• Grade 10  Biology: Heredity and Ecosystems, Semester 2

    Subject: Biology
    Grade: 10
    Timeline: 18 weeks
    Title: Heredity and Ecosystems

    Heredity and Ecosystems Overview: 
    Students answer the questions "How are characteristics of one generation passed to the next?" and "How can individuals of the same species and even siblings have different characteristics?".  Students are able to ask questions, make and defend a claim, and use concepts of probability to explain the genetic variation in a population.  Students demonstrate understanding of why individuals of the same species vary in how they look, function, and behave.  Students explain the mechanism of genetic inheritance and describe the environmental and genetic causes of gene mutation and the alteration of gene expression.  Concepts and patterns of cause and effect are called out as organizing concepts for these core ideas.
    Students answer the question "What evidence shows that different species are related?".  Students construct explanations for the processes of natural selection and evolution and communicate how multiple lines of evidence support these explanations.  Students evaluate evidence of the conditions that may result in new species and understand the role of genetic variation in natural selection.  Additionally, students apply concepts of probability to explain trends in populations as those trends relate to advantageous heritable traits in a specific environment.  Concepts of cause and effect and systems and system models play an important role in students' understanding of the evolution of life on earth.
    Students answer the question "How and why do organisms interact with their environment, and what are the effects of these interactions?".  Students use mathematical reasoning to demonstrate understanding of fundamental concepts of carrying capacity, factors affecting biodiversity and populations, and the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.  These mathematical models provide support of students' conceptual understanding of systems and their ability to develop design solutions for reducing the impact of human activities on the environment and maintaining biodiversity.  Concepts of systems and system models play a central role in students' understanding of science and engineering practices and core ideas of ecosystems. 

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    2.  Cause and Effect- Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. 
    5.  Energy and Matter- The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems. 
    6.  Structure and Function-The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials.
    7.  Stability and Change- Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time.  Some system changes are irreversible.  Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
    Focus Standards: 
    PA Biology Keystone Eligible Content 
    Describe how  the process of DNA replication results in the transmission and or conservation of genetic information.
    Explain the functional relationships between DNA, genes, alleles, and chromosomes and their roles in inheritance.


    Describe and/or predict observed patterns of inheritance (i.e., dominant, recessive, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, sex-linked, polygenic, and multiple alleles).
    Describe processes that can alter composition or number of chromosomes (i.e., crossing-over, nondisjunction, duplication, translocation, deletion, insertion, and inversion).
    Describe how the processes of transcription and translation are similar in all organisms.


    Describe the role of ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and the nucleus in the production of specific types of proteins.


    Describe how genetic mutations alter the DNA sequence and may or may not affect phenotype (e.g., silent, nonsense, frameshift).

    Explain how genetic engineering has impacted the fields of medicine, forensics, and agriculture (e.g., selective breeding, gene splicing, cloning, genetically modified organisms, gene therapy).


    Explain how natural selection can impact allele frequencies of a population.


    Describe the factors that can contribute to the development of new species (e.g., isolating mechanisms, genetic drift, founder effect, migration).


    Explain how genetic mutations may result in genotypic and phenotypic variations within a population.


    Interpret evidence supporting the theory of evolution (i.e., fossil, anatomical, physiological, embryological, biochemical, and universal genetic code).


    Interpret evidence supporting the theory of evolution (i.e., fossil, anatomical, physiological, embryological, biochemical, and universal genetic code).  


    Distinguish between the scientific terms: hypothesis, inference, law, theory, principle, fact, and observation.


    Describe the levels of ecological organization (i.e., organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome, and biosphere).


    Describe characteristic biotic and abiotic components of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
    Describe how energy flows through an ecosystem (e.g., food chains, food webs, energy pyramids).

    Describe biotic interactions in an ecosystem (e.g., competition, predation, symbiosis).


    Describe how matter recycles through an ecosystem (i.e., water cycle, carbon cycle, oxygen cycle, and nitrogen cycle).


