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Theoretical Genetics 112 March 2021

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

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

Food Webs27 March 2021

A simple introductory food web activity to review trophic levels and feeding relationships students begins this level and then students complete a card sorting activity to consolidate terms such as heterotroph,... more

Introduction to Cloning.16 April 2020

This activity introduces some examples of therapeutic cloning techniques and their implications. Students make structured notes about the method of somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce cloned cells... more

Ecological terms.24 September 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

Karyograms and non-disjunction.10 July 2020

In three short activities student explore how non-disjunction can lead to changes in chromosome number. This is illustrated by reference to Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Students will watch a six minute... more

Sex Linked Genes10 March 2020

In this activity 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 worksheet.... 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

Evolution introductionfree10 October 2020

After watching a short video introduction to evolution, students answer questions to complete structured notes, about the different types of evidence which support the theory. This is followed by an activity... 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

3 ways to choose a topic for the IA20 September 2020

Many student struggle to choose a topic for their IA investigation This page contains three activities which illustrate how to find an interesting IA topic. The activities look at, research in Science... more

Classification of Plants23 June 2020

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

Ventilation & lung disease29 November 2020

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

Transcription - extras for HL24 December 2020

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

Intro to cladistics6 September 2020

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

Photosynthesis Theory28 February 2021

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

Cell Respiration.9 October 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

Variation & overproduction5 September 2020

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

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

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

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

Describing trends in IB graphsfree2 June 2015

Describing the data on a graph is a skill in Biology. Achieving the marks in an IB exam is more difficult that it looks. Students must do exactly what the question asks and give precise details in their... 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

Transcription of mRNA from DNAfree18 April 2021

Using an animated visualisation of RNA polymerase students will learn how to describe the process of translation in simple terms. In order to do this a good knowledge of the structure of RNA is important.... 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

IA Experiments that could be done at home3 June 2020

Many teachers have adapted rapidly since January 2020 to find ways to help IB Biology students to continue learning while they stay at home. This poses particular problems with the IA because access to... more

DNA structure - Extras for HL17 January 2020

This lesson introduces students to nucleosomes, and some of the details of DNA structure which will help to understand DNA replication. This includes the purine and pyrimidines bases as well as 5' and... more

Di-Hybrid Crosses.8 April 2020

This lesson gives students a guided tour of dihybrid genetic crosses using Punnett squares predicting the combination of alleles from two unlinked genes at the same time. The method described provides... more

Gene pools27 January 2020

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

Leaf stomata & transpirationfree5 April 2021

What are the special adaptations of leaf structure, and what is the stomata's dilemma? This activity uses a short video introduction to the roles of cells in a leaf and note taking about leaf structure... more

Nerve impulses.17 November 2020

Name three different roles of integral proteins in cell membranes.Can you think of two examples of molecules which have an electrical charge?How could an integral protein in a neurone plasma membrane... more

Blood clotting and heart disease.19 April 2020

Students sequence and explain the events of the chemical cascade which leads to the formation of a blood clot or scab using SOLO hexagons. This is followed by a short activity outlining an important application... more

Light Independent Reactions20 March 2020

The reactions of the Stroma of the Chloroplast are known as the light independent reactions and also the Calvin cycle. This activity introduces some of the molecules to students and some steps of the... more

Glycolysis and the Krebs Cycle11 February 2021

In this activity students revisit the SL details of respiration with a few simple resources about glycolysis,the link reaction and the Krebs Cycle. Students are challenged with the production of a diagram... more

Antigens and antibodies 14 November 2020

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

Gene Linkage 2.free30 August 2020

Use an online fly lab to repeat some of the experiments which helped Thomas Hunt Morgan in the discovery of linked genes, and the recognition of the role of chromosomes. Students learn that sometimes... more

Muscle structure & function.6 October 2016

Students use a short powerpoint introduction to identify key points of muscle structure and the interaction between myosin and actin filaments in sarcomeres before answering some questions on a worksheet.... 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

Chloroplasts and Photosynthesis9 February 2017

Where exactly is the chlorophyll found in a chloroplast? Students find the answer in this activity which begins by reviewing the simple explanations of the light dependent and the light independent reactions... more

IA - Avoiding common errors9 January 2020

Students are still learning how to complete an IA as they embark on this important piece of work. They gain so many new skills during the process that if it were possible to start again, once they have... more

Meiosis.15 July 2020

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

Ecology field trip - at home13 April 2020

One component of the IB Biology course which students complete individually is the IA. So it is potentially a good source of activities to do while students are learning from home during the Covid-19... more

DNA Replicationfree17 March 2019

The central dogma of molecular biology, described by Francis Crick, begins with DNA replication. It really is the essence of inheritance and perhaps even the essence of life itself. At SL there are just... more

IA experiment ideas inspired by Youtubefree18 August 2020

IB Biology students sometimes has difficulty finding a topic of interest for their IA.This is meant to be an individual project and before embarking on a10 hours of work it would be best to find something... 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

Electron transport chain15 March 2021

Modelling the biochemical pathway of the electron transport chain is learned through the activities in this lesson. Using some simple slides students are introduced to the movement of H+ ions and electrons... more

Human digestion and absorption quiz 6.17 May 2018

This is a quiz of multiple choice style questions about the Human digestion and absorbtion topic.They are self-marking questions, so you can click on 'check' to see whether you have the answer correct. more

Polygenic Inheritance.2 January 2021

Using a powerpoint introduction students learn about another example of inheritance which Mendel didn't attempt to explain. Polygenic inheritance is probably the most common type of inheritance but even... more

Meristems and Growth.20 December 2019

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

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