Life Science introduces students to the structure and function of living things and the natural relationships that exist on Earth. The course begins with the definition of life and a discussion of how living things are classified and organized by scientists. Students then work through material that presents the molecular building blocks of organisms, both microscopic and macroscopic views of life, the diversity and universality of species, and the characteristics of various groups of life. The course culminates with a unit on evolution, asking students to apply what they have learned about the natural world to the complex relationships and environmental factors that have shaped the ever-changing species sharing the world today.
Similarities and differences in living things
Organizing life into kingdoms, phyla, and classes
Using dichotomous keys to further classify life into order, family, genus, and species
Organization of matter into elements made of atoms, which combine to make compounds
Water and its importance
Carbon, carbon compounds, and their functions
Cell theory and the study of the cell
The structures and functions of the parts of the cell Life processes at a cellular level
Sexual and asexual reproduction
Kingdoms of life: archaea, bacteria, viruses, protists, fungi, plants, and animals
Genetics is the encoding of characteristics and the passing on of traits from one generation to the next
The role of DNA in transmitting the genetic code and communicating instructions to the cell
Issues in modern genetics: GMOs and cloning
The role of competitive advantage in natural selection
The concept of and evidence for the theory of evolution
Identify the characteristics of living things.
Describe the system of organization for classifying organisms.
Explain the chemical and structural basis of living organisms.
Summarize the processes of mitosis, meiosis, and cell life cycles.
Compare and contrast the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Compare the processes of asexual and sexual reproduction.
Distinguish between the characteristics of organisms in different kingdoms.
Explain basic and complex types of inheritance and adaptations.
Describe the issues in applying modern genetic engineering methods.
Summarize the mechanisms and evidence of evolution.