Science Curriculum
  Biology
 

Students engage in scientific inquiry through lab work as we explore biological processes. All class and laboratory activities focus on life processes that occur within organisms or cells as well as the characteristics of life including: reproduction, development, adaptation to environment. Major topics of study include molecular biology, cells, genetics, organisms, evolution and ecology. The course includes a unit on human life education that addresses the topics of human reproduction and human development. Parents have the option of withdrawing their children from any or all topics included in the state-mandated Family Life Education portion. Students opting-out will be provided with alternative biology lessons. If dissections are a part of the laboratory experience, alternatives are available. Students are required to take the Standards of Learning End of Course Test.

Last Updated: 08/17/12 10:33 AM
 
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 1
  PLAN AND CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS
 

Benchmark 1.a
Record Observations of Living Organisms in the Lab and in the Field
 
Indicator 1.a.1
Collect preliminary observations, both qualitative and quantitative
 
Indicator 1.a.2
Record observations in the lab and in the field
 
Indicator 1.a.3
Develop skills in the proper use of the compound light microscope
 
Indicator 1.a.4
Compare/contrast compound microscopes to another form of magnification
 

Benchmark 1.b
Formulate Hypotheses Based on Observations and Scientific Literature
 
Indicator 1.b.1
Differentiate observations, inferences, and predictions
 
Indicator 1.b.2
Formulate hypotheses based on cause and effect relationships
 
Indicator 1.b.3
Justify hypotheses based on observations and scientific literature
 
Indicator 1.b.4
Understand that scientists investigate observed natural phenomena
 

Benchmark 1.c
Define Variables and Design Investigations to Test Hypotheses
 
Indicator 1.c.1
Define a problem, generate ideas, and test hypotheses
 
Indicator 1.c.2
Identify independent variables, dependent variables, and constants
 
Indicator 1.c.3
Identify an experimental control and the need for repeated trials
 
Indicator 1.c.4
Design clear and replicable experimental procedures
 

Benchmark 1.d
Use Graphing and Arithmetic Calculations as Data Analysis Tools
 
Indicator 1.d.1
Plot data graphically, showing independent and dependent variables
 
Indicator 1.d.2
Determine the range, mean, and values for data
 
Indicator 1.d.3
Describe trends from the data where appropriate
 

Benchmark 1.e
Form Conclusions Based on Recorded Quantitative and Qualitative Data
 
Indicator 1.e.1
Use evidence, apply logic, and construct an argument for conclusions
 
Indicator 1.e.2
Apply reasoning skills to contrast fact from opinion
 

Benchmark 1.f
Identify and Discuss Sources of Error in Experimental Design
 
Indicator 1.f.1
Identify sources of experimental error and suggest improvements
 
Indicator 1.f.2
Recognize instrument limitations and potential for error
 

Benchmark 1.g
Determine the Validity of Data
 
Indicator 1.g.1
Discuss validity of results based on # of trials and variance in data
 
Indicator 1.g.2
Evaluate the validity of a scientific explanation
 
Indicator 1.g.3
Recognize and discuss contradictory or unusual data
 
Indicator 1.g.4
Recognize sources of bias and its influence on data interpretation
 

Benchmark 1.h
Use Chemicals and Equipment in a Safe Manner
 
Indicator 1.h.1
Use chemicals and laboratory equipment safely and effectively
 

Benchmark 1.i
Use Technology to Gather Data, Communicate Results, Model & Simulate
 
Indicator 1.i.1
Identify and use appropriate technology
 
Indicator 1.i.2
Record quantitative data in clearly labeled tables with units
 
Indicator 1.i.3
Communicate results, using appropriate technology
 
Indicator 1.i.4
Use computers to model concepts & simulate experimental conditions
 
Indicator 1.i.5
Work collaboratively with a group to present scientific knowledge
 
Indicator 1.i.6
Self-assess to analyze the effectiveness of group interactions
 

Benchmark 1.j
Conduct Research Using Scientific Literature
 
Indicator 1.j.1
Identify valid resources and apply them ethically and appropriately
 
