Life sience
Language Arts
Foreign Languages

Course Description

Life Science is an introductory level course designed to enable students to explore basic biological concepts in a laboratory setting. Students focus on concepts that are shared by all living things such as cell structure, biochemical make‐up, and inheritance. As students move into the second semester, the focus is on the diversity of life as they classify the many different species of living organisms into kingdoms and other classification categories. Students finish the year with a unit on ecology that relates the interdependence of living with each other and with their environment.

Course Pre‐Requisites

Life Science is an introductory science course with no pre‐requisites. It is appropriate for 6th and 7th grade students.

Course Learning Objectives

In this course, we will cover the “Science” learning objectives defined in the Minnesota Academic Standards in Science (2009). A full copy of these objectives is available at:
Specifically, by the end of the course, students will be able to:
· Create and conduct plans for investigations that include:
asking questions, stating hypotheses, identifying variables, identifying constants, and collecting data accurately
· Use appropriate tools and technology and metric measurement units to gather and organize data and to report results
· Interpret and analyze data and recognizes bias in order to formulate logical conclusions
· Communicate about scientific investigations in appropriate ways (written, oral, pictorial, digital)
· Follow lab and safety procedures when conducting scientific investigations
· Identify characteristics common to all living things and classify organisms based on difference in physical characteristics
· Describe the functions and interactions of human body systems (for example: circulatory, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, digestive) and the levels of organization within the human body
· Compare and contrast a variety of ways in which multi‐cellular organisms transport materials
· Explain how matter cycles and energy flows through ecosystems and describe the significance of photosynthesis and respiration to these processes
· Relate structure and function in different types of cells and cellular organelles
· Describe the role of genetic material in the transfer of biological characteristics from one generation to another
· Analyze implications of interactions among organisms, populations, and their environment
· Give examples of adaptations and of evidence that organisms have evolved over time
· Explain why it is important to repeat scientific investigations
· Create and use physical and conceptual models for explanation and prediction
· Recognize that people in different cultures and at different times in history have made
contributions to the advancement of science
· Explain that scientific knowledge changes as new knowledge is acquired and previous ideas are modified

Course Language Objectives

In addition to the learning objectives listed above, a primary goal of this course is to facilitate students’ development of scientific communication skills. Each lesson will contain a specific language objective designed to help students grow in their abilities to read, write, listen, and speak. By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  • Read and orally discuss scientific news articles and trivia every day.
  • Summarize the results of laboratory experiments in a written conclusion.
  • Communicate experimental results in tables/graphs/illustration
  • Listen and provide written and oral feedback to other students’ ideas.


Textbooks will be used in‐class only. Students will NOT be bringing a textbook at home. We will be using McGraw Hill “GLENCOE Life Science” © 2012 (ISBN: 0‐07‐888002‐5).
Units, Themes, and Course Organization
This course is broken down into the following units:


Scientific Explanations 1 Week
1 Classifying and Exploring life 1 Week
2 Cell Structure and Function 2 Week
3 From A Cell To Organism 1 Week
4 Reproduction of Organisms 1 Week
5 Genetics 2 Week
6 The Environment and Change Over Time 1 Week
7 Bacteria and Viruses 2 Week
8 Protists and Fungi 2 Week
9 Plant Diversity 2 Week
10 Plant Processes and Reproduction 1 Week
11 Animal Diversity 2 Week
12 Animal Structure and Function 2 Week
13 Animal Behavior and Reproduction 1 Week
14 Human Body System (Structure and Movement) 2 Week
15 Human Body System (Digestion and Excretion) 2 Week
16 Human Body System (Respiration and Circulation) 2 Week
17 Human Body System (Immunity and Disease) 2 Week
18 Human Body System (Control and Coordination) 2 Week
19 Human Body System (Reproduction and Development) 2 Week
20 Matter and Energy in the Environment 1 Week
21 Populations and Communities 1 Week
22 Biomes and Ecosystems 1 Week

Learning activities and methods

Composed of multiple choice, true/false, short answer, matching and essay questions. You will be given at least one week’s notice before an exam. Exam dates will be announced in class.

This course places a strong emphasis on laboratory work. Lab handouts will be provided for each experiment. Due dates for lab write‐ups will be discussed when labs are assigned.

Assignments will typically involve some combination of problems and writing activities. Homework is due at the beginning of the class period after it was assigned.

YYou will be given unannounced quizzes if you badly participate in class to make sure you are prepared and putting your best effort into your homework assignments. Any material we have covered is fair game on a quiz. Quiz questions will often (but not always) be very similar to your homework problems.

Presentations and Classroom Discussion
Designed to easily understand concepts and practice oral skills.


Quarter Grade =
40% Tests, quizzes and projects
25% Labs
25% Daily work, homework

Grading Scale:

Grading Scale
A+ 97 - 100 4.0
A 94 - 96.99 4.0
A- 90 - 93.99 3.7
B+ 87 - 89.99 3.3
B 84 - 86.99 3.0
B- 80 - 83.99 2.7
C+ 77 - 79.99 2.3
C 74 - 76.99 2.0
C- 70 - 73.99 1.7
D+ 67 - 69.99 1.3
D 64 - 66.99 1.0
D- 60 - 63.99 0.7
F 0 - 59.99 0

Classroom policies

What to do (and not to do) in class:
Being on time to class means you are ready to learn
You should be in your seat with materials out by the time the bell rings. Passing time is 10 minutes, which provides plenty of time to use the restroom, socialize with friends and be to class on time.

Missed class
You are responsible for material covered when you are absent. If you have an unexcused absence when an assignment is due, you will receive a zero grade. For excused absences, you are given two makeup days for every day you are absent. This means that if you miss class on Monday and return on Wednesday, the work you missed on Monday is due Friday. Missed labs must be made up – see instructor to arrange a time to perform the experiment.

Homework and labs are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Homework and labs handed in after this are late and will receive a zero grade.

Lab report format
All questions must be answered in complete sentences.

Cell phones
Cell phones are not allowed in class. You must be turned off and stow your phone during class. If I catch you using your cell phone during class, I will keep your phone until 3:05 pm that day.

Plagiarism & Cheating
Students involved in any type of plagiarism – either submitting answers not their own that they don’t understand, supplying answers to other students, copying another student’s work, or making up lab data – will be given a zero for the assignment.

The instructor will, under no circumstances, write a letter of recommendation for any student who is involved with plagiarism in her class, regardless of the size of the infraction..


Students are required to bring the following supplies to class every day of the year:
Notebook and Pencil
Bound with at least two subjects for note taking. Well‐kept notebooks will be invaluable in future science courses. Pen is acceptable, pencil is preferred.
Trivia/Journal Booklet
To be provided by the teacher


Parents, guardians, and host parents: If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me! E‐mail is the best way to reach me. I am happy to answer questions via e‐mail, meet with you in person, or have a phone conversation.
Students: I want you to succeed in life science! If you have questions, are struggling with the course material, are concerned about your grade, or have any other concerns, please come talk to me sooner rather than later. I am happy to find a time to meet with you before school, after school, or during lunch.


expect that you will:
· Respect yourself, others, and the school environment. · Be sure to greet teachers or staff · Be in class and on time. · Give your best effort every day. · Be honest in your work, relationships, and actions. · Help create a safe and productive learning environment. · Clean your workplace. · Be a positive leader in our global community.

Important Note:

This Syllabus is intended to be a guideline. The description, requirement, and schedule are subject to revision and refinement by the teacher.