Biology I Grades


Biology I  Grades       

May 18, 2011
Fourth Nine Weeks Grades 

4th Period 7th Period 8th period
4022 = = > B 87%

4002 = = > B- 80%

4019 = = > C 79%

4018 = = > C- 72%

4021 = = > D 69%

4013 = = > D 66%

4001 = = > D 65%

4005 = = > D 64%

4007 = = > D- 62%

4030 = = > D- 62%

4008 = = > F 57%

7014 = = > F 53%

4020 = = > F 43%

4006 = = > F 41%

4004 = = > F 33%

4012 = = > F 31%

4009 = = > F 14%

4099 = = > F 5%

Average = = > F 57%


7011 = = > B 85%

7099 = = > B 85%

1012 = = > B- 81%

1005 = = > C 79%

7063 = = > C 79%

7015 = = > C 77%

7002 = = > C 77%

7019 = = > C 75%

7016 = = > C- 72%

7059 = = > C- 71%

7056 = = > D 67%

7006 = = > D 66%

7055 = = > D- 62%

7008 = = > F 56%

7060 = = > F 55%

4022 = = > F 52%

7001 = = > F 48%

4055 = = > F 47%

7020 = = > F 31%

4011 = = > F 30%

Average = = > D 67%


8006 = = > B 88%

8007 = = > B 86%

8015 = = > B- 83%

8055 = = > C 78%

8013 = = > C 77%

8080 = = > C 76%

8016 = = > C 76%

8017 = = > C- 73%

8002 = = > C- 73%

8014 = = > D 66%

8051 = = > D 65%

8021 = = > D 65%

8012 = = > D- 61%

8008 = = > F 51%

Average = = > C 79%




Biology Games


Biology Games



Water, Acids, Bases Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Protein Synthesis Rags to Riches
Properties of Water Photosynthesis Gene Expression Games
Photosynthesis Vocabulary
Chemical Compounds of Life Photosynthesis Mini Quiz DNA Pop Up
Biochemistry Review Photosynthesis Quiz Biotechnology
Factors Affecting Enzymes Photosynthesis Millionaire GENETICS
Molecules of Cells Hangman CELLULAR RESPIRATION Mendel and Heredity
CELLS Cell Respiration Review Genetics Games
Organelle Concentration Respire to be a Millionaire Human Genetics Games
Cell Boundaries CELL REPRODUCTION Chromosomes and Mutations
The Cell & the Plasma Membrane Cell Cycle More Genetics Games
Cell Challenge Cell Cycle Battleship Genetics Hangman
Cell Homeostasis & Transport Cell Division Battleship Genetics & Heredity Games
Cell Organelle Match Up Cell Growth & Division Genetics Battleship
Cell Organelles & Functions Mitosis & Meiosis Genetics Flashcards
Cells – Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Chromosomes & Cell Division Genetics Quiz
Inside the Cell Battleship Mitosis Genetics Vocabulary Hangman
Cells, Cells, Cells! NUCLEIC ACIDS Heredity Challenge
Cell Battleship DNA Vocabulary Mendel How Could You?
Cell Jeopardy Nucleic Acid Games Mendelian Genetics
Cell Vocabulary Hangman DNA & RNA Jumbled Words DNA Structure & Function Games
Movement Through the Membrane Word Jumble DNA and RNA Battleship Mendel & Heredity Rage to Riches
Cell Part Vocabulary Gene Regulation & Translation DNA and Genetics
Cell Structure Pop Up DNA, DNA, DNA! Genetics and the Cell Cycle
Kingdoms Rags to Riches Classification Test Snakes Hangman
Diversity and Variation Columns Phylum Chordata Warm Blooded Vertebrates
Diversity Games Vertebrates Kingdom Plantae
Bacteria/Protist Jeopardy Insects, Fish, Amphibians Plant Organization Battleship
Biology Bucks Cold Blooded Vertebrates Don’t Hang the Botanist! Hangman Game
Fungi Amphibians Plant Vocabulary
Kingdom Protista Scrambled Amphibians Plants
Monerans (bacteria) Frog Dissection Practice Plant Classification Jeopardy
Viruses and Bacteria Reptiles Plant Parts
Invertebrates Reptiles Quiz Steps of the Scientific Method


AP Lecture Guide 29-30 – Plant Diversity





1. Chart the four phyla of the plant kingdom. Include common names of each, the approximate

number of extant species, and the major characteristics.

a. _______________________________________________________________________


b. _______________________________________________________________________


c. _______________________________________________________________________


d. _______________________________________________________________________


2. Why are Charophyceans thought to be ancestors of land plants?




3. List several adaptations of land plants significant for terrestrial survival.




4. Label the generic diagram to explain Alternation of Generations.

5. Describe a few features common to Bryophytes.



6. What is the dominant phase of the moss life cycle?



7. List a couple of adaptations of Pteridophytes (ferns) not seen in Bryophytes.



8. What is the dominant phase of the fern life cycle? _________________________________


9. How is the reduced gametophyte an adaptation for seeded plants?



10. What is the significance of the seed? ___________________________________________



11. What was the advantage of pollen? _____________________________________________



12. List the four phyla of gymnosperms. Which is the most common? _____________________



13. Identify five differences between monocots and dicots.

a. _______________________________________________________________________

b. _______________________________________________________________________

c. _______________________________________________________________________

d. _______________________________________________________________________

e. _______________________________________________________________________

14. What is the adaptive value of the flower to plants? _________________________________



15. Describe the role of ovaries and ovules in the flowering plants.



16. List several features of angiosperms that aid in seed dispersal.





AP Syllabus – Timeline

AP Biology Syllabus 2011-12

Instructor: Cheryl Massengale
copyright 2010

Textbook: Biology ( Seventh Edition) by Campbell and Reece
College Board

Course Overview:
The Advanced Placement Biology curriculum is equivalent to a college course usually taken by biology majors during their first year of college. Students obtain weighted credit by successfully completing the AP Biology exam at the end of the course. The course differs significantly from a first year high school Biology course with respect to the kind of textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work done by students, and the time and effort required by the students. The primary emphasis of the course is on developing an understanding of concepts; a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and the application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.

