• Flagstaff High School AP Biology Syllabus


    Ms. Linda S. Lenz    Room 803   llenz@fusd1.org    Course Website: www.tinyurl.com/lenzbio


    Course Overview

    This AP course is comparable to a two semester college introductory biology course. This course is part of the Flagstaff High School Alpine Institute magnet program.  The design of this course places an emphasis on enduring conceptual understandings, within the four big ideas in biology (see below), as outlined by the 2012 College Board curriculum framework for biology.  Each day you will be engaged in applying one or more of the science practices (see below) to scientific content knowledge.  

    Inquiry-style labs allow you to define and explore a testable question, design a plan for collecting data, analyze and represent data, and make conclusions.  You will be engaged in investigation-related exercises at least 25 percent of class time.  The investigations in this course include: physical manipulation of real materials, simulations, models, and interaction with real data (photographs, graphs, computer programs, databases, and remote sensing tools).

    Additionally, you will be able to participate in a full-day service-learning trip at Walnut Canyon.  You may also apply for a five-day service-learning opportunity with the Grand Canyon Trust to the North Rim.  There may be additional excursions throughout the year, such as to Francis Short & the NAU greenhouses.  Throughout the year we will host a variety of guest speakers that will introduce you to their scientific and professional work.  And during the last three weeks of this course, you will be engaged in hands-on outdoor projects in our courtyard experimental gardens.                                                   


    The 4 Big Ideas

    This course is structured around four big ideas identified in the 2012 College Board curriculum framework for biology:

    Big idea 1

    The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

    Big idea 2

    Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

    Big idea 3

    Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.

    Big idea 4

    Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.


    Science Practices (S.P.)

    The science practices identified in the 2012 College Board curriculum framework for biology include:

    1. Students will create, describe, refine, and use scientific representations and models of scientific phenomena to analyze situations or solve problems.
    2. Students will justify the use of mathematical routines to solve problems, apply a mathematical routine to a data set, and apply appropriate estimation techniques.
    3. Students will engage in scientific questioning by posing, refining, and evaluating scientific questions.
    4. Students will plan and implement data collection strategies by selecting the type of data necessary to answer a question, designing a plan for data collection, collecting data, and/or evaluating sources of data.
    5. Students will perform data analysis and evaluate evidence by searching for patterns and relationships, refining observations and measurements based on these, and evaluate data presented in data sets in relation to a scientific question.
    6. Students will justify claims using scientific evidence, construct explanations based on evidence, make predictions, evaluate alternative scientific explanations, and explain why scientific explanations are refined or replaced.
    7.       Students will connect knowledge of phenomena and models across both spatial and temporal scales and connect concepts across domains.


    Required Book

    Urry, Lisa, et al. (2014). Campbell biology in focus.  Saddle River NJ: Pearson Education Inc.


    2012 College Board Curriculum Framework for Biology

    Assessments and unit study guides are based off of learning objectives outlined in this PDF document:



    Grade Determination

    ·       Flagstaff high school has adopted a 80% measurement/performance and 20% practice grade breakdown.

    ·       Below you will see how the percentage of points will be awarded within each category for each semester:

    Measurement/performance: 4 exams worth 10% each (40% total), 7 quizzes worth 5% each (35% total), 5 lab reports/rubrics/assignments worth 5% each (25%)for an overall total of 100%

    Practice: 20 random homework checks worth 5% each (some completion, some graded) for an overall total of 100%


    Materials Required Each Class Session

    Binder or section in binder: unit packets and returned work organized by chronological unit of study, loose-leaf notebook paper, and graph paper
    Following items kept in a pencil pouch:  scientific calculator (i.e. TI-30 or graphing calculator), mechanical pencils, eraser, black or blue pen, highlighter, four colored pencils (your choice of colors),  and dry-erase board markers
    *Please let me know if you require assistance acquiring any of the materials listed above


    Active/Inquiry Learning & Homework Expectations

    You will find that lectures are limited in duration and often demand student interaction.  While in class, you will work collaboratively on multi-day inquiry-style labs, have discussions as you work through case-studies, interpret data sets to make claims with evidence, and work directly with scientific representations and models (interpretation, construction, critique).  This approach will be most effective if you spend some out-of-class preparation time (about 4-5 hours a week).  This includes reading the textbook, completion of science skills exercises, and writing from free response prompts.  Homework should take no more than 30 – 40 minutes a day (if it takes you longer, please let me know).