Indicator 1.j.2
Identify a biological problem or issue presented in an article
 
Indicator 1.j.3
Properly cite and format sources
 
Indicator 1.j.4
Summarize and analyze scientific articles from newspapers or journals
 
Indicator 1.j.5
Design research based on popular and scientific literature
 

Benchmark 1.k
Differentiate Between a Scientific Hypothesis, Theory, and Law
 
Indicator 1.k.1
Compare and contrast hypotheses, theories and laws
 

Benchmark 1.l
Recognize Alternative Scientific Explanations and Models
 
Indicator 1.l.1
Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models
 
Indicator 1.l.2
Describe scientific theories that have been modified over time
 
Indicator 1.l.3
Demonstrate how other disciplines connect to scientific discovery
 

Benchmark 1.m
Use Current Applications of Biological Concepts
 
Indicator 1.m.1
Use correct terminology to explain and defend scientific arguments
 
Indicator 1.m.2
Effectively communicate biological concepts
 
Indicator 1.m.3
Participate in group discussion on scientific topics
 
Indicator 1.m.4
Develop a problem-solving strategy to solve a real biological problem
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 2
  UNDERSTAND CHEMICAL & BIOCHEMICAL PROCESSES ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE
 

Benchmark 2.a
Understand Water Chemistry and Its Impact on Life Processes
 
Indicator 2.a.1
Understand that water molecules are cohesive and adhesive
 
Indicator 2.a.2
Distinguish the unique chemical properties of water
 
Indicator 2.a.3
Use the pH scale to identify substances as acidic, basic, or neutral
 

Benchmark 2.b
Understand the Structure and Function of Macromolecules
 
Indicator 2.b.1
Recognize the main elements found in a living cell
 
Indicator 2.b.2
Understand that carbon atoms can join to form large complex molecules
 
Indicator 2.b.3
Identify the structure and function of macromolecules
 
Indicator 2.b.4
Identify the functions of different types of proteins
 
Indicator 2.b.5
Describe dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis of macromolecules
 

Benchmark 2.c
Understand the Nature of Enzymes
 
Indicator 2.c.1
Describe structure & role of enzymes and the effect of pH and temp
 
Indicator 2.c.2
Relate an enzyme to a catalyst; Compare effects on activation energy
 

Benchmark 2.d
Understand the Flow of Energy Through Photosynthesis and Respiration
 
Indicator 2.d.1
Explain how light is the initial source of energy for most communities
 
Indicator 2.d.2
Recognize and compare the equations for photosynthesis and respiration
 
Indicator 2.d.3
Describe the role of ATP in the storage and release of chemical energy
 
Indicator 2.d.4
Explain the functions of chloroplasts and mitochondria
 
Indicator 2.d.5
Compare and contrast aerobic and anaerobic respiration
 
Indicator 2.d.6
Distinguish between the types of anaerobic respiration
 
Indicator 2.d.7
Explain chemosynthesis as an energy alternative for organisms
 
Indicator 2.d.8
Calculate the Rf value of plant pigments
 
Indicator 2.d.9
Describe the function of leaf parts in gas and waste exchange
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 3
  UNDERSTAND RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CELL STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
 

Benchmark 3.a
Investigate and Understand Evidence Supporting the Cell Theory
 
Indicator 3.a.1
State the cell theory and explain its importance as a unifying theme
 
Indicator 3.a.2
Describe the key events leading to the development of the cell theory
 

Benchmark 3.b
Understand Characteristics of Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
 
Indicator 3.b.1
Compare & contrast characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
 
Indicator 3.b.2
Understand the evolutionary relationships between cell types
 

Benchmark 3.c
Understand Similarities Between Single Cells and Whole Organisms
 
Indicator 3.c.1
Compare activities of an organelle in a single cell & a whole organism
 
Indicator 3.c.2
Identify essential cell structures and their functions
 
Indicator 3.c.3
Compare and contrast plant and animal cells
 
Indicator 3.c.4
Understand cell specialization in multicellular organisms
 
Indicator 3.c.5
Compare and contrast the structure and function of smooth and rough ER
 

Benchmark 3.d
Investigate and Understand the Cell Membrane Model
 
Indicator 3.d.1
Illustrate and explain the fluid mosaic model of the plasma membrane
 
Indicator 3.d.2
Describe the effect of selective permeability on the life of the cell
 
Indicator 3.d.3
Describe processes associated with movement across the membrane
 
Indicator 3.d.4
Relate a cell's external solute conc. to its internal solute conc.
 