    Topics covered in the course include chemistry of life, cells and cell energetics, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, structure and function of both plants and animals, and ecology. The course is broken down into three areas of study: 25% molecules and cells, 25% genetics and evolution, and 50% organisms and populations. In addition, students will conduct all twelve of the Collegeboard AP Biology laboratories. 


  1. To familiarize students with the terminology and concepts of Biology using a theme-oriented approach that emphasizes concepts and science as a process over knowledge of facts.
  2. To enhance problem-solving skills of students using hands-on labs,  readings, collections, independent projects, and class discussions.
  3. To strengthen students’ communication skills with the use of written assignments, essays, abstracts, and lab reports.
  4. To prepare students for further study in the Biological Sciences.




First Semester
Subject Weeks of Instruction % of AP Test
Chemistry of Life 2.5  7%
Cells 6.5 18%
Genes 6.5 17%
Second Semester
Mechanics of evolution 2 8%
Biological Diversity 2.5 8%
Plant Form & Function 3.5 12%
Animal Form & Function 7.0 20%
Ecology 2.0 10%




PreAP Biology, Chemistry I (may take concurrently), and Algebra 1 are required with a grade of 80% (B) for each semester in these courses. Students may also enroll with teacher recommendation.

Course Requirements:

Students should maintain a “C”, each nine weeks, in order to remain in the course. Students are also required to take the AP Biology exam in May.

Textbook & Study Resources:

Biology 7th ed. By Campbell, Reece, & Mitchell, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing, 2005.

CD-ROM: Interactive Study Partner, By Campbell, Reece, & Mitchell, Benjamin/Cummings Publishing, 2005.

Student Study Guide for Campbell’s Biology, 7th Edition. 2005. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc.

Laboratory Manual:

Advanced Placement Biology Laboratory Manual for Students, College Entrance Examination Board, 2006.

Required Materials:

  • 3-ring binder with pocketed dividers
  • Standard size, loose leaf notebook paper
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Colored pencils
  • Graph paper
  • Black ink pens
  • Typing paper
  • Access to the internet & a word processor

Course Time:

Advanced Placement Biology is a two semester course with each semester 18 weeks in length and divided into nine week grading periods. The class period of approximately 50 minutes and meets five days a week.

Grading Scale:

Credit is based on Carnegie units; therefore, a year course is valued as one (1) unit.


Grading Scale Grade Points Weighted (AP)
90 -100   A A = 4 A = 5
80 – 89   B B = 3 B = 4
70 – 79   C C = 2 C = 3
60 – 59   D D = 1 D = 2
0 – 59    F F = 0 F = 0
AP Biology receives weighted credit on the student’s rank GPA and on the state GPA appearing on the transcript.


Weighted Grades will be determined each nine weeks as follows:
Exams (unit tests, collections, major projects, etc.) 75%
Lab Reports, lab tests, & lab practicals  15%
Daily work, abstracts, etc.  10%

Semester Grades will be determined as follows:
1st nine weeks  40%
2nd nine weeks  40%
Semester Test  20%


    Students are required to complete twelve (12) labs set forth by The College Board Advanced Placement Program. Students are expected to read each lab carefully before coming to the laboratory and are responsible for following all correct laboratory and safety procedures. Students should also use the lab aid, LabBench, to make sure they understand all lab procedures before beginning a lab exercise.
Due to the large amount of time required for laboratory set-up, it is essential that you are always present on lab days. Some labs will use Lab Quest sensors and probes to obtain quantitative data.  Additional labs will be included such as bioremediation of oil and industrial pollutants, gram staining techniques, and dissection of the fetal pig. Within one week of completing the lab, students will turn in lab reports in the format provided by the instructor.

Lab Report Format


  1. Wildflower collections allow you to learn and appreciate the flowers native to your area.  To become familiar with various flowers, students will identify, collect, dry, and then mount these flowers on herbarium paper or they may  make a photographic collection which preserves the flowers within their environment. Identification of wildflowers will be done primarily through the use of the book, Wildflowers of Arkansas, by Carl Hunter. Wildflower collections are due the first nine weeks and must be done according to the instructor’s directions. The collection will count as a major exam grade.
    Wildflower Directions
    Hunter, Carl. Wildflowers of Arkansas. Published by the Ozark Society, 1984. ISBN 0-912456-17-5
  2. Each nine weeks, students will read and abstract a current article from a scientific journal. Articles must be chosen from journals published during the 12 months prior to the abstract due date. The abstract and a copy of the article or journal must be turned into the instructor in an abstract folder and must follow the format provided by the instructor.
    Abstract Format
  3. During the first semester, students will read and write a paper on the research book by Mark and Delia Owens entitled, Cry of the Kalahari. The book will be divided into three sections with a written test at the end of each section to ensure that students are keeping up with their reading. The paper will count as a major exam grade.
    Cry of the kalahari website
    Owens, Mark and Delia. Cry of the Kalahari. Fontana/Collins Publisher, 1984.
    ISBN: 0395647800
  4. Second semester, students will view the video, Race for the Double Helix, and write a paper on the discovery of DNA structure.