    Due to the interactive nature of this course, please limit absences whenever possible.  If you are absent, it is your responsibility to access and review the PDF for the missed lesson, which can be found under the complete lesson link on the course website (www.tinyurl.com/lenzbio).  You will be held accountable for the content of the lesson(s) missed.  Please see me personally to discuss make-up for multiple absences.  Missed lab experiences may require you to complete an alternate assignment.  A missed exam or quiz must be completed on the posted make-up date and time.  Make-up/missing class work is due by the date of the exam.


    Safety Expectations

    Conduct yourself in a responsible manner, keep food in your backpack, drink only from a sealable water bottle, and keep your work-space clutter-free.  Practice the lab-specific safety and experimental procedures that are demonstrated during the pre-lab instructional session.  Inform me if you have any allergies, especially to antibiotics (antibiotics are used in one microbiology lab).  We will practice safety in the school courtyards and during all excursions.  Failure to follow proper procedures will result in removal from the laboratory or outdoor environment.


    General Statement of Academic Integrity:

    Integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. Flagstaff High School expects that students will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of Flagstaff High School’s intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.


    Classroom Rules

    Our classroom practices the school-wide expectations of Focus, Honor, and Success (FHS).   This includes no food consumed in science classrooms, drink from a sealable water bottle only, and no electronic devise use.


    Unit I:  Ecology and Behavior

    A.      Population ecology: abiotic, biotic & density-dependent factors, need for free energy, growth curves, demographics, life history and trade-off

    B.      Species interactions: types of interactions, trophic structure, biodiversity, stability & disturbance

    C.       Ecosystems and energy: limiting factors, energy transfer, biological and geochemical processes cycle nutrients

    D.      Behavioral ecology: role of natural selection in behavior, cooperation and altruism, innate vs. learned behavior

    Readings:  40.3 – 40.6, 43.5 Binkley article, 41.1 – 41.5, 43.1 & 43.3, 42.1 – 42.4, 43.4 & P. 899, 39.3 – 39.6,    P. 312 – 414,  P. 426 - 427

     Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Discuss Binkley article (Kaibab deer population)

    ·       Discuss life-history patterns and trade-offs

    ·       Science skills exercise: can mycorrhizae help plants cope with high-temperature soils?

    ·       Science skills exercise: do soil microorganisms protect from crop diseases?

    ·       Explore disturbances to ecosystems: ecological succession, alien species

    ·       Use multiple resources to describe and explain patterns in biodiversity

    ·       Science skills exercise: How efficient is energy transfer in a salt marsh ecosystem?

    ·       Discuss data on ecological mismatch (due to climate change)

    ·       Identify and explain which nutrient(s) limit plant growth in different environments

    AP Lab:  Energy Dynamics w. individual lab report and partner quiz

    ·       NCCTS Case Study:  A Deadly Passion

    ·       NCCTS Case Study:  My Brother’s Keeper

    AP lab:  Fruit Fly Behavior w. group lab report and individual quiz

    Assessment: Exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based questions

    * Host guest-speakers from the Grand Canyon Trust

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU to introduce the Southwest Experimental Array (SEGA) instrument

    *Optional 5-day service-learning trip to N. Rim of the Grand Canyon

    Unit II:  Cells as a System
    A.      H-bonding and properties of water, evolution of terrestrial plants, water transport in plants, transpiration mechanism and trade-offs, stomata regulation

     B.      Lipids, membrane structure and function,

     C.       Diffusion, osmosis, and water potential, types of cellular transport, osmoregulation

     D.      Nervous system: neuron structure, action potential, Na+/K+ pump, synapse, neurotransmitters (stimulatory and inhibitory), response, brain regions

     E.       Signal transduction, plant responses to internal and external factors: tropisms, response to light, drought & common garden experiments