Indicator 3.d.5
Relate polarity to the components & orientation of the lipid bi-layer
 
Indicator 3.d.6
Differentiate and apply the terms isotonic, hypertonic, and hypotonic
 
Indicator 3.d.7
Compare and contrast specific examples of active transport
 

Benchmark 3.e
Understand Impact of Surface Area to Volume Ratio on Life Processes
 
Indicator 3.e.1
Analyze the reasons why cell size is limited
 
Indicator 3.e.2
Compare a cell's ability to transport materials based on SA:V ratio
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 4
  UNDERSTAND LIFE FUNCTIONS OF ARCHAE, BACTERIA, AND EUKARYA
 

Benchmark 4.a
Compare the Metabolic Activities of Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya
 
Indicator 4.a.1
Compare and contrast the metabolic activities of all domains of life
 
Indicator 4.a.2
Compare and contrast archaebacteria and eubacteria
 

Benchmark 4.b
Investigate and Understand the Maintenance of Homeostasis
 
Indicator 4.b.1
Demonstrate the interactions of organ systems to maintain homeostasis
 
Indicator 4.b.2
Distinguish the necessary life functions of cells & organisms
 
Indicator 4.b.3
Identify the proper response an organism would exhibit to changes
 

Benchmark 4.c
Understand Variations of Structures/Functions in the Eukarya Kingdoms
 
Indicator 4.c.1
Categorize and compare the Eukarya kingdoms
 
Indicator 4.c.2
Explore the diversity of the Kingdoms: Plantae, Protista, and Fungi.
 
Indicator 4.c.3
Identify examples of major animal phyla
 
Indicator 4.c.4
Compare structures and adaptations of different animal phyla
 
Indicator 4.c.5
Compare the reproductive structures of angiosperms and gymnosperms
 

Benchmark 4.d
Understand Human Health Issues, Human Anatomy, and Body Systems
 
Indicator 4.d.1
Describe the relationship between atoms, cells, tissues, organs, etc.
 
Indicator 4.d.2
Recognize that different body tissues are made of different cells
 
Indicator 4.d.3
Describe the functions and interactions of the human body systems
 
Indicator 4.d.4
Identify the main factors that affect human health
 
Indicator 4.d.5
Understand microbial causes of disease and explain Koch's postulates
 
Indicator 4.d.6
Outline modern health practices to prevent microbial disease
 
Indicator 4.d.7
Recognize non-microbial causes of disease
 
Indicator 4.d.8
Discuss health issues based on knowledge of body systems
 

Benchmark 4.e
Understand How Viruses Compare with Organisms
 
Indicator 4.e.1
Explain how viruses compare with organisms
 
Indicator 4.e.2
Compare & contrast a virus and a cell: genetic material, reproduction
 

Benchmark 4.f
Understand Evidence Supporting the Germ Theory of Disease
 
Indicator 4.f.1
Describe the impact of Pasteur & Koch's experimentation and hypotheses
 
Indicator 4.f.2
Explain work of Redi & Pasteur to disprove spontaneous generation
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 5
  UNDERSTAND MECHANISMS OF INHERITANCE AND PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
 

Benchmark 5.a
Investigate and Understand Cell Growth and Division
 
Indicator 5.a.1
Create a diagram to model the stages of mitosis; Explain each stage
 
Indicator 5.a.2
Describe the cell cycle, including interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis
 
Indicator 5.a.3
Compare and contrast the processes and function of mitosis and meiosis
 

Benchmark 5.b
Understand Gamete Formation
 
Indicator 5.b.1
Create a diagram to model the stages of meiosis; Explain each stage
 
Indicator 5.b.2
Describe meiosis
 
Indicator 5.b.3
Describe fertilization
 

Benchmark 5.c
Investigate and Understand Cell Specialization
 
Indicator 5.c.1
Describe importance of cell specialization for multicellular organisms
 
