Biology Syllabus

Biology I Syllabus

Mr. Wilbanks


Course Objective:


            Students will be engaged in a rigorous course of study covering the basic biological processes that govern the world that we live in.  In addition to academic pursuits, students will develop competent lab skills, learn research strategies, and become proficient in data analysis.


Course Outline:


Course Introduction:


  • Instructor introduction and course expectations.
  • Students will develop a “social contract” to govern the class.

Unit 1:

  • Proper lab procedures and technique.
    1. Lab safety, equipment, and procedure test on Wednesday, August 9th.
  • Cell organelles and cell types.
    • Cell/Pond water microscope lab.
    • Cell project.
  • Selectively permeable membranes, active transport, passive transport.
  • Selectively permeable membrane lab.
  • Vinegar and egg demonstration.

Unit 2:

  • Organic molecules.
    • Distinguish between proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.
    • Organic molecule identification lab.
  • Enzyme functions in biological processes.
    • Enzyme lab.

Unit 3:

  • Human population distribution and the impact of human activity on global resources, society, and the economy.
    • 1-page essay on a topic relating to human population.
  • Habitats, abiotic and biotic factors, plant and animal populations, producers, consumers, and decomposers.
    • Biome research project.


  • Ecosystem energy flow.
    • Aerobic and anaerobic respiration.
    • Photosynthesis, respiration, and fermentation.
    • Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and water cycles.
    • Fermentation lab.

Unit 4:

  • Cell growth and reproduction.
    • Meiosis, gamete production, and genetic recombination.
    • Mitosis/Meiosis project.
  • DNA structure and function.
    • Replication, transcription, and translation.
    • Human DNA extraction lab (from cheek cells).

Unit 5:

  • Genetics.
    • Sex-linked traits, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, multiple alleles, and polygenic inheritance.
    • Trait probability.
      • Genotypes, phenotypes, pedigrees and Punnett squares.
    • Mutations and human genetic disorders.
    • Scientific and ethical issues associated with gene technologies, genetic engineering, cloning, transgenic organism production, stem cell research, and DNA fingerprinting.
    • Genetics lab (to be determined).

      Unit 6:

  • Environmental change, genetic variation, natural selection, and speciation.
  • Biodiversity and the ability of a population to adapt to change.
  • Explore the evidence used to develop the modern classification system.
    • Using the modern classification system.
  • Dichotomous key with lab.

Unit 7 (Post-EOC)

  • Dissection labs and scientific research.





            Biology I is a lab science. Each unit will have a lab.  Students will not be able to participate in labs unless they pass the lab safety test and return a signed lab safety contract.


Final Paper


            Reading and writing skills are mandatory for success in high school, secondary school, and the work force.  Therefore, it is imperative that you learn how to express yourself in a cogent manner.  Your assignment is to pick a topic that you are interested in that relates to biology or science in general, and write a paper.  For instance, if you like diesel trucks you could do research on the development of DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) and how it helps control emissions.


            Your final draft will be due Friday, April 27, 2018.  Your paper will need to consist of at least 5 substantial paragraphs that fill at least 3 pages.  Your paper must use “Times New Roman” font with a maximum font size of 12 points.  You must use at least 3 reputable sources and your paper must be cited using APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA notation.  You can find citation generators and rules for APA and MLA on the internet, in a “Hodges Harbrace” notation book, or you could ask your instructor.  Your paper will be graded on content, as well as the proper use of grammar and punctuation.  I will happily proof-read any of your papers for you if you give me ample time to do so.  All papers will be checked for plagiarism and plagiarized work will receive a grade of 0.  DO NOT CUT AND PASTE FROM GOOGLE!!!  Papers will be turned in electronically via email (




Grades will be determined using the following guidelines:


Class Assignments/Homework                                        10-40 Points each

Labs                                                                             30-100 Points each

Exams                                                                          100 Points each

Projects                                                                        50-100 Points each

Final Paper                                                                   200 Points

End of Course Test                                                       15% of final grade


Final Grade = (Points Earned / Total Points Available) x 100%


Instructor Availability:

            Students needing extra help may schedule time with me for extra instruction before or after school.  Students may also contact me via email ( for help on assignments.  My email goes directly to my phone and will be read and responded to as fast as possible.

            Parents may contact me by phone at school during school hours, by email, or by scheduling a meeting at the school.