    Describe how ecosystems change in response to natural and human disturbances (e.g., climate changes, introduction of nonnative species, pollution, fires).


    Describe the effects of limiting factors on population dynamics and potential species extinction.


    Describe the effects of limiting  factors on population dynamics and potential species extinction.

    Next Generation Science Standards - High School - Disciplinary Core ideas 

    LS1.A: Structure and Function:

    • All cells contain genetic information in the form of DNA molecules.  Genes are regions in the DNA that contain the instructions that code the formation of proteins. (secondary to HS-LS3-1) (Note: This Disciplinary Core Idea is aslo addressed by HS-LS1-1.)

    L3.A: Inheritance of Traits:

    • Each chromosome consists of a single very long DNA molecule, and each gene on the chromosome is a particular segment of that DNA.  The instructions  for forming species' characteristics are carried in DNA.  All cells in an organism have the same genetic content, but the genes used (expressed) by the cell may be regulated in different ways.  Not all DNA codes for a protein; some segments of DNA are involved in regulatory or structural functions, and some have no as-yet known function. (HS-LS3-1)

    LS3.B: Variation of Traits:

    • In sexual reproduction, chromosomes can sometimes swap sections during the process of meiosis (cell division), thereby creating new genetic combinations and thus more genetic variation.  Although DNA replication is tightly regulated and remarkably accurate, errors do occur and result in mutations, which are also a source of genetic variation.  Environmental factors can also cause mutations in genes, and viable mutations are inherited. (HS-LS3-2)
    •  Environmental factors also affect expression of traits, and hence affect the probability of occurrences of traits in a population.  Thus the variation and distribution of traits observed depends on both genetic and environmental factors. (HS-LS3-2), (HS-LS3-3)

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • the roles and relationships between DNA, genes, alleles and chromosomes.
    • the patterns of inheritance.
    • how to describe and predict patterns of inheritance.
    • how mutations occur and may or may not affect phenotypes.
    • how changes in DNA cause genetic diversity.
    • how genetic engineering impacts many fields of science and society.
    • the purpose and impact of the Human Genome Project.
    • the history and development of the theory of evolution.
    • how the process  of natural selection affects allelic frequencies in populations.
    • that various factors contribute to speciation.
    • how natural selection acts on the phenotypic variation within a population.
    • the evidence supporting the theory of evolution.
    • the ecological levels of organization.
    • the characteristics of the biotic and abiotic components.
    • how energy flows through an ecosystem.
    • the factors that affect population growth.
    • how ecosystems change in response to natural and human impact.
    • the major characteristics of aquatic and terrestrial biomes.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • explain the functional relationship between DNA, genes, alleles and chromosomes and their roles in inheritance.
    • explain and give examples of the laws of Mendelian genetics.                                           
    • explain and give examples of the non-Mendelian patterns of inheritance.
    • utilize Punnett squares to predict the transmission of traits through generations.
    • explain possible sources of mutations and their effects.
    • investigate various types of chromosome and point mutations.
    • explain how genetic engineering has impacted the fields of medicine, forensics, industry and agriculture.
    • investigate the importance and applications of the Human Genome Project.
    • identify the scientists who contributed to the development of the theory of evolution.
    • distinguish between variations in organisms and how they affect the rate of survival.                                        
    • define genetic equilibrium as stated in the Hardy-Weinberg principle. 
    • identify factors that contribute to speciation. 
    • identify ways natural selection affects the distribution of phenotypes.                                                    
    • recognize that genetic drift affects small populations.
    • explain how certain factors support the theory of evolution.                              
    • classify organisms into groups based on evolutionary descent.
    • describe the ecological levels of organization in the biosphere.
    • differentiate between the biotic and abiotic factors in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
    • recognize the sun is the main energy source for life on earth.                                               
    • define the roles (niche) of various organisms within an ecosystem.                                
    • classify organisms into trophic levels.                                                                    
    • construct food chains, food webs and energy pyramids.
    • recognize limiting factors that affect population size.                           
    • explain patterns of population change.
    • illustrate and explain the steps in the main biogeochemical cycles.
    • identify natural and human events that impact ecosystems.                                       
    • describe the stages of primary and secondary succession.         
    • recognize the relationship between climate and biomes.                   
    • interpret how abiotic factors influence biotic factors.                   
    • describe how organisms adapt to their environment.

