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IB style topic testsfree27 December 2014

These test are designed to help teachers assess students at the end of each topic and to help students practise IB style questions. They have been written specially for Inthinking Biology by experienced... more

Topic 1 - Cells revision activitiesfree22 May 2019

All the different aspects of the cells topic on a single A3 sheet, for revision. By completing short questions or explanations students are forced to review the whole topic and complete an overview of... more

Ecological terms.25 March 2019

"Ecology is the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interaction between organisms, the interaction between organisms and their environment, and structure and function of ecosystems."... more

Variation & overproduction17 May 2019

To understand how natural selection leads to evolution it is important to know about variation and overproduction of offspring. These two concepts are the key to understanding evolution. In this activity... more

Climate Change.free9 October 2018

Two short videos introduce this lesson. David Suzuki gives a simple outline of the process of climate change due to an enhanced greenhouse effect and the second illustrates the complexity of the models... more

Genetically Modified Organisms.21 March 2018

In an excellent BBC interview with some anti-GMO protesters destroying a field of research crops some young people were asked to explain why they were taking this action. None of those interviewed could... more

Alveoli & gas exchange22 May 2019

Students learn about the structure of the lungs and their alveoli including type I and II pneumocytes. After a short quiz on basic lung structure a short screen cast helps students to complete a diagram... more

Intestine Structure & Function.free12 June 2019

After learning to draw an annotated diagram of the digestive system students extend their understanding by looking at details of intestine structure and how they relate to function. This includes identification... more

Ventilation & lung disease22 July 2015

Students begin by looking at the muscle contractions which cause the pressure changes inside the thorax that force air in and out of the lungs to ventilate them. This is followed by an experiment to monitor... more

Leaf stomata & transpiration7 January 2016

A short video introduction to the roles of cells in a leaf followed by some simple note taking about leaf structure and function. The function of stomata is linked to carbon dioxide absorption and also... more

Photosynthesis Theory23 February 2016

Standard level students need to know about photolysis and the light independent reactions which take place in the stroma but with only simple details. This activity leaves out the complexity and gives... more

A simple unit planner free8 September 2018

Unit plans are an integral part of the MYP and unit plans are featured in the Approaches to Teaching and Learning document (ATL) which the IB has published for the Diploma Programme. There are several... more

Theoretical Genetics 1.2 February 2018

In this lesson students will be shown the link between chromosomes and genetics. A powerpoint intro to allele and genotypes in a simple case of inheritance of flower colour illustrates the link and demonstrates... more

Photosynthetic pigments 27 January 2017

Students investigate a simple practical method of separating photosynthetic pigments (practical 4)using paper chromatography (or thin layer chromatography). Following this there is an animation of chromatography... more

Light Dependent Reactions14 March 2019

This activity reviews the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis which occurs on the thylakoids of the chloroplast. A first activity introduces the parts of the membrane and the stages of the reactions,... more

Transcription - extras for HL8 January 2019

This lesson begins with a review of the process of transcription and the role of RNA polymerase but quickly turns to the control of gene expression using nucleosomes and methylation. Experiments with... more

Chromosomesfree21 January 2018

This lesson begins with a comparison of prokaryote and eukaryote chromosomes and an introduction to the concept of diploid and haploid nuclei. The second activity introduces the use of databases to compare... more

Classification of Plants3 November 2017

Starting with some self study activities students begin to learn the names and features of the four plant phyla required for IB. Then, using a dichotomous key students search for examples of each phyla... more

Intro to cladistics18 December 2016

What is a clade? How can we explain analogous and homologous traits using cladograms? What do we need to know about cladograms? All these important questions are covered in this lesson plan using a... more

Evolution examples8 October 2017

Students investigate adaptive radiation and industrial melanism as well as gradual divergence of populations into separate species. All of these ideas have been contested by some groups so IB students... more

Theoretical Genetics 2.9 February 2018

Beginning with a review of the punnet square questions from last lesson, students are then introduced to some more complex genetics using the example of human blood groups. Teacher led Description of... more

Classification & binomial names20 July 2015

Students will learn how to classify organisms according to their taxonomic group, and how to understand the binomial nomenclature. These are a few introductory slides and then a card sorting activity... more

Ecology mini-investigation11 October 2018

What does an Individual investigation look like? Students will try out all the steps of the planning and carrying out of the individual investigation in the collaborative safety of group work. For each... more

Polyploidy21 June 2017

Using the examples of agricultural crop plants students learn what polyploidy is and how it helps solve the problems of hybrid infertility in plants often leading to new species and hybrid vigour. There... more

Reclassification of figworts using cladisticsfree13 October 2016

In this lesson students first try to make a cladogram using the physical appearance of flowers from the figwort family. This illustrates how classification has been done for many years. In the second... more

