-Cummings, 2005.
Additional Readings and Writing assignments:
Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett, Penguin books, 1994.
Biweekly abstracts summarizing current research in topics currently studied.
Weekly practice essays in preparation for the free response questions on the AP exam.
1. Year long journal-students will collect current research articles of biology topics for
2. Teaching project-students will present the unit on human systems, providing a
lecture, lab and quiz.
3. Tissue culture experiment-students will conduct a semester long experiment
cloning plants in tissue culture media.
4. Bioethics discussion-students will research different viewpoints of a current
bioethics topic (pandemics, eugenics, transgenic organisms etc.)using a local
bioethics portal. They will then represent their viewpoints in a class
Unit Dates Topics Chapters
First Semester, First Term
Chemistry August 21- Water Structure/Properties 2,3,4,5
of Life September 10 Carbon and organic compounds
Cell organelle structure/function
2 September 11- Membrane structure/function
The Cell October 30 Enzymes and energy 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
First Semester, Second Term
3 October 31- DNA replication
Genetics December 1 Protein synthesis 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,
Viral/bacterial genetics 20,21
4 Evidence/Mechanisms of
Mechanisms December 2- evolution 22,23,24,25
of Evolution December 21 Population genetics
Second Semester, Third Term
5 January 8- Plant phylogeny 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
Biological February 12 Animal phylogeny 31,32, 33, 34, 35, 36,
Diversity Plant Structures/Systems 37, 38, 39
Animal February 14- Immune system 41,42,43,44,45,46,
Systems March 9 Excretion 47,48,49
Second Semester, Fourth Term
7 Animal Behavior
Ecology March 13- Population Ecology 50, 51, 52, 53,
April 20 Community Interactions 54, 55
Note: All labs are student led unless otherwise indicated.
• Identification of Macromolecules: 1 hour
Students identify proteins, carbohydrates, lipids by use of chemical tests.
• Molecular Model Building: l hour
Students create and build models of organic compounds, proteins,
• Water Properties: ½ hour 1 day, 1 hour next day
Students design a lab to demonstrate a property of water. They then share
their lab with the other members of the class.
• Microscope and Cell Staining: 1 hour
Students review proper microscope techniques and practice staining and
drawing their own cells.
• AP lab 1-Diffusion and Osmosis: 2 hours
Students study the effects of varying solutions on the rates of diffusion and
osmosis in plant and animal cells.
• AP lab 2-Enzyme Catalysis: 2 hours
Students observe the enzyme-substrate complex of catalase/hydrogen
peroxide and investigate the effects of temperature and pH on their reaction
• AP lab 4-Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis: 2 hours
Students will separate plant pigments using chromatography then measure
the rate of photosynthesis in isolated chloroplasts using spectrophotometry.
• AP lab 5-Cell Respiration: 2 hours
Students will investigate the rate of cell respiration in germinating seeds in
varying temperatures using respirometers.
• Design an Experiment-Enzymes: 2 hours
Students will design and execute an experiment using an enzyme/substrate
complex under varying conditions.
• Membrane Simulations: 1 hour (virtual lab)
Students will use computer simulations to model and understand the
workings of the cell membrane.
• AP lab 3-Mitosis and Meiosis: 1 hour
Students will investigate and identify the stages of mitosis and then calculate
the time spent in each stage. They will then calculate the amount of
crossing over in samples of the fungus Sordoria.
• AP lab 6-Molecular Biology: Gel Electrophoresis: 2 hours
Students will use restriction enzymes to digest DNA then perform gel
electrophoresis to measure the size of the resulting fragments.
• AP lab 6-Molecular Biology: Transformation: 1 hour 1 day, 1 hour next day
Students will perform bacterial transformation, inserting a plasmid with a
luminescent gene into a colony of E. coli.
• AP lab 7-Genetics of Organisms and Statistical Analysis: 1.5 hours
Students will statistically analyze genetic crosses of D. melanogaster using
the Chi square formula.
• Plasmid and Restriction enzyme simulation: 1 hour
Students will simulate various restriction enzymes and insert the “cut” DNA
into plasmids in a paper and scissors activity. The goal is to make a plasmid
with specific inserted DNA as small as possible.
• AP lab 8: Population Genetics and Evolution: 1.5 hours
Students will calculate Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium using several scenarios.
• AP lab 9: Transpiration: 1.5 hours (virtual)
Students will measure transpiration in plants under different environmental
•Bacterial Growth: 1 hour 1 day, 1 hour next day
Students will streak plates and grow bacterial cultures under differing
• Plant Dissection: 1 hour
Students will dissect plants and study the circulatory and root systems.
• Comparative animal dissections: 1.5 hours
Students will dissect earthworms, crayfish, perch and frogs then present the
similarities and differences to the class.
• Plant Hormone Experiments: 1 hour 1 day, 10 minutes successive days
Students will compare the growth of Carolina Fast Plants with varying
amounts of auxin.
•Comparative Invertebrate Studies: 1 hour
Students will study and compare live samples of Protists, Planaria and
•AP lab 10-Physiology of the Circulatory system: 1.5 hours
Students will learn how to measure blood pressure.
•Student Generated Lab activities: 45 minutes each (some virtual)
The project for this unit involves student taught lessons on each animal
system. Students will generate a lab activity/simulation for each system
•AP lab 11-Animal Behavior: 1.5 hours
Students will observe pillbug behavior in response to various environmental
conditions. They will then do a computer simulation observing other
• AP lab 12-Dissolved Oxygen and Aquatic Primary Productivity: 1.5 hours
Students will measure the amount of dissolved oxygen in several water
samples. They will then determine primary productivity in the same
•Predator/Prey Simulation lab: 1 hour
Students will simulate and measure the predator/prey populations in
different ecosystems using different sizes and colors of beans as the prey
and eating utensils (spoons, knives, forks) as predators.
•Biodiversity of Pond Life: 1 hour
Students will observe and count the number of species in a sample of pond