     F.       Hormones and feedback: regulating the internal environment

    Readings: 2.5, 26.1, 26.2, 29.1, 29.3 – 29.6, 3.4, 5.1 – 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 29.2, 32.3 P. 101, P. 661 - 662, 37.1 – 37.4, 38.1 – 38.3, 5.3 – 5.4, 29.2, 32.3, P. 617 – 619, 624, 626 – 635, 27.1 – 27.5, 34.5, 34.7, 5.6, 32.1 – 32.4, 33.5


    Activities, labs, and assessments:

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Use a scale-bar to calculate surface area and volume of a cell

    ·       Discuss the structure of the phospholipid, connect to the phosphorous cycle, and diagram the structure/function of the plasma membrane

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Is glucose-uptake affected by cell age?

    AP Lab: Diffusion and Osmosis

    ·       Kinesthetically model transpiration

    AP Lab: Transpiration

    ·       Kinesthetically act out the steps in a signal transduction pathway

    ·       Case-study of negative feedback: stomata regulation

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Do drought-stressed plants communicate their condition to their neighbors?

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Nature versus nurture – why are leaves from northern red maples “toothier” than leaves from southern red maples?

    ·       Seed-dormancy inquiry discussion

    ·       Discuss how many human diseases are the result of cell-communication failures

    ·       Case-study: Diabetes and Insulin Signaling

    ·       Kinesthetic act out an action potential and release of neurotransmitter

    ·       Science skills exercise: what role do hormones play in making a mammal or female?

    ·       Science skills exercise: How do desert mice maintain osmotic homeostasis?

    ·       NCCTS Case-study: Muscleman: A Surprising Case of Shrinkage

    Assessment: lab quizzes, exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based Q.

    * Service-learning trip to Walnut Canyon

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU


    Unit III:  The Energy of Life

    A.      Carbon, monomers and polymers, carbohydrates

    B.      Thermodynamics: conservation of energy and mass, entropy, energy transformations, free energy, ATP, connection back to ecosystems

    C.       Enzymes: structure, function and regulation, lysosomes, phenotype determined through protein activities, buffering

    D.      Photosynthesis:  chloroplast structure and function, light-reactions, Calvin Cycle

    E.       Cellular Respiration: mitochondrion structure and function, glycolysis, Krebs Cycle and Oxidative phosphorylation

    F.       Connections: endothermy, exothermy, energy needs, reproduction, the origins of multicellularity, hierarchy of organization, ruminant digestion

    Readings: 3.1 – 3.3, 6.1 – 6.4, 3.5, 6.4, 6.5, 8.1 – 8.3, 7.1 – 7.6, 32.1, 33.1 - 33.5, 42.1, P. 610, 679 – 681, 731, 25.2,


    Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Inquiry activity: Carbon’s role in organic molecules, monomers to polymer, and starch versus glycogen

    ·       Diagram analysis: conservation of matter, laws of thermodynamics, energy transformations, ATP-cycle

    ·       Diagram analysis: nitrogen-cycle, amino acids, peptide bonds

    ·       Model primary protein structure with colored pop-beads and through quaternary structure with pipe-cleaners

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Does glucose 6-phosphatase activity change over time in isolated liver cells?

    ·       Science skills exercise: does the inactivation of the PCSK9 enzyme lower LDL levels in humans?

    ·       Discuss structure and function of lysosomes

    AP Lab: Enzyme Activity

    ·       Discuss the significance of the oxygen revolution

    ·       Plant pigment inquiry investigation using spectrophotometer

    ·       Science skills exercise: does atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affect the productivity of crops?

    ·       Explore evidence that oxygen arises from the splitting of water

    ·       Play a role in the photosynthesis play

    AP Lab: Photosynthesis

    ·       Discuss and model mitochondrion & chloroplast structure and function in the mechanism of chemiosmosis

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: Which prokaryotes are most closely related to mitochondria (endosymbiosis)?

    ·       Play a role in the cellular respiration play

    AP Lab: Cellular Respiration

    ·       Science skills exercise: does thyroid hormone level affect oxygen consumption in cells?

    ·       Graphical analysis: exo- vs. endothermy

    ·       Science skills exercise: what are the energy costs of locomotion?

    ·       Science skills exercise: what are the roles of the ob and db genes in appetite regulation?