AP Exam Preparation:

    All students should prepare to take the Advanced Placement test given in May; therefore, throughout the course students will use past AP Biology essay questions to improve their skills in writing answers to scientific, free-response questions. Also, all major exams will follow the AP testing format of 60% multiple choice and 40% essay questions.

     It is strongly recommended that students utilize the AP Biology test prep book issued to them. There are many other varieties of AP Biology study guides, and they all can be found at a local bookstore. Take the practice tests in these books so that you can become familiar with what to expect. When trying to find an AP Biology test prep book, choose one that also lets you see sample essays. Some books just focus on the multiple choice, and you need to be exposed to both parts of the exam.

AP Biology Exam Review Sites:
Exam Questions & Standards
UGA AP Biology

Format of the AP Biology Exam:
60 multiple choice in 80 minutes = 60% of test

Four (4) Free Response Essay Questions in 90 minutes (10 minutes reading time) = 40% of test

Essay Section Hints:

  1. The 4 essay questions are graded equally. 
  2. One question is on molecules and cells.
  3. One question is on genetics and evolution.
  4. Two questions are on organisms and populations.
  5. One or more of the questions will be lab-based.
  6. Write in essay form!  There is room on the test for you to create an outline to guide your answer if you’d like but outlines are not graded.  That being said, perfect essay writing is not expected.  There aren’t deductions for grammar or spelling mishaps (provided the spelling is close enough to determine the word you are trying to write).
  7. Diagrams are helpful!  If you use a diagram, be sure to refer to it in your essay.
  8. Points are not deducted from your essay score if you give an incorrect statement.  (You just don’t receive points for incorrect statements).  But be careful not to contradict yourself, because this can cause you to not receive points.

Study Tips:

  1. A biology textbook cannot be read the way you would read a novel! Begin by pre-reading the chapter; glance at the section headings, charts and tables in order to organize the material in your mind and stimulate your curiosity. This will make it easier to read the chapter and extract more information from it.
  2. Be an active, not passive reader, by stopping frequently (at least every paragraph) and consider what you have just read. What is the concept being discussed? Put it in your own words (out loud or by writing it down); by doing so you are reprocessing and using the information presented in the text. Place a few key notes in you notebook; make sure these notes include all new terms and illustrative examples.
  3. Become a note taker and not a note copier! Simply writing down what is written on the board is passive learning (it’s a start, but is not as effective as it could be). To get the most out of taking lecture notes, do it in a systematic manner. Before class read the textbook material to be covered in lecture. You will then use class time more efficiently because you will learn more from the lecture, and you will be able to take better notes having been introduced to many of the concepts in the text. During lecture do not attempt to write down every word that is said; that approach is futile and unnecessary. Instead, focus on the major ideas.
  4. Summarize information by making your own diagrams and tables which will allow you to rehearse and test yourself on the material.
  5. Relate new information to other, related information.
  6. Study with a friend in the class and at home! Take turns explaining the material to each other. Set up on-going study groups and meet at each others home each week.
  7. There is too much new material in a biology class to be able to learn two weeks’ worth of material the night before an exam! Review your text material and lecture notes daily so that you can avoid cramming at test time. Daily studying and rehearsal helps get information into long-term memory.
  8. Make the most of your time in lab by arriving fully prepared. AP Biology labs are too long and involved to try to perform without having thoroughly read over them the day before.

How Can Parents Help:

  1. Quiet structured study time! Help your child to establish a study routine by setting up a quiet study area and a consistent quiet study time nightly. The routine will help them practice good study habits for college. Should the study area be their bedroom or a family area, like the dining room? That depends on your household and your child. If your child is self-motivated and can work steadily without supervision, then a quiet desk space in their bedroom would work well. However, if their bedroom is equipped with distractions like a stereo or TV, then this might not be conducive to concentrating on homework and the family area may work better.
  2. Work on Biology EVERY night! For your child to stay up-to-date in this course they need to spend some time on biology every night. The ideal would be about one (1) hour per night or approximately six (6) hours per week. This would include textbook reading, lecture review, lab notebook assignments, extra credit assignments, and test preparation. On weeks when they cannot devote that one hour on a weeknight, they should put in extra time on weekends to make up for it. On nights where they have minimal time, your child should at least review the day’s lecture notes (PowerPoint notes on the Web).
  3. Support Study Groups! Encourage your child to arrange a study group with other students in the class. Each student will have different strengths and weaknesses in this course. In one unit, your child will be the teacher to other students and in a different unit they will be the student. Putting two or more heads together is always a benefit. You never learn something as well as when you have to explain it to someone else. However let me emphasize that, while study groups and cooperative effort are strongly encouraged; on final written work, all students are required to craft their own answers and must have a completely uniquely worded answer for each question!
  4. Use a Lifeline! Encourage your child to ask for help. I can stay after any day for extra help. Also, all my AP students have my e-mail address and they can readily e-mail me for help at any time after school hours and I will make every effort to reply to them immediately. Do not allow them to feel like they are intruding, I am here to help them understand and learn to love the subject of Biology as much as I do.
  5. Don’t Panic! Stick with it! Some parts of this course will come more easily than others. Encourage your child to work steadily and not to be discouraged. Success will build as they improve their critical thinking skills and their writing ability through practice. This is a college course and they are working on more than learning biology; they are working on skills that they will use to succeed academically for years to come. Your child needs to work hard and work steadily and they will be rewarded in this course!