A linear unit plannerfree12 January 2019

This unit planner template is a simple table, with sections for each aspect required by the IB standards and practices together with reminders in pale font color. Copy the table and edit it, deleting... more

12 Investigation ideas with a biological twist.free17 October 2018

Germination experiments and simple osmosis labs are seen all too often by moderators. If you want to show real personal engagement then your investigation has to have a 'twist' that shows you have really... more

Sex Linked Genes.4 March 2018

In this lesson plan students read about the inheritance of colour blindness and hemophilia as examples of sex linkage. Then they make structured notes on the essential points using the structured notes... more

Meiosis.8 November 2016

The remarkable breeding experiments carried out by Gregor Mendel between 1856 and 1863 are now considered to be the origins of modern genetics. It's easy to overlook the brilliance of Mendel's data analysis... more

Paper 3 Section A - questionsfree16 April 2016

Paper 3 section A is a new part of the IB Biology examinations this year in 2016The following details are adapted from Inthinking Chemistry pages by Geoff Neuss and information from the IBO more

Structure of the digestive system.3 May 2019

With a short screencast students learn a simple method of drawing a diagram of the digestive system. Annotations are added and students can practice their knowledge using some printable flashcards or... more

Meristems and Growth.29 January 2018

What is a meristem and how is it that a plant can keep growing for the whole of its life? Micropropagation using the plant meristems as a source of undifferentiated cells has become an important method... more

Gene pools26 May 2017

After consideration of what a gene pool is and the way that evolution causes changes in gene pools this lesson looks at the driving forces of speciation using the examples of Bird of paradise species... more

Photosynthesis Experimentsfree16 February 2019

This activity introduces a simple method of measuring the rate of photosynthesis and leads students to design their own investigation of a factor which affects it. A second activity illustrates how the... more

Cell Respiration.21 January 2019

With the smell of caramel from the burning glucose filling the lab, students discuss the need for metabolic pathways in respiration. A card sort activity and discussion will outline the main ideas for... more

Hormonal control in plants14 February 2019

How do plants respond to light if they don't have eyes nor a brain? The mechanism is quite complex but it is a good illustration of the role of membrane proteins and the fluid nature of the plasma membrane.... more

Classification gamesfree11 August 2017

Learning the key features of the animal and plant phyla requires some repetition and is not really much fun. So this activity tries to change that. Using a simple set of cards students learn the names... more

Properties of Water.2 October 2018

This lesson uses a screen cast to introduce a simple diagram of hydrogen bonding in water. There are a range of activities to help student to understand how these hydrogen bonds affect the properties... more

Nerve impulses.28 September 2018

Name three different roles of integral proteins in cell membranes.How can integral proteins in a neurone plasma membrane cause an electrical potential across the membrane?What do these proteins do to... more

IA Analysis - ANOVA or t-test?2 May 2018

If you can plot the data from your investigation in a bar graph of averages, with three or more bars, (like the graph shown) then ANOVA may be a good statistical test for you to use.To compare two means,... more

Hormones and the menstrual cycle3 December 2017

Students are introduced to the functions of the hormones of the menstrual cycle with the aid of a short presentation. This is followed by an activity looking at the effects of hormones on one another... more

Extended Essay titles2 October 2014

It is best to help find topics that can be successfully completed by the students themselves. The aim is for students to follow a personal learning pathway. The more they can put their own ideas and skills... more

Protein Structure.19 October 2018

Knowing the four levels of proteins structure is essential if we are to understand how proteins function in the body. In the first activity students model the different components of protein structure... more

The Investigationfree29 September 2014

The problem with assessing practical work is that the assessment criteria can restrict the range of tasks which teachers dare to let students do. What may be intended as an assessment of creative, meaningful... more

Synapses.7 December 2018

This activity involves lots of discussion and a little competition to help students learn the details of synaptic transmission. First by annotation of simple diagrams showing the structures of a synapse... more

Condensation & Hydrolysis.9 October 2018

A set of slides helps a teacher led description of how two glucose molecules form a dissacharide by condensation and the same for two amino acids and three fatty acids with glycerol, as in a triglyceride.Students... more

Liver structure & function.free9 December 2016

This is an inquiry lesson using mobiles devices and QR codes to reveal information about the structure and function of the liver to enable students, in groups, to answer questions. This gives the teacher... more

Analysis15 June 2016

Analysis is all about data collection and processing. Students are expected to collect sufficient data, even if they have to repeat some of the data collection or find data from a simulation or database... more

Antigens and antibodies 19 February 2015

How can the proteins on the surface of cells, called antigens, help the body's immune system to identify pathogens?Use the following slides to introduce antigens and antibodies Antigens & antibodies more

Ultrastructure of cells quiz 1.21 September 2018

This is a quiz of multiple choice style questions about the Ultrastructure of cells topic for SL students.They are self-marking questions, so you can click on 'check' to see whether you have the answer... more