    Assessment: lab quizzes, exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based Q.

    * Service-learning trip to NAU greenhouses

    Unit IV: Patterns of Inheritance

    A.      Role of cell-division, mitosis, regulation, cancer

    B.      Asexual versus sexual reproduction, homologous chromosomes, meiosis, genetic diversity

    C.       Mendelian patterns of inheritance, complex patterns, human genetic disorders, pedigree analysis

    D.      Chromosomes, sex-linked inheritance, linked genes and map distance, alteration in chromosomes

    Readings: 25.2, 33.3, 33.4, 9.1 – 9.3, 36.1, 10.1 – 10.4, 24.3, 30.2, P. 412-413, 11.1 – 11.4, 12.1 – 12.4


    Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Science skills exercise: at what phase is the cell cycle arrested by an inhibitor?

    AP Lab: Cell Division: Mitosis and Meiosis

    ·       Science skills exercise: do monkey flower species differ in allocating energy to sexual versus asexual reproduction?

    ·       Science skills exercise: does DNA content change as budding yeast cells proceed through meiosis?

    ·       NCCSTS case-study:  Why sex is good?

    ·       Sexual selection inquiry: are males accurately advertising the quality of their genes?

    ·       Discuss representations of genetic recombination in bacteria

    ·       Given a data set, determine the pattern of inheritance

    ·       Identify and describe non mendelian patterns of inheritance

    ·       Apply the chi-squared test to genetics data

    ·       Science skills exercise: are two genes linked or unlinked?

    ·       Explore & discuss a case-study of a human genetic disorder

    Assessment: lab quiz, exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based questions

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU


    Unit V: DNA and Biotechnology

    A.      Historic studies: Avery-MacLeod-McCarty, Hershey-Chase, Watson and Crick, nucleotide structure and directionality, DNA & RNA structure and function, replication

    B.      From gene to protein: transcription, RNA polymerase, RNA processing, role of ribosomes and rough ER, translation, mutation

    C.       Biotechnology: PCR, restriction enzymes, gel electrophoresis, operons, transformation
    Watson and Crick’s 1953 Nature article


    Readings: 3.6, 13.1 - 13.3, 4.3 – 4.4, 3.5, 14.1 – 14.5, 34.7, 13.4, 24.3, 30.3, 15.1


    Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Discuss the abiogenesis of RNA nucleotides and the DNA-world hypothesis

    ·       NCCSTS case-study: Classic experiments in molecular biology: The transforming principle: Identifying the molecule of inheritance

    ·       Inquiry activity: Meselson-Stahl experiment

    ·       Model: replication, transcription, and translation using physical manipulatives and diagram analysis

    ·       Discuss the structure, function, and relationship between the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosome, and golgi

    ·       Identify the mutation and discuss the possible consequences

    ·       NIH Human genetic variation discussion

    AP Lab: Biotechnology:  Restriction Enzyme Analysis of DNA

    ·       Create and critique a model of the operon

    ·       Model recombinant plasmids with pop-beads

    ·       Discuss uses of recombinant DNA technology

    AP Lab: Biotechnology: Bacterial Transformation

    Assessment: Lab quiz, exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based questions

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU


    Unit VI: Regulation and Development

    A.      Regulating gene expression:  regulatory sequences, inducers, repressors, negative & positive control, transcription factors, operons, RNAi

    B.      Development: cell differentiation, apoptosis, homeotic genes

    C.       Viruses: replication and recombination, rapid evolution, retroviruses

    D.      Genomes and their evolution: noncoding DNA, multigene families, chromosome duplication, arrangement, comparison of sequences

    E.       Immune system: plant responses, nonspecific immune response, specific immune response, MHC proteins, create representations and models to describe immune response


    Readings: 15. 2 – 15. 4, 16.1 - 16.3, 17.1 - 17.3, 18.4 – 18.6, 23.3, 23.4, 31.4, 35.1 – 35.3


    Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Science skills exercise: DNA deletion experiments

    ·       Science skills exercise: How is a particular Hox gene regulated during paw development?