Learner Objectives:
Chemistry of Life 

  • To understand the unique chemical and physical properties of water and to know how these properties make life on earth possible
  • To explain the role of carbon in the molecular diversity of life
  • To explain how cells synthesize and break down macromolecules
  • To explain the structure of biologically important molecules
  • To explain how enzymes regulate chemical reactions


  • To explain the similarities, differences and evolutionary relationships between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • To understand the current model of membrane structure and to explain how different molecules pass across the membrane
  • To show how cells use compartmentalization to organize the various cellular function
  • To understand which factors limit cell size and to explain how and why cells divide

Cellular Energetics

  • To demonstrate the role of ATP and the chemiosmotic theory in cellular energetics
  • To show how organic molecules are catalyzed
  • To explain the photosynthetic process and to show how it compares and contrasts with cellular respiration


  • To explain which features of meiosis are most important to sexual reproduction
  • To follow the paths of chromosomes and individual genes through gametogenesis
  • To explain how genetic information is organized
  • To demonstrate and understanding of the importance of Mendel’s Laws of inheritance

Molecular Genetics

  • To know the major types of nucleic acids and explain how their structure is related to their function
  • To understand the various mechanisms of gene expression
  • To show the forms of gene mutation
  • To explain viral structure and replication
  • To understand modern biotechnological advances and how they may impact human lives

Evolutionary Biology

  • To show and understanding of the current models for the origin of biological macromolecules
  • To explain the evidence of evolution
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the mechanics of evolution at work

Diversity of Organisms

  • To explain the main body plans of plants and animals
  • To identify a representative organism for the major taxa
  • To explain the major characteristics in each primary taxon
  • To show evolutionary similarities among related groups

Structure and Function of Plants and Animals

  • To show what patterns of reproduction are found in plants and animals and to show how they are regulated
  • To understand physiological organization among living things
  • To explain how organisms respond to their environment


  • To show how models can be used to demonstrate population growth
  • To show how energy flows through ecosystems
  • To explain how humans may impact the ecosystem around them


Scope & Sequence:


First Nine Weeks – Molecules and Cells   

Date Topic of Study Chapters to read  Labs/Projects Tutorial Links
17 days


Chemistry & Biochemistry

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Lab 2: Enzyme Catalysis

Wildflower Collection

Organic Models

Periodic Table

Chemistry Review

Macromolecule Problems

Acids & Bases

pH Problems

Unit one Test – Biochemistry
Study Guide For Test
16 days
Cells Chapter  6
Chapter  7
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Lab 1: Osmosis & Diffusion

Microscopy Lab


Cell Size

Cells Alive!

Cell Cycle & Mitosis


Onion Root Tips

Unit 2 Test over Cells (chapters 7,8,11,12,13)
Study Guide For Test
12 days
Cellular Energetics Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Lab 5: Cell Respiration

Lab 4: Plant Pigments & Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis Problem Set 1

Photosynthesis Problem Set 2

Metabolism Problem Sets

Unit 3 Test over Cellular Energetics (chapters 6, 9, & 10)
Study Guide For Test
Second Nine Weeks –  Genetics

14 days


Heredity Chapter 14


Chapter 15

Lab 3: Mitosis & Meiosis


Cry of the Kalahari


The Cell Cycle & Mitosis Tutorial

Online Onion Root Tip Activity

Cell Division Laboratory Tutorial

Problem sets Genetics

Problem sets Human Biology Genetics

On-line Activity Web Karyotyping

Unit 4 Test over Heredity (chapters 14 & 15)
Study Guide For Test
17 days
Molecular Genetics Chapter 16

chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Lab 6: Molecular Biology

Bioremediation of Spilled Oil & Industrial Pollutants


J. Watson bio

DNA diagrams

Nucleic Acids Practice Test

Molecular Biology

Bacterial Genetics and Recombinant DNA

Unit 5 Test over Molecular Genetics (chapters 16 – 21)
Study Guide For Test
Third Nine Weeks – Evolution, Taxonomy, Plants
14 days
Evolutionary Biology Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Lab 7: Corn Genetics The Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)

Galapagos Website

Unit 6 Test over Evolution (chapters 22-25)
Study Guide For Test
  12 days Diversity of Organisms Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 31

Lab 8: Population Genetics & Evolution

Gram Staining Lab

Introduction to Viruses

Introduction to Protists

Protist Image Data

Introduction to the Fungi

Unit 7 Test over Taxonomy, Prokaryotes, & Simple Eukaryotes
(chapters 26, 27,28, and 31)
Study Guide For Test

17 days

Structure & Function of Plants Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
   Lab 9: Transpiration


Angiosperm Structure and Function
Units 8A & 8B Tests over Plants ( Chapters 29 & 30, 35 – 39 )
Study Guide For 8A Test
Study Guide For 8B Test
Fourth Nine Week – Animals & Ecology 
15 days
Invertebrates & Vertebrates Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Invertebrate/Vertebrate Dissections Interactive Animal Diversity Test



Whole Frog Project

Unit 9A & 9B Test over Vertebrates & Invertebrates

(chapters 32-34)
Study Guide For Invertebrate Test
Study Guide For Vertebrate Test

16 days
Structure & Function of Animals Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Lab 10: Physiology of Circulatory System


Fetal Pig Dissection



Explore the brain

Human Biology

Human Anatomy Online

Human Developmental Biology

            Units 10A & 10 B Tests over Animal Systems (Chapters 40-49 )
Study Guide For 10ATest
Study Guide For 10B Test

5 days

Ecology Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55
Lab 11: Behavior

Lab 12: Dissolved Oxygen & Aquatic Primary Productivity

Tall-grass prairie

Tundra Biome


Major world biomes

Unit 11 Test over Ecology ( Chapters 50 – 55 )
Study Guide For Test
Study Sites For AP Test    
Final Exam – END of MAY


Cheryl’s Gradebook


Students Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test Average Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz Average Lab 1 Lab 2 Lab Average Weighted Grade Letter Grade
Brown, Miles 90 95 89 91 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Green, Lisa 99 99 100 99 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Johnson, Missie 89 99 98 95 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Jones, Natalie 75 88 90 84 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Michaels, Jimmie 65 99 99 88 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!
Class Average 84 96 95 92 #### #### #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0!