Indicator 5.c.2
Recognize that stem cells precede cell differentiation
 
Indicator 5.c.3
Apply concept of cell specialization to current technology and ethics
 

Benchmark 5.d
Predict Trait Inheritance Based on the Mendelian Laws of Heredity
 
Indicator 5.d.1
Explain how the Mendelian laws apply to patterns of inheritance
 
Indicator 5.d.2
Differentiate and apply the terms genotype and phenotype
 
Indicator 5.d.3
Use a Punnett square to predict monohybrid and dihybrid crosses
 

Benchmark 5.e
Understand the Historical Development of the Structural Model of DNA
 
Indicator 5.e.1
Describe key events leading to the development of the model of DNA
 

Benchmark 5.f
Investigate and Understand Genetic Variation
 
Indicator 5.f.1
Provide reasons for genetic diversity and why it can be an advantage
 
Indicator 5.f.2
Summarize the importance of meiosis to genetic variety
 
Indicator 5.f.3
Evaluate karyotype charts; Determine gender and genetic health
 
Indicator 5.f.4
Recognize the variety of patterns of inheritance by citing examples
 
Indicator 5.f.5
Describe causes & types of DNA mutations; Provide examples of +, -
 
Indicator 5.f.6
Distinguish between gene and chromosomal mutations in human diseases
 
Indicator 5.f.7
Recognize the difference between germ and somatic cell mutations
 
Indicator 5.f.8
Describe antigen/antibody reactions in blood donation & transfusions
 
Indicator 5.f.9
Calculate the gene frequency for genetic traits
 

Benchmark 5.g
Understand the Structure, Function and Replication of Nucleic Acids
 
Indicator 5.g.1
Describe the basic structure of DNA and complementary base pairing
 
Indicator 5.g.2
Explain the process of DNA replication, including the role of enzymes
 
Indicator 5.g.3
Describe the function of DNA in inheritance
 
Indicator 5.g.4
Given a DNA sequence, write a complementary mRNA strand
 
Indicator 5.g.5
Contrast the structure and nature of DNA and RNA
 

Benchmark 5.h
Understand Events Involved in the Construction of Proteins
 
Indicator 5.h.1
Explain protein synthesis including DNA transcription and translation
 
Indicator 5.h.2
Describe the structure of the chromosome
 

Benchmark 5.i
Understand the Use, Limitations and Misuse of Genetic Information
 
Indicator 5.i.1
Describe uses, limitations, and potential for misuse of genetic info
 

Benchmark 5.j
Explore the Impact of DNA Technologies
 
Indicator 5.j.1
Discuss DNA technology and its impact on society
 
Indicator 5.j.2
Describe the Human Genome Project; Discuss practical & ethical issues
 
Indicator 5.j.3
Evaluate examples of genetic engineering: useful products, controversy
 
Indicator 5.j.4
Understand how restriction enzymes are used in genetic engineering
 
Indicator 5.j.5
Perform gel electrophoresis to sort molecules based on size and charge
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 6
  UNDERSTAND BASIS FOR MODERN CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS
 

Benchmark 6.a
Investigate and Understand Structural Similarities Among Organisms
 
Indicator 6.a.1
Utilize binomial nomenclature
 
Indicator 6.a.2
Recognize the levels of the current hierarchy of classification
 
Indicator 6.a.3
Demonstrate how anatomical structures support the theory of evolution
 
Indicator 6.a.4
Construct and utilize dichotomous keys to classify objects & organisms
 
Indicator 6.a.5
Investigate flora and fauna in the field; Apply classification systems
 

Benchmark 6.b
Investigate and Understand Fossil Record Interpretation
 
Indicator 6.b.1
Compare structural characteristics of extinct with present organisms
 

Benchmark 6.c
Compare Developmental Stages in Different Organisms
 
Indicator 6.c.1
Recognize similarities in embryonic stages; Infer relationships
 

Benchmark 6.d
Examine Biochemical Similarities and Differences Among Organisms
 
Indicator 6.d.1
Compare biochemical evidence and describe relationships
 

Benchmark 6.e
Understand That Classification Systems Adapt to New Discoveries
 
Indicator 6.e.1
Interpret a cladogram or phylogenic tree
 
Indicator 6.e.2
Recognize that systems of classification adapt to new discoveries
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 7
  UNDERSTAND HOW POPULATIONS CHANGE THROUGH TIME
 

