Welcome! The outline below is a draft of what we’re planning for our high school, NGSS-aligned, non-AP level biology curriculum. If you’re not already on my mailing list, and you’re interested in getting updates, please sign up below.


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Topics in blue are either under construction or ready for review. Please take a look an let me know what you think.

Biology: Introduction and Core Concepts

  • What is biology?
  • Setting the context: A very brief history of life on Earth
  • Properties of Living Things
  • Structure Determines Function
  • Levels of Biological Organization
  • Adaptation and Natural Selection

Life’s Chemical Building Blocks

Cells and Membranes

  • Understanding Cells
  • Life’s Great Divide: Prokaryotic v. Eukaryotic cells
  • Eukaryotic cells (key organelles in plant and animal cells)
  • Cell Membranes
    • Selective permeability
    • Diffusion
    • Transport across the membrane (simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion, active transport, endo- and exocytosis)
    • Osmosis
  • Specialized Cells

Energy at the Cellular Level

  • Energy, Enzymes, and ATP
  • Photosynthesis (ready for review)
  • Cellular Respiration
    • Aerobic respiration (inputs and outputs, role of
    • Anaerobic respiration/fermentation

Cell Division

  • Why cells divide
  • Bacterial Cell division
  • Eukaryotic cell division: Phases of Mitosis
  • The Cell Cycle
  • Understanding Cancer

DNA and Molecular Genetics


  • Meiosis
    • Karyotypes
    • Phases
    • Meiosis and Variation
    • Chromosomal variation (Down Syndrome, etc.)
  • Genetics
    • Mendel and the Gene Idea
    • Autosomal genes
    • Sex Linked Genes
    • Blood Type
    • Extension: Dihybrid Crosses
    • Human Genetic Diseases


  • Darwin, Adaptation, and Natural Selection
  • Evidence for Evolution/common ancestry (fossil record, homology, molecular homologies)
  • Population Genetics
  • Speciation and Extinction
  • Phylogenetics/Classification


  • What is ecology?
  • Capturing Energy: Producers,  Consumers, and Trophic Levels
  • Ecological Communities
    • Niches and Habitats
    • Species Interactions
    • Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades
  • Population ecology
    • Population Growth
    • Carrying Capacity
  • Ecosystem stability, resilience, and disturbance
  • Human impact upon the environment

Additional Topics

  • Social Behavior and Group Interactions
  • Feedback and Homeostasis
  • Viruses and Vaccines
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Human Population Growth