SF Teacher Page


Teacher Page

How do I make a science fair a successful experience for my students?
A Science Fair is a great way to cover many skills that are students are expected to learn in our classrooms. It also gives the community a chance to see what is going on in your school and classroom.  It is a lot of work, but it well worth all of the effort.
Hopefully this website will encourage you to start a science fair at your school.
Frequently Asked Questions   Setting Up a School Science Fair    Choosing Topics for Students
 Steps to Complete a Project   Science Fair Project Ideas   References
  Assessment   Parental Involvement   Curriculum Standards


Using Three-point Essays with Biology Articles

How to Write a Three-point Essay
Paragraph I INTRODUCTION – Tells what the paper is about and what three points will be discussed
Paragraph 2 POINT 1 – States and explains the first point explained in the article and gives supporting evidence
Paragraph 3 POINT 2 – States and explains the second point explained in the article and gives supporting evidence
Paragraph 4 POINT 3 – States and explains the third point explained in the article and gives supporting evidence
Paragraph 5 CONCLUSION – Restates the subject and summarizes the main points


How to Set Up Your paper
  • Upper right-hand corner — Write your NAME and PERIOD
  • Top line — Write the TITLE of the ARTICLE
  • Write the OUTLINE of your paper: I. Introduction
    II. (Write your 1st point)
    III. (Write your 2nd point)
    IV. (Write your 3rd point)
    V. Conclusion
  • Write your 5 PARAGRAPHS
DUE 1st Wednesday of each Month!




Virtual Labs



AP Biology Labs PreAP Biology Labs
AP BIOLOGY WEBLABS – This site has a virtual lab on each of the “dirty dozen” AP Biology labs.  A great time saver ! MCGRAW-HILL VIRTUAL LABS – The McGraw Hill virtual lab is great — just print off the post lab questions and tables and have students complete the lab.
AP ENVIRONMENTAL WEBLABSUCA labs with good descriptions and great standard and simulation labs CLASSZONE’s WOW BIOLABS – McDougal-Littell has great online lb simulations
LAB BENCH AP BIOLOGY LABSCovers all 12 AP Biology Labs including introductory lectures. BIOLOGY WEBLABSTwelve great online labs for first year students.
Judith S. de Nuño’s AP BIOLOGY WEBSITE – This website has it all — online labs, simulations, projects, etc.  You have got to check it out! JOHNSON’s EXPLORATIONSgreat for high school biology students.
DNALC Internet Sites DNA Learning Center – Fantastic lab simulations on molecular biology. GENETICS WEB LABS covers Mendel, meiosis, evolution, and dragon making!
BIOCOURSE INTERACTIVE LABS Lots of lab simulations found here. VIRTUAL LABSOnline labs by Rutgers University.
EDUWEB LABS -This site gives students an opportunity to manipulate laboratory equipment, gather data and process that data. COW’S EYE DISSECTION – good virtual dissection with no cost or mess to clean up afterwards.
VIRTUAL CAT DISSECTION – Great photographs to follow the dissection. FETAL PIG DISSECTION – Use  alone or along with an actual dissection.
MAMMAL SKULLS Explores animal taxonomy and characteristics for survival NETFROG – Watch a video  of the dissection of a frog.
DRAGON GENETICS & MENDEL’S PEAS – Two great virtual labs on genetics


Practice Locating Main Ideas

Practice Locating Main Ideas

Main Idea

The main idea of a passage or reading is the central thought or message. In contrast to the term topic, which refers to the subject under discussion, the term main idea refers to the point or thought being expressed. The difference between a topic and a main idea will become clearer to you if you imagine yourself overhearing a conversation in which your name is repeatedly mentioned. When you ask your friends what they were discussing, they say they were talking about you. At that point, you have the topic but not the main idea. Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t be satisfied until you learned what your friends were saying about this particular topic. You would probably pester them until you knew the main idea, until you knew, that is, exactly what they were saying about your personality, appearance, or behavior. The same principle applies to reading. The topic is seldom enough. You also need to discover the main idea.

Reading Tips:

1. As soon as you can define the topic, ask yourself “What general point does the author want to make about this topic?” Once you can answer that question, you have more than likely found the main idea.

2. Most main ideas are stated or suggested early on in a reading; pay special attention to the first third of any passage, article, or chapter. That’s where you are likely to get the best statement or clearest expression of the main idea.

3. Pay attention to any idea that is repeated in different ways. If an author returns to the same thought in several different sentences or paragraphs, that idea is the main or central thought under discussion.

4. Once you feel sure you have found the main idea, test it. Ask yourself if the examples, reasons, statistics, studies, and facts included in the reading lend themselves as evidence or explanation in support of the main idea you have in mind. If they do, your comprehension is right on target. If they don’t, you might want to revise your first notion about the author’s main idea.