    • DNA labs, graphic organizers, visual representations.
    • Card sort, real life examples of Mendelian genetics.
    • Punnett square applications.
    • Modeling, visual representations, real life examples of genetic mutations.
    • Case studies, Projects, Genetic Engineering labs.
    • Timeline activities on evolution.
    • Natural selection activities and labs.
    • Card sort, outdoor lab activity, draw and label factors in ecosystems.
    • Biotic simulation activities, labs.   
    • Research a current human impact event on the environment
    • Succession activities.     

    Elements of Instruction:
    Next Generation Science Standards - High School - Science and Engineering Practices
    Asking Questions and Defining Problems
    Students should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution.
    Developing and Using Models-Modeling in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s). 
    Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking-Mathematical and computational thinking in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data.  Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions-  Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9-12 and builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence- Engaging in argument from evidence in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations  about the natural and designed world(s).  Arguments may also come from current scientific and historical episodes in science.
    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs.
    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations- Planning and carrying out investigations in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to include investigations that provide evidence for and test conceptual, mathematical, physical, and empirical models.
    Analyzing and Interpreting Data- Analyzing data in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency and the use of models to generate and analyze data.

    Connections to Nature of Science

     Scientific Knowledge is Open to Revision in Light of New Evidence

    • Most scientific knowledge is quite durable, but is, in principle, subject to change based on new evidence and/or reinterpretation of existing evidence. (HS-LS2-2),(HS-LS2-3)
    • Scientific argumentation is a mode of logical discourse used to clarify the strength of relationships between ideas and evidence that may result in revision of an explanation. (HS-LS2-6),(HS-LS2-8)

    Differentiation:Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson. Additional differentiation options are listed with directions and student masters in the Teacher’s Guide.
    • Remediation could include: using word walls, using flip charts or foldables, structured notebooks, peer teaching, teaming with the math department for graphing.
    • Extensions could include: independent research, inquiry based experiments, exploration of topics online.

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
       Writing in the Sciences is connected to Literacy Common Core Shifts.  Students could use notebooking or journaling, reading informational text and answering text-dependent questions, writing laboratory experiment plans and lab reports, academic and content specific vocabulary. 
       Problem Solving in the Sciences is connected with Mathematics Common Core Shifts.  Measurement, graphing data, and calculations.

    Additional Resources / Games:
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 2, pg 129 "Baby Mice"
    Discovery Education - "Laws of Inheritance"
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 4, pg 99 "Biological Evolution"   
    Discovery Education -"Smithsonian Institution: Evolution"
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 2, pg 143 "Habitat Change"; Volume 4, pg 113 "Adaptation"; pg 119 "Is it Fitter?"
    Discovery Education  -  "Biologix: Gene Frequencies, Natural Selection, and Speciation"
    Discovery Education-"Introduction to Ecosystems and their Environment"
    Discovery Education-"The Flow of Energy Through Ecosystems"
    *Wolf-Sheep Predation Computer Simulation
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 1, pg 155 "Wet Jeans"; Volume 3, pg 139 "Rotting Apple"; pg 155 "What are Clouds Made of?"; pg 171 "Rainfall"
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 4, pg 143 "Global Warming"; pg 151 "Where Does Oil Come From?
    Formative Assessment Probe Series Volume 4, pg 157 "Where Would it Fall?"
    Discovery Education-"Biomes"
    *Science Formative Assessment-75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning (FACT)
    by Page Keeley
    *Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (Formative Assessment Probe series)
    by Page Keeley
    *Lab manual resources