Ap biology syllabus teacher: Mrs. Lori Zeoli Electronic Text required : e-text subscription provided for Biology in Focus

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Teacher: Mrs. Lori Zeoli

*Electronic Text REQUIRED : e-text subscription provided for Biology in Focus, AP Edition

*Lab Manual REQUIRED: AP Biology Lab Manual and Composition Book (provided by student)

Welcome! AP biology is a college level course for able and motivated students. The course content follows the suggested outline for a typical college biology course. AP biology covers the main biological principals and processes which include the following BIG IDEAS: 1)The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. 2) Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. 3) Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes. 4) Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. These Big Ideas will be introduced in Chapter 1 during the first week of school and as the class progresses, the themes will be more specifically discussed. Understanding how and where each of the above themes are integrated throughout the course will enable the student to be successful in this challenging course.

AP Biology aims to provide students with the conceptual framework and analytical skills necessary to understand and asses the rapidly growing science of biology. This is a laboratory course in which students will collect and analyze data, then write complete scientific lab reports. Labs are a very important method of learning science as a process.


  1. AP biology students need to understand and accept the fact that AP biology will make unusually heavy demands on their time and energy. THIS IS A VERY FAST PACED, INTENSE COURSE. Students report spending and average of 7-10 hours of study time outside of class each week.

  2. AP biology labs take at least 25% of the course hours. The lab times do not always conform to a ringing school bell. Please understand that some labs will require the students to prep between 7:30 to 8:00 am, continue unfinished labs at lunch, and sometimes stay after school between 3:00 to 3:30 pm on the day of longer labs.

  3. Responsible conduct is a must. I cannot get through all of the material and lab content if I have to deal with problems. This is a college level class.


  1. Students can expect a major quiz weekly and a test every two to three weeks. The tests will cover multiple chapters and each exam has both multiple choice and most importantly essay questions.

  2. Course grades are determined by total points a student earns on all assigned work, relative to the total possible number of points. Only tests will be curved, regarding the point total of the top student as the total possible. There are three main components to the course grade:

Components for Semester Grade:

25% Daily/Home Work: Chapter Outlines, Self-Quizzes, Worksheets, etc.

35% Lab Reports and Activities/Presentations/Etc.

40% Exams and Quizzes

  1. The AP Exam does not have an effect on your course grade. The exam is based on a 1-5 point scale and most colleges give credit for 3, 4, or 5. Although it is worthy to note that a few private colleges will only give credit for 4 or 5. Keep in mind that even if you score high on the exam, you may elect not to exempt introductory biology in college.


In order to be prepared for this course, each student must have the following materials in addition to the text and lab manual provided by NPA:

    1. Three ring binder with notebook paper (preferable college-rule)

    2. Lab book with graphing paper

    3. Blue or black ink pens – all labs and essays must be written in ink.

UNIT 1 – The Chemistry of Life and Cell Activity

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts


Basic Chem, Water, and Organic Compounds/ Macromolecules


  • Structure of atoms, isotopes, compounds

  • Acids/Bases and Buffers

  • Properties of Water

  • Carbons role in molecular diversity

  • Monomers, polymers, and rxn involved in building/breaking

Acid/Base/Buffer Lab
Using kits to build macromolecules
Dietary Evaluation

Cells and Cellular Membranes


  • Types of Cells: Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

  • Cell Size, Surface area to Volume Ratio

  • Structure and Function, Similarities and Differences between 2 major types

  • Types of Transport

  • Cell communication, signal transduction pathway

  • Relate Specific Disease caused by defective Signaling pathway

  • Levels of cAMP regulate gene expression

Clay Models and Presentations, Bioflix and Animations
Diffusion and Osmosis Lab (#4)
Lab Simulation for Cell Communication
Construction paper models of G-protein receptor
Research Drugs affecting receptors

UNIT 2 – Regulation on Cellular Levels

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts




  • Forms of Energy and ATP

  • Enzymes and Activation NRG

  • Special Proteins/Enzyme Regulation

  • Factors affecting Enzyme Activity

Catalase Lab (#13)

Bioflix and Animations

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts


Cellular Respiration and Fermentation


  • Free NRG, Catabolic vs. Anabolic,

  • NRG Synthesis

  • Cellular Respiration glycolysis, citric acid cycle, e- transport chain

  • Chemiosmosis

Cellular Respiration Lab (#6)
Fermentation in Yeast Lab
Bioflix and Animations



  • Intro to how plants colonized land

  • Photosyn. Mechanisms and Types of Rxn

  • Compare/Contract Cell. Respir. to Photosyn.

