This course is an in-depth study of biology which involves research and individual laboratory work. The topics include: energy of life, cell structure and function, reproduction, genetics, adaptation, classification, psychology, environment and ecology, dissection and comparative anatomy. Honors Biology is designed to develop the student’s ability to observe and understand the living world.
The honors level course is adapted and differentiated for advanced learners. Students advance their problem-solving skills needed to develop as scientists by conducting inquiry-based laboratory experiments and evaluate the effects of changing variables in online simulations. Students will learn science investigation skills needed in college laboratory classes. Students also research current events that relate to the concepts in the Biology Standard Course of Study.
Standards and Objectives
Honors level additions to the Standard Course of Study:
Instead of creating additional objectives, honors guidelines suggest that each existing objective be studied in greater depth. Students should demonstrate understanding by giving a more detailed, quantitative and molecular explanations of biological phenomena and be able in more cases to explain the key experiments and insights behind current knowledge.
Preparation for AP Biology:
Honors Biology will cover the topics in the AP Biology Big Ideas and Enduring Understanding to prepare students with essential biological background knowledge prior to the AP Biology Course. In the AP Biology Course, the students will learn the concepts in the AP Biology Ideas and Enduring Understanding in greater depth.
Click here to access the Honors Biology Course Outline.
Click here to access the Parent Curriculum Documents.
Instructional Materials and Methods
This honors level biology course is taught to highlight the past, present, and future of biological studies. The students evaluate the changing nature of science as technology advances and scientists deepen their understanding the microscopic world. Students develop an appreciation for the use of the scientific method and inquiry in science. Online simulations provide visual, hands-on learning to allow students to see scientific processes occurring in the world. Additionally, students can change variables in the simulations to see changes in the scientific processes. The honors level biology class researches current events and advancements in biology as they relate the topics discussed in class. Instructional materials and resources related to the honors enrichment activities include, but not limited to: Gizmos, SAS in Schools, and CNN.com.
Multiple assessment methods are utilized in Honors Biology. Informal assessments include classroom discussions and directed questioning, as well as scaffolding techniques to lead to inquiry learning. Formal assessments include homework assignments, online simulations, laboratory explorations, quizzes, projects, and chapter tests. Laboratory explorations are both group designed experiments as well as individual. Quizzes include multiple choice questions, matching, labeling diagrams, interpreting graphical data, and short answer sections. Chapter tests include multiple choice questions and essay questions. Essay questions are designed for learners to apply both content knowledge and problem-solving skills. A North Carolina End-of-Course Exam is administered at the end of the course.