5. The main idea of a passage can be expressed any number of ways. For example, you and your roommate might come up with the same main idea for a reading, but the language in which that idea is expressed would probably be different. When, however, you are asked to find the topic sentence, you are being asked to find the statement that expresses the main idea in the author’s words. Any number of people can come up with the main idea for a passage, but only the author of the passage can create the topic sentence.

6. If you are taking a test that asks you to find the thesis or theme of a reading, don’t let the terms confuse you, you are still looking for the main idea.

Exercise 1

Directions: Read each passage. Then circle the letter of the statement that effectively sums up the main idea.

  1. A number of recent books with titles like Raising Cain, Real Boys, and Lost Boys all focus on the same issue: Today’s teenaged boys are feeling more anxiety than ever before about their physical appearance. Bombarded by advertising featuring well-muscled, semi-clad young men, teenage boys are experiencing what teenage girls have been coping with for years. They are afraid that they cannot possibly live up to the media’s idealized image of their gender. Young boys below the average in height, weight, or both suffer the most. Often, they are brutally teased by their brawnier peers. Some react to the ridicule by heading for the gym and lifting weights. Yet even those who successfully “bulk up” don’t like feeling that they are considered worthless if they lose their hard-won muscle tone. Others, convinced that no amount of body building can help, often withdraw from social contact with their peers. This is their way of avoiding taunts about their size or shape. Still, they are understandably angry at being badly treated because of their body type. Although school psychologists generally recognize that boys today are having severe body image problems, they are at a loss about what to do to solve those problems.

Main Idea?

a. More than in previous generations, teenaged boys are getting into body building.

b. Teenaged boys today are showing more anxiety about their physical appearance than did boys of previous generations.

  1. In 1997, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reported that skateboarding injuries were up by 33 percent. Mountain climbing injuries were also up by 20 percent. Similarly, snowboarding injuries showed an increase of thirty-one percent. By all accounts, many Americans are having a love affair with risky sports; as a result, they are injuring themselves in ever greater numbers. One reason for the growing participation in risky, or extreme, sports has been put forth by Dan Cady, a professor of popular culture at California State University. According to Cady, previous generations didn’t need to seek out risk. It was all around them in the form of disease epidemics, economic instability, and global wars. At one time, just managing to stay alive was risky, but that feeling has all but disappeared, at least for members of the privileged classes. To a degree Cady’s theory is confirmed in the words of adventure racer Joy Marr. Marr says that risk has been “minimized” in everyday life, forcing people to seek out challenges in order to prove themselves. (Source: Karl Taro Greenfield. “Life on the Edge.” Time. September 6, 1999, p.29).

Main Idea?

a. According to Professor Dan Cady if California State, many Americans yearn for the days when just staying alive was a difficult task.

b. More and more Americans are taking up high-risk sports; as a result, injuries from these sports are increasing.

Exercise 2

Directions: Read each passage. Then complete the main idea statement begun on the blanks that follow the paragraph.

  1. In several states across the nation, there has been successful drive to end “social promotion.” In other words, children who do not achieve the required score on a standardized test will no longer be promoted to the next grade. Instead, they will have to repeat the grade they have finished. Yet despite the calls for ending social promotion–many of them from politicians looking for a crowd-pleasing issue–there is little evidence that making children repeat a grade has a positive effect. If anything, research suggests that forcing children to repeat a grade hurts rather than helps their academic performance. In 1989, University of Georgia Professor Thomas Holms surveyed sixty-three studies that compared the performance of kids who had repeated a grade with those who had received a social promotion. Holms found that most of the children who had repeated a grade had a poorer record of academic performance than the children who had been promoted despite poor test scores. A similar study of New York City children in the 1980s revealed that the children who repeated a grade were more likely to drop out upon reaching high school. The call to end social promotion may have a nice ring to it in political speeches. Yet there is little indication that it does students any real good.

Main Idea: Across the country, many states have abolished the policy of “social promotion” ___________________________________________________________.

  1. During World War I, a number of severe shortages alerted the world’s scientists to the need for synthetic, or man-made materials. Thus by 1934, a research team headed by Wallace H.Carothers had developed the first synthetic fiber, called nylon. As it turned out, the development of nylon had a surprisingly profound effect on world affairs. True, it’s first use was in fashion, and in 1939, the Dupont company began marketing sheer nylon hose for women. Nylons were a spectacular hit and sold off the shelves almost immediately. But they disappeared with the coming of World War II, as nylon became essential to the war effort. It was used in everything from parachutes and ropes, to insulation and coat linings. Sadly Carothers never witnessed the impact of his creation. He committed suicide two years before the first pair of nylons ever went on sale.

Main Idea: In 1934, Wallace H. Carothers developed nylon, the first synthetic fiber __________________________________________________________.

Exercise 3

Directions: Each paragraph is followed by a statement of the main idea that is not quite accurate or precise enough. In other words, it almost—but not completely—sums up the main idea. Revise each statement to make it more effectively express the main idea.

Over the last two centuries, America’s soldiers have been given several nicknames, among them “yanks,” “grunts,” “doughboys,” and “Johnny Reb.” However, none of those nicknames has had the staying power of the nickname “G.I.” Derived from the words “government issue,” the term “G.I.” emerged in World War II and gave birth to its own masculine and feminine forms, “G.I. Joe” and “G.I. Jane.” It was even attached to one of the most famous educational bills in American history, the G.I. Bill. At one point, the military tried to rid itself of the name G.I. claiming that it dehumanized the people to whom it referred. Military manuals and pamphlets began substituting the supposedly more favorable term “service members.” But the public would have none of it. Newspapers, radio, television, and most importantly, World War II veterans themselves clung to the nickname. Particularly for the veterans of World War II, being a G.I. was a badge of honor, and they were not about to give up the name.