Photosynthesis Lab (#5)

Bioflix and Animations

Cell Cycle


  • Cell Cycle mechanism and control

  • Chromosomes

  • Cell Regulation and Cancer Cells

Mitosis Cell Count Lab (#7)
Immortal Life of HeLa Cells

Unit 3 –Genetics and Genes to Protein

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts




  • Sexual vs. Asexual reproduction and Evolutionary Advantages

  • Stages of Meiosis

  • Genetic Variation in offspring, mechanisms and impact of evolution

Meiosis Lab (#7)
Immortal Life of HeLa Cells

Mendelian Genetics and Chromosomal Inheritance


  • Patterns of Inheritance

  • Predicting genetic outcomes

  • Chi Squared Data Tables

  • Sex Linked genes

  • Gene linkage and mapping

  • Mutations

Sex Linked Fruit Fly Lab (#1)
Karyotyping Exercise

A Day in the Life: story, poem song, etc to describe affliction with gene disorder

Molecular Basis of Inheritance


  • DNA history of discovery, structure and replication

  • Mutations

  • Genetic Engineering

  • DNA technology (GMO), Recombinant DNA, PCR, Gel Electrophoresis

  • Analysis of Genomes

DNA Models and extraction

DNA Crime Scene Lab (#9)

Gene Expression, Genes to Proteins and Regulation of Expression,

Stems Cells


  • Protein Synthesis, Transcription and Translation

  • RNA regulation, miRNA and siRNA, methylation

  • Bacteria and Operons

  • Genetic Programming and Apoptosis

  • Stem Cell Uses

Paper Model of lac and tryp operons

Diagrams to distinguish products of embryonic vs adult stem cells

Viruses and Evolution of Genomes


  • Viral Structure and Mutations

  • Gene expression in bacteria

  • Analysis of Genomes

  • Comparing Genomic sequences in relation to Evolution and Differential Gene Expression

  • Morphogens stimulate cell differentiation

  • HOX gene (homeobox)

Transformation Lab (#8)

PBS/NOVA Video and Summary
Student Research and Presentations

UNIT 4 – Evolutionary Biology

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts


Evolutionary Biology


  • Darwin’s Exploration and Theory of descent with modification and natural selection

  • Evidence for evolution and Galapagos islands and in medicine, Drug Resistance

  • Homologies

  • Phylogeny and systematics, Taxonomy and classification, use of cladograms (Tree of Life)

Artificial Selection Inquiry Lab Weeks w/ Wisconsin Fast Plants (#1)

News week article on Epigenetics
Comparing DNA Sequences Lab (#3)

Evolution of Populations


  • Genetic Variation

  • Evolutions of Populations

  • Hardy-Weinberg law

Population Genetics Lab using Hardy Weinberg Law (#2)

Origin of Species and Patterns of Evolution


  • Examples of diversity and unity in organisms

  • Speciation and Origins of Species

  • Prezygotic vs. Postzygotic barriers

  • Environmental Influences

  • Fossil Record and Extinctions

Fossil Record Analysis

Bioflix and Animations

Early Life and Diversification of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes


  • Early conditions on Earth and origins of life

  • Evolution of diversity in prokaryotes and eukaryotes

Bioflix and Animations

UNIT 5 –Animal Form and Function

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts


Animal Diversity, Homeostasis and Endocrine Signaling

27, 32-35

  • Characteristics of body plans and systems of Inverterates

  • Homeostasis, Positive and Negative Feedback

  • Endotherms and ectotherms, metabolic rate and body mass

  • Digestive, Circulatory, Respiratory,


Diabetes, ADH, Graves’ Disease (hyperthyroid)


Ectotherm Regulation Lab

Dissections: Star fish, Nematoda, Cnidarian, Cricket, Perch, Fetal Pig
Blood Type Lab

Reproduction, Development, and Nervous System Signaling Connections


  • Sexual vs. Asexual reproduction

  • Hormone regulation of systems

  • Neuron structure, control of signaling in nervous system and action potential

  • Sensory systems and evolution of brains

Dissections: Star fish, Nematoda, Cnidarian, Cricket, Perch, Fetal Pig

UNIT 6 –Plant Form and Function

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts


Plant Structure, Growth, and Resource Acquisition

26, 28-29

  • How plants colonized land

  • Evolution of Seed plants

  • Structure, growth, development, and function of different types of plants

  • Nitrogen fixation, N-cycle

Transpiration Lab (#11)
Field notes and outdoor Flower Dissections
Plant Growth under various conditions lab

Reproduction of Plants and Responses to Signals


  • Alternation of Generation

  • Angiosperm Reproduction

  • Transport in Vascular Plants

  • Plant Responses to Internal and External stimuli (plant hormones)

  • Photoperiodism

  • Plant Defense

Field notes continued

Student Presentations on Plant Responses

UNIT 7– Ecology

Overall Topics


Detailed Concepts



39, 40-43

  • Sensory Inputs affecting behaviors

  • Ecological Interactions, biotic vs abiotic, Trophic levels

  • Energy Dynamics, net vs. gross productivity

  • Terrestial/Aquatic Biomes descriptions and plant/animal adaptations

  • Changes in free NRG and results on population size

  • Behavior: hibernation, migration, taxis and kinesis, circadian rythms

  • Population Dynamics, growth and regulations, density…Growth Model dN/dt=rN

  • Community Relationships and Ecosystems

  • NRG levels, NRG flows, cycles

  • Symbiosis and impact on Evolution

  • Human Influences & Impacts

Succession Lab
Fruit Fly/pill bug Behavior Lab (#12)
DO lab and Aquatic Primary Productivity (#11)
Bioflix/Video Field Trips

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