Biology (10th grade)


Course Syllabus

Objective:  The objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the vast field of biology.  To achieve this, we will study the fields of chemistry, ecology, cell biology, genetics and evolution.  We also strive to learn about science in general, how it has shaped our history and how it affects our lives today.  Through a combination of classroom discussion, lecture and inquiry-based activities students will leave this classroom having met state and national standards in life science.


Course Expectations: 

Classroom: Students are expected to come to class with appropriate materials and mental preparedness.

Students are expected to participate in class work, discussions and activities.  Lecture materials, handouts and notes are the students’ responsibility.


Lab: There will be a number of lab activities in this course.  A signed lab safety contract must be turned in before a student is allowed to participate. Lab activities are a required part of course work and must be made up in the event of an absence. 

Any student displaying unsafe behavior in the lab will be subject to disciplinary action which may include removal from the lab setting.  Students who are removed from lab will be expected to complete an alternative assignment.  If this assignment is not turned in, the student will receive an incomplete.

Students are expected to keep their lab area tidy and to put away all materials after lab activities. 


General Rules: At all times students are expected to be respectful.

  • Respect adults in the classroom
  • Respect materials in the classroom
  • Respect peers and their possessions
  • Respect self


eBooks: The 10th grade biology text will be electronic and is accessible on the macbook.  Your password will allow you to access the text and other materials from any other computer with internet access.  When in the classroom students will be expected to follow acceptable internet usage rules and be on task.  Print materials will be available if necessary.

eBook assignments are to be treated like any other.  If you forget your computer or your password, it is the same as forgetting your textbook or paper assignment.  The consequences are the same. Computers should also be charged and ready to go at the start of the school day.

Macbooks are the property of the school and must be treated with due care.  Students should be careful to keep computers out of harm’s way in the science room (and in general!).  All damages will be the responsibility of the student. 


Absences:  Students who are absent are responsible for getting their assignment(s) from the instructor and completing their work within the timeline stated in the handbook.  Students may need to stay after school to complete missed lab work or tests. Please refer to attendance policy in the student handbook.


Late work:  Any work not handed in by the due date will be worth 50% of the points earned.  Work not handed in by the end of the current chapter will not be accepted for any points.



            Tests: 45%

            Homework: 20%

            Lab & Projects: 35%


Course Outline:

Unit 1: Nature of Life

            Science of Biology

            Chemistry of Life

Unit 2: Ecology

            The Biosphere



Unit 3: Cells

            Structure & Function


            Cellular Respiration

            Growth & Division


Unit 4: Genetics


            DNA & RNA

            Genetic Engineering

Unit 5: Evolution

            Darwin’s Theory

            Evolution of Populations