Imprecise Main Idea: Throughout the last two centuries, America’s soldiers have been given many different nicknames.

Revised Main Idea:

  1. While she lived, the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was known mainly as the wife of the famed muralist Diego Rivera. Yet in the decades since her death, Kahlo has become hugely famous in her own right and is probably now better known than her husband. In 1990, Kahlo became the first Mexican artist to break the one million mark at an auction. The vivid, self-portraits that Kahlo created in the thirties and forties continue to be widely sought after by collectors willing to pay high prices for her paintings. Although Kahlo is often described as a painter intent on exploring her own personal reality, many of her paintings include references to Mexico’s political and social history. It’s not surprising, then, that in 1985, the Mexican government publicly proclaimed her work a national treasure.

Imprecise Main Idea: Unfortunately, the painter Frida Kahlo spent her life in the shadow of her famous husband, the muralist, Diego Rivera.

Revised Main Idea:

Exercise 4

Directions: In the blanks that follow each paragraph, write out what you think is the main idea.

  1. In the 1870s, the Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley navigated the Congo river under the sponsorship of King Leopold of Belgium. Wherever he stopped, he made treaties with the African chiefs he encountered. As a result, when Stanley returned to Europe, King Leopold was able to take possession of an area eighty times the size of Belgium. Leopold promptly called the area the Belgium Congo and turned it into his own private goldmine, almost destroying the Congo in the process. Under Leopold’s rule, the Congolese were faced with impossibly high taxes and forced into slave labor. Agents of the Belgian government would give each Congolese family a basket to fill with rubber. If members of the family did not return the basket with the required number of pounds of rubber, their home would be burned to the ground. Anyone who rebelled would be put in prison. Meanwhile, Leopold grew enormously rich, squandering his blood money on yachts, mansions, and mistresses. To keep the Belgian people quiet, he also expended enormous sums on public works. Nevertheless, public opinion against Leopold and his vicious ways grew stronger. Ultimately he was forced to give up his stranglehold on the Congo, but not before millions of people had been imprisoned and thousands had died.

Main Idea:

  1. Computerized axial tomography, also known as the CAT scan, was developed in 1971. In its importance, the development of the CAT scan ranks with Roentgen’s discovery of X-Rays. The word “tomography” comes from the Greek word “tomos” meaning section or slice. In effect, the CAT scan allowed doctors to see into the body almost as if layers of it had been sliced away for better viewing. For the first time, it was possible to view soft tissue inside the skull, chest and abdomen without resorting to surgery. Thanks to the CAT scan, radiologists could now distinguish normal from clotted blood. They could also examine the ventricles of the heart without inflicting pain. Prior to the creation of the CAT scan, it had been necessary to pump air into the ventricles of the heart, causing the person undergoing the procedure intense pain.

Main Idea:



Inferences are evidence-based guesses. They are the conclusions a reader draws about the unsaid based on what is actually said. Inferences drawn while reading are much like inferences drawn in everyday life. If your best friend comes in from a blind date and looks utterly miserable, you would probably infer the date was not a success. Drawing inferences while you read requires exactly the same willingness to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion that has not been expressed in words. Only in reading, the evidence for your inference consists solely of words rather than actual events, expressions, or gestures.

Reading Tips:

1. Make sure your inferences rely mainly on the author’s words rather than your own feelings or experience. Your goal is to read the author’s mind, not invent your own message.

2. Check to see if your inference is contradicted by any statements in the paragraph. If it is, it is not an appropriate or useful inference.

3. If the passage is a tough one, check to see if you can actually identify the statements that led you to your conclusion. This kind of close reading is a good comprehension check. It will also help you remember the material.

Exercise 1

Directions: Each item in this exercise describes a famous person. It’s your job to infer the name of the person described.

  1. A small-town lawyer from Illinois, tall and lanky with an Adam’s apple that could have gone down in the Guinness Book of Records had it existed in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, he changed the face of American history, steering it through a civil war that left both sides bloody. Who knows what more he could have done had an assassin’s bullet not cut him down.

The person described is _______________________________

In drawing the correct inference, which piece of information is more useful:

a. He had a big Adam’s apple.
b. He steered the nation through a civil war.

Explain your answer:


  1. Glittering and shaking to the strains of “Proud Mary,” this lady ruled the stage in the sixties, but Ike ruled the roost until she walked out the door. It took her almost a decade to get back on top but she still remains one of pop’s great divas. Closing in on sixty, she can still belt out rock and roll with singers half her age, and “Simply the Best” just may qualify as her own personal theme song.

The person described is _____________________________

In drawing the appropriate inference, which piece of information is more useful.

a. She ruled the stage but Ike ruled the roost.
b. She was a popular singer in the sixties.

Exercise 2

Directions: For each situation, draw what you think is an appropriate inference.

  1. You have just gotten a pit bull puppy from an animal shelter. He’s lovable but nervous. If you raise your voice for any reason, he cowers and trembles. If you scold him, he hides. When you got him from the shelter, he had a slight limp and a deep scratch across his nose.



  1. You are a high school student sitting in class when a substitute teacher walks in and announces that your regular teacher is ill. Everyone in the class including you erupts in applause. The substitute raps his knuckles on the desk for order, but the students ignore him and talk louder.



Exercise 3

Directions: Each item in this exercise introduces a topic. Six specific statements about the topic follow. Read them carefully. Then choose the more appropriate inference.

