Bonnie Waltz, Deanna Mayers, Tracy Rains
Life Science, Biology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
9, 10, 11, 12
  • Biology
  • Evolution
  • Principles of Biology
  • Traits of Life and Living Things
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Themes and Concepts of Biology

    Themes and Concepts of Biology


    Biology is the study of life; however, there is more to it than this simple definition. In this seminar, you will be investigating the Unifying Principles of Biology. For example, changes and adaption of life are observed in nature. Regardless of the organism, those that are the best adapted will survive. This unifying principle and several others will be explored in this seminar.


    BIO.A.1.1 Describe the characteristics of life shared by all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.


    Introductory warm-up activity.

    So what is biology? It's the study of living things. Within biology there are many sub-disciplines that deal the many facets of life, from nature to the the genes that make you up. To get started, watch the video, “Introduction to Biology.”


    Read or watch the resources to learn about this concept, then do the practice activity.





    Biology has several themes that unify the science. Learn about these unifying themes by reading “Unifying Principles of Biology”.

    Continue to learn about the principles of modern biology by watching the following “Biology Podcast.”  


    Complete the “Video Guide” as you view.  

    For this activity you will be taking a “Virtual field trip”. Think about the four unifying themes of biology from the video above. Select a field trip from one of those areas and visit it. Create a written reflection that includes image samples of living organisms from your trip.  



    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.


    From what you have learned so far, complete the prompt below.

    • Explain how each of the four major themes of biology are connected. Use examples and illustrations to make your point.  


    Now it is time to self-check how much you have learned about the this topic.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.


    Biology is about life. The Earth is home to an estimated 8.7 million species; learn more about that here.  For this activity you will need to create an “Pictochart” on the topic “Biology is Life,”  using your understanding from this lesson and researching information from the internet. Your infographic should express the unique diversity of life and demonstrate how biology studies it.  You can evaluate your work using this “Rubric.”  


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning.  

    After completing the lesson, think about what you have learned and how you experienced it.  Based on your learning, answer the prompt below.  

    • How can you prove to the teacher you know the objective?