Benchmark 7.a
Understand Evidence Found in Fossil Records
 
Indicator 7.a.1
Explain how evidence found in fossil records shows change over time
 
Indicator 7.a.2
Determine fossil's relative age given rock position & absolute dating
 
Indicator 7.a.3
Differentiate relative dating and absolute dating techniques
 

Benchmark 7.b
Understand Impact of Genetic Variation/Reproduction/Environment
 
Indicator 7.b.1
Explain that genetic diversity increases population survival
 
Indicator 7.b.2
Describe impact of reproductive strategies on a population's survival
 
Indicator 7.b.3
Predict the impact of environmental pressures on populations
 

Benchmark 7.c
Understand How Natural Selection Leads to Adaptations
 
Indicator 7.c.1
Recognize and describe the mechanism of natural selection
 
Indicator 7.c.2
Explain how natural selection leads to changes in gene frequency
 

Benchmark 7.d
Understand the Emergence of New Species
 
Indicator 7.d.1
Examine the factors affecting speciation
 
Indicator 7.d.2
Illustrate the effect of selective breeding on successive generations
 

Benchmark 7.e
Understand Scientific Explanations for Biological Evolution
 
Indicator 7.e.1
Explain Darwin's theory of natural selection using his evidence
 
Indicator 7.e.2
Compare and contrast punctuated equilibrium with gradualism
 
Indicator 7.e.3
Describe key events/scientists in development of evolutionary theory
 
SCI.BIO
Standard 8
  UNDERSTAND POPULATION, COMMUNITY & ECOSYSTEM DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIA
 

Benchmark 8.a
Understand Interactions Within and Among Populations
 
Indicator 8.a.1
Define and sequence the hierarchy of the organization of life
 
Indicator 8.a.2
Graph/Interpret a population growth curve; Identify carrying capacity
 
Indicator 8.a.3
Make predictions about changes that could occur in population numbers
 
Indicator 8.a.4
Define and illustrate examples of interdependence
 
Indicator 8.a.5
Describe the effects of biotic and abiotic components on an ecosystem
 

Benchmark 8.b
Understand Nutrient Cycling and Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
 
Indicator 8.b.1
Identify the role of organisms in an ecosystem from a food chain & web
 
Indicator 8.b.2
Interpret how the flow of energy occurs between trophic levels
 
Indicator 8.b.3
Illustrate water/carbon/nitrogen cycles; Explain role of living things
 

Benchmark 8.c
Investigate and Understand Succession Patterns in Ecosystems
 
Indicator 8.c.1
Describe the patterns of succession found in ecosystems of Virginia
 
Indicator 8.c.2
Identify similarities & differences: primary and secondary succession
 
Indicator 8.c.3
Describe the characteristics of a climax community
 

Benchmark 8.d
Understand Effects of Natural Events & Human Activities on Ecosystems
 
Indicator 8.d.1
Describe how human intervention can impact the environment
 
Indicator 8.d.2
Recognize impact of human activities on the Chesapeake Bay watershed
 
Indicator 8.d.3
Explain the impact of eutrophication on local ecosystems
 
Indicator 8.d.4
Formulate ways of dealing with environmental problems
 

Benchmark 8.e
Analyze the Flora, Fauna, and Microorganisms of Virginia Ecosystems
 
Indicator 8.e.1
Observe and analyze the flora, fauna and microorganisms of Virginia
 
Indicator 8.e.2
Analyze the diversity of in an ecosystem


Essential - Standard, benchmark, or indicator from the VDOE Standards of Learning document. In the absence of VDOE standards for a given course, content subject to testing such as AP and IB can be labeled Essential.
Expected - Standard, benchmark, or indicator added by the FCPS Program of Studies to provide a context, a bridge, or an enhancement to the Essential SBIs.
Extended - Standard, benchmark, or indicator added by the FCPS Program of Studies generally used to differentiate instruction for advanced learners (Honors/GT)