Biology Honors


K. Keen


  • Welcome to biology.  Biology is an in-depth inquiry into the study of life.  The following major topics will be covered this semester: the structure and function of living organisms, ecosystems, evolution, genetics, and molecular biology.


Course expectations:


  • Students are expected to do their best, be prepared to work, be honest, and be respectful.
  • Students can expect the same of me.



  • Students will have an understanding of the scientific process and a basic knowledge of biology. In particular students will master the North Carolina State competency goals for biology.


  • Students will have an appreciation for the relevance of science to their personal life and be able to apply biological concepts to their life.


  • Students will acquire or improve college and life skills such as meeting deadlines, taking notes, managing time, thinking critically, and enhancing their ability to share ideas.


Rules and policies:


1.      Follow all school rules.

2.      Follow directions.

3.      Food or drink is allowed only if room is kept clean.

4.      Have music put away before class begins (put devices completely away). You must ask for permission to listen to music when working.

5.      Smart phones, tablets, etc. can only be used with permission.

6.      Be respectful in class.

7.      Pay attention during announcements.

8.      If you are absent, it is your responsibility to arrange for makeup work when you return to school.

9.      In the middle of each nine weeks you will receive a progress report to be shown to your parent or guardian, signed by them, and returned to me.

10. Keep your areas clean. Leave materials the way you found them or the way you are instructed to leave them. The room and lab areas must be clean before the class is dismissed.

11.  Put your chairs on your table before you leave.

12.  Be safe when doing labs.

13.  Any cheating will result in a zero and a referral.


Grading policies:


  • Quizzes: These are short evaluations given between major tests. Quizzes can count from 5 to 50 points, depending on how much material is covered.  Some quizzes can be “pop” quizzes.


  • Tests: there are typically 5 or 6 tests each grading period (nine weeks).


  • Major projects: These will vary.  Some will be done in groups and some will be done individually.  Examples include lab reports, research projects, and class presentations. Details concerning specific projects will be given later. Points can vary depending on the size of the project.


  • Class participation: students are expected to contribute to class discussions and activities.


  • Homework/ Daily grades: some assignments will be collected.  These will be relatively small grades compared to tests and projects. You should expect homework most days.  You should review your notes every night!


  • Final grade: each nine-week period will count 37.5 % and the final (EOC) exam will count 25%.




1.      Pens and pencils

2.      Notebook paper

3.      Notebook/ binder     


Suggestions for Success:


  1. Pay attention!
  2. Be prepared!
  3. Be organized! You are expected to keep an organized notebook.
  4. Do all work and turn it in!
  5. Review everyday, even when you do not have homework.  Study regularly.
  6. Ask for help if you need it! Communicate with your teachers.
  7. Do your best! Be concerned with your learning more than your final grade!                            



Kevin Keen

Biology/ Biology Honors Pacing Guide




Unit (topics)

Objectives (NC SCS)



  • Intro. to biology/ scientific methods

(This is taught throughout the course)



1.01, 1.02, 1.03,1.04, 1.05



  • Introductory scientific method lab plus labs done throughout the course (which include written reports), analyzing science reports



  • Molecular Biology


  • Physical, chemical, & cellular basis of life (organic molecules, enzymes, cell structure and function)
  • Cell cycle (mitosis)
  • Cell as a living system (homeostasis, transport, biochemical reactions)
  • Bioenergetic reactions (photosynthesis & respiration)




2.01, 2.04,













  • Testing for biomolecules
  • Testing enzymes
  • Discovering cells (using microscopes)
  • Cell models
  • Mitosis project and lab
  • Diffusion/osmosis labs
  • Fermentation lab
  • Photosynthesis and respiration projects


  • Continuity of life (genetics)
  • Molecular basis of heredity
  • Asexual vs. sexual reproduction
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Genomics (genetic technology / societal impacts)








3.04, 4.04

  • DNA extraction
  • Modeling replication, transcription, and translation
  • Predicting effects of mutations activity
  • Modeling meiosis
  • Predicting and solving problems using Punnett squares
  • Genetics research project
  • Simulating electrophoresis and DNA fingerprinting
  • NOVA video Cracking the Code of Life – discussion





  • Continuity of life & change over time (Evolution by natural selection)
  • History, evidence, mechanisms, applications





  • Activity – simulating natural selection (allelic frequencies)


  • PBS Evolution Videos – discussion/ written assignments


  • Ecology
  • Interrelationships (levels of ecology, symbiosis, predator/prey, limiting factors, population growth, carrying capacity)
  • Flow of Energy and cycling of matter (Food chains and food webs, ecological pyramids, biogeochemical cycles)
  • Human impact ( historic and potential changes, local and global impacts, resource use and sustainable practices)





















  • Population growth lab




  • Biome project



  • Cycles project




  • Activities – owl pellet dissection, ecology scavenger hunt, discovering ecosystems, sampling macroinvertebrates to estimate water quality, sampling terrestrial invertebrates to measure biodiversity.



  • Research project (paper about chosen environmental topics)
  • Activity – global warming using NASA resources







  • This pacing guide is only a basic guide for the class.  Only major activities have been listed for each topic. Teaching methods will vary daily.  Inquiry or modified inquiry is used as much as possible.  In addition, balanced literacy strategies are incorporated daily to help ensure student learning of target goals.


  • Although goals are listed according to unit, the class is taught in such a way that students must tie ideas and vocabulary together throughout the year.   Major themes such as the nature of science, structure and function, unity within diversity, characteristics of life, flow of energy, and evolution are built throughout the course.



  • In addition, biology honors classes are required to have more rigor.  Honors classes cover some material in greater detail and are required to do more independent learning.