1. Topic: Shakespeare in nineteenth-century America

Specific Statements:

a. In the early nineteenth century, Shakespeare was the most widely performed playwright in both the North and Southeast.

b. In the first half of the nineteenth century, English and American actors could always earn money by performing Shakespeare in towns both big and small.

c. American audiences were famous for their participation in performances of Shakespeare’s plays: They hurled eggs and tomatoes at the villains and cheered and whistled for the heroes.

d. By the end of the nineteenth century, theater owners claimed that most ordinary people couldn’t understand Shakespeare, and they were refusing to stage his plays.

e. In the early 1800s, theater goers in big cities could often choose between three different productions of Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet; by the end of the nineteenth century, it was hard to find one production of a Shakespeare play, let alone several.

a. Early American audiences embraced Shakespeare’s plays enthusiastically because they wanted to prove that they were as clever and sophisticated as their former British rulers.

b. The role of Shakespeare in America changed dramatically as the nineteenth century drew to a close.

2. Topic: The medics in World War II

Specific Statements:

a. During training for combat, the medics were often despised because most of them had refused to take up arms.

b. The medics had their own barracks and were separated from combat soldiers, who referred to them as “pill pushers” and laughed at their medical drills.

c. In actual combat, it was often the medics who meant the difference between life and death for soldiers wounded in battle; they were the ones who braved gunfire to carry wounded soldiers to the hospital.

d. In many divisions, soldiers who had lived through combat took up collections in order to provide bonuses for the medics.

e. Interviewing veterans of World War II, author Stephen Ambrose consistently heard from men who believed they owed their lives to some member of the medical core.

a. The combat experience profoundly changed the way soldiers felt about the medical core.

b. Despite their bravery in the battles of World War II, medics never really received the respect that was due them.

Exercise 4

Directions: Read each paragraph. Then choose the inference that could effectively sum up the main idea.

1. When World War II broke out in Europe in 1939, the United States was the only major power without a propaganda agency. More important, despite prodding from England and France, the U.S. had no plans to create one. During World War I, a government-based group known as the Committee for Public Information had successfully stirred up public feeling against German-Americans because America was at war with Germany. As a result, many innocent German-American citizens had been insulted, beaten, even lynched. In addition, a good portion of the American public still believed that the United States had been tricked into entering World War I because of British propaganda. Distrustful of propaganda in general, there was little widespread support for a government agency dispensing it when the second world war broke out.

a. Because of what had happened during World War I, the American public was suspicious of propaganda and not inclined to support its use when World War II first erupted.

b. Aware of how the German government was using propaganda to spread hate and violence, the American public was reluctant to make use of it at the beginning of World War II.

2. At his death in 1971, trumpeter Louis Armstrong was much loved as a celebrity. Yet as a musician, he no longer commanded wide respect among the general public. To most people, he was the man with the toothy smile who made occasional appearances in television and movies usually singing what had become his signature songs “Hello, Dolly” and “It’s a Wonderful World.” Jazz enthusiasts, however, had another take on the passing of Louis Armstrong. To them he was the New Orleans-born musician who had, along with Bix Biederbecke, introduced the solo to jazz. With records like “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue,” “I’m not Rough,” and “Potato Head Blues,” Louis became the first great jazz influence. As music critic Terry Teachout has written, Louis Armstrong was “the player other players copied.” Still, at his death, few really knew what Louis had accomplished. In his honor, radio and television broadcasts played “Hello Dolly,” not “West-End Blues,” his 1928 recording that starts off with what may be the most famous horn solo in jazz.

a. A hero to much of the jazz community, Louis Armstrong was forgotten by the general public at the time he died.

b. At his death, Louis Armstrong was a beloved celebrity whose spectacular achievements had been forgotten by all but devoted jazz fans.

Exercise 5

Directions: Read each paragraph. Then draw an inference that sums up the main idea.

1. In the movies, England’s King Richard the First—he of the lion heart and Robin Hood fame—is a hero of spotless reputation. In Hollywood’s many versions of the Robin Hood story, for example, Robin worships good King Richard and would willingly die for him. History, however, offers a different slant on Richard’s supposed goodness. In 1189, the Pope called for yet another crusade to take back the holy land of Jerusalem from Moslem rule. Intent on following the Pope’s order, Richard combined forces with King Philip the II of France. Together, they managed to take the town of Acre, a port on what is now Israel’s Northwestern coast. Attempting to blackmail the Moslem ruler Saladin into giving up sacred lands, Richard took 2,500 civilians hostage, many of them women and children. When Saladin refused, Richard promptly slaughtered every last one of his hostages.



2. When Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow, she was twenty years old. Although she had been a rebellious child and teenager, she had never broken a law in her life. The worst thing she had done in her mother’s opinion was run off and get married to a shiftless womanizer who humiliated and neglected her. When Clyde came along, Bonnie was ripe for the attentions of a man who seemed to think she was both important and attractive. As long as he didn’t desert her, Bonnie didn’t much care about Clyde’s two-year jail sentence. In jail at least, she knew where he was, and she could write him daily letters about how much she loved him. Bonnie, however, got nervous when she heard that Clyde was planning a jailbreak. To bind him more tightly to her, she smuggled him a gun and helped him escape. After he got caught and sent back to prison, Bonnie was even more determined to wait for the man she called her “one true love.” Upon his release from jail, Bonnie took Clyde home to meet her folks and announced she was going to Houston, Texas to get a new job. The next time her mother heard from her, Bonnie Parker was sitting in jail and had formally started her career as one half of the most famous bandit duo in history.



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