Unit planning: Biology

This section of the site has two purposes.  First, it is here that you will find curriculum related material - particularly, the unit planners and advice on how to address the ATL planners on Managebac if your school is using that program.

Secondly, this section replaces "teacher notes."  For the different components of the curriculum, you will find lesson plans, with links to activities on the site that you may find helpful for students to develop an understanding of key concepts as well as critical thinking skills.

Unit plan: Biological approach

Below you will find a unit planner for the biological approach. The unit is interwoven with the cognitive unit. The first half of the unit focuses on memory - looking particularly at neurotransmitters,...

LP 1: Memory and the brain

In order to study the biological approach, I have divided into two mini-units. The first unit is an extension of the memory unit. The second unit is a unit on the ultimate decision – love.The first...

LP 2: Brain imaging techniques

The following lesson plan is an introduction to brain imaging techniques - a key way in which psychologists are able to study the brain.Although I will focus on MRIs (structural) and fMRIs (functional)...

LP 3: Memory and neurotransmission

This lesson focuses on the role of neurotransmission in human behaviour - specifically, on memory.In keeping with the rest of the content of this mini unit on the biology of memory, acetylcholine will...

LP 4: Memory and hormones

A hormone is a chemical that is secreted by glands in the endocrine system. Unlike neurotransmitters, they are released directly into the blood stream. Hormones may act as neurotransmitters and attach...

LP 5: Ethics in animal research

Although this topic is part of the HL extension, I have both my SL and HL students take part in this lesson. As ethics in the biological approach is something that all students could be asked on the...

LP 6: Introducing love

The following mini-unit on "love" is the second half of the biological unit. I will complete the "interpersonal attraction" unit in the second year of the course, but this will introduce the biological...

LP 7: The evolution of attraction

The following lesson is on the evolution of attraction. It starts with an overview of evolutionary theory and then looks at two key studies of the role of biology in attraction.The lesson finishes with...

LP 8: Pheromones and attraction

The question of the role of pheromones in human behaviour is a tricky one. First, it is not agreed that there even are pheromones in humans. This makes the use of animal research rather impractical....

LP 9: Genetics and sexuality

The following lesson plan is my final one for SL for year 1. The lesson focuses on how psychologists investigate the genetic origins of behaviour. And to complete our "love unit" for this year, we look...

LP 10: Animal models (HL)

This final lesson for the first year of the course looks at the question of animal models and our ability to generalize from animal research.As part of this lesson, we review research on the brain and...

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