    ·       Use on-line manipulatives that illustrates gene-regulation and development and cell differentiation

    ·       Discuss antibiotic resistance with MRSA case-study

    ·       Science skills exercise: analyzing quantitative and spacial gene expression data

    ·       Explore on-line tutorials on cloning and stem cells

    ·       Discuss case-study of FOXP2 gene

    ·       Watch/discuss: The making of the fittest: evolving bodies evolving switches

    ·       Watch/discuss video clips from Your Inner Fish

    ·       Watch/discuss video clip from Great Transformation on homeotic genes

    ·       Explore the stickle-back development case-study

    ·       Discuss hemoglobin as a case-study of multigene family

    ·       Explore: Diet and Evolution of Salivary Amylase

    ·       Watch & discuss ice fish video

    ·       NCCST Case-study: Resistance Is Futile ... or Is It?  The Immunity System and HIV Infection or Murder by HIV?

    ·       Kinesthetic model of specific immune response with different colored balloons, stickers, toothpicks

    ·       Interpret representations of the humoral and cell-mediated specific immune responses

    ·       Science skills exercise: how does the immune system respond to a changing pathogen?

    ·       Science skills: do soil microorganisms protect against crop diseases?

    ·       Case-study of genetic immunity to infectious disease

    Assessment: Exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based questions

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU


    Unit VII: Evolution

    A.      Natural selection and evidence

    B.      Phylogeny: tree of life, morphological and molecular data, phylogenetic trees, horizontal gene transfer

    C.       Significance of genetic variation, graphical analysis of allele frequencies in a population, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Genetic Drift

    D.      Speciation: biological species concept, reproduction isolation and allopatric/sympatric speciation, polyploidy

    E.       Macroevolution: broad patterns in speciation and extinction


    Readings: 19.1 – 19.3, 20.1 – 20.5, 21.1, 21.4, 43.2, 22.1 – 22.4, 23.1 – 23.2


    Activities, labs, and assessments:
    ·       Discuss the Stanley Miller experiments: past and present

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: can a native predator species adapt rapidly to an introduced prey species?

    ·       Run a natural selection computer simulation

    ·       Science skills exercise: interpreting data in a phylogenetic tree

    ·       NCCST Case-study: The Evolution of Color Vision in Monkeys: From Nucleotides to Ecology

    AP lab:  BLAST

    ·       Evaluate models of genetic drift

    ·       Science skills exercise: using the Hardy-Weinberg equation to interpret data and make predictions

    AP lab:  Mathematical Modeling Hardy-Weinberg

    ·       Pair-share articles: genetic bottleneck in endangered species

    ·       Science skills exercise: does distance between salamander populations increase their reproductive isolation?

    ·       Project: Create a speciation story in comic-strip form

    ·       Science skills exercise: estimating quantitative data from a graph and developing hypotheses

    ·       Case-study: Reproductive isolation in columbines

    ·       Argument-driven inquiry: How Has Biodiversity on Earth Changed Over Time? (use Excel data file)

    ·       Watch/discuss: The Day the Mesozoic Died

    ·       Scientific skills exercise: do ecological factors affect evolutionary rates?

    Assessment: lab quiz, exam w. FRQ, M.C. & math-based questions

    *Host guest-speaker from NAU

    Final project = 3 weeks of outdoor, service-learning associated with our courtyard experimental and demonstration gardens

    Comments (-1)
  • https://www.albert.io/ap-biology/questions

    Comments (-1)
  • Please take a few minutes to navigate the course website.  Doing the following will really help set you up for success in the class.  Can you do all of the following and answer the questions?

    1.  By downloading the complete AP Biology Syllabus (see the Pdf document above), what is the name of our second unit?

    2.  By navigating to the weekly lesson powerpoint folder and downloading the first file, what will be the topics for the first week?  

    3.  By navigating to the calendar link and checking September, when will we host our first guest speaker from NAU?  

    4.  By navigating to the unit packet and study guide folder, download the Unit 1 packet.  What kind of information do you find on the first four pages?

    5.  By navigating to the unit packet and study guide folder, download Ecology flash cards set 1.  Why is biodiversity highest at the equatorial latitudes?

    6.  By navigating to the lesson resource file folder, download the Binkley article.  What question does the article attempt to answer?


    Comments (-1)