AP Biology A: Unit 2 Update

Energy and Life Processes

Unit 2 - AP Biology A

Welcome to Unit 2 of your WVS AP Biology A course!


In Unit 2 of AP Biology A, you will learn about Energy and the Processes of Life.

This unit will explore how energy is obtained and metabolized in life forms via photosynthesis, cellular respiration and fermentation.


Be sure to explore the Unit 2 Newsletter & the Student Resources for important unit information.

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Natural Beauty Moment -

Unit 2 Tips & Hints

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Natural Beauty Moment: The Amazing Diversity of Darwin's Finches

Photo Credit: Write the World, Science-Biodiversity. http://writetheworld.com/groups/2/assignments/58

Unit 2 Tips & Hints:

This Newsletter will be updated as student questions arise. This is a working Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, so check back for updates as you work through the Unit 1. The link to this newsletter is posted at the beginning of Unit 1.

After you review your Unit 2 Newsletter and Student Resources folders, begin your Unit 2 coursework:

1.01 - Course Introduction
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provides an overview of the course.

1.01, page 3: Encourages you to explore the AP Biology Exam (College Board) site for students. See the AP Biology website College Board) at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-biology

1.01, page 5: Describes the Virtual textbook (readings, which you can download and read online or print) and encourages you to use the following optional printed textbook as an additional reference: Campbell, Neil A., and Jane B. Reece. Biology, 7th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005). Campbell's Biology is the classic college biology text and will enrich your studies. Talk to your Local Education Guide, as your school district may have copies for you to borrow, or you may find a copy to check out through your school inter-library loan or public library.

1.01, pagse 6 & 7 - Labs:
- it is recommended that you keep a Lab Notebook for the course. Since this is a virtual course and you will be submitting lab assignments digitally, you may want to set-up an digital AP Biology Labs folder.

- I recommend you save and/or print your Lab Materials List and your AP Biology Formula List and keep these organized in your digital course files or in a 3 ring binder binder of printed course documents. Check your Lab Materials List now and talk to your Local Education Guide if you need assistance finding materials.

- There is also an Optional Lab Manual published by the College Board: AP© Biology Lab Manual for Students. This optional manual is an excellent resource for lab overviews and background information. Some colleges will only grant credit to students who have completed hands-on labs and may require a completed lab manual or Lab Notebook as proof of lab experiments.
Contact colleges you are applying to for their complete credit requirements.
- Recommended for college documentation of lab work: Keep a digital lab notebook of all your graded work and a digital copy of the AP Biology course syllabus.
- Optional Lab Manual (not required) link for ordering: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-biology/lab-manual

1.01, page 9: Overview of each Standard Lesson sequence in a unit (repeated for each topic):
- Reading Assignment (download and read online or print). Goals, Mastery Map, Set the Stage Question & Content (essential questions, narrative, keywords, interactive activities, self-check & free-response questions).
- Student Guide (download & complete digitally or print and write answers). Resource to enhance your note-taking and review.
- Online Quiz. Complete the online quiz at the end of each Standard Lesson in your Unit.
- Labs: Labs in a Unit will either be hands-on or a Virtual Lab in SmartScience (or a combination of both. Follow all lab instructions carefully and safely. You will be sent your SmartScience login by Dr. Ginnett shortly after you enroll.
- Online Discussion Forums: Both Asynchronous (threaded) and Synchronous (real- time, times and dates to be announced).
- Lesson Resources (see pop-ups on course screens).

Lessons in Unit 1 focus on:

1.02 Natural Selection

1.03 Phenotype Variation in Populations

1.04 Types of Natural Selection

1.05 to 1.07: Labs - Natural Selection: Both a Virtual Lab and a Hands-On Lab

1.08 Application of Mathematics: Graphs

1.09 Genetic Basis of Evolution

1.10 Application of Mathematics: Hardy-Wineberg Equations

1.11 Vertical and Lateral Gene Transfer

1.12 to 1.14: Labs - Population Genetics: Both a Virtual Lab and a Hands-On Lab

1.15 Origin of Life on Earth

1.16 Evidence for Evolution

1.17 Test Taking Strategies

1.18 Discussion - Free Response Questions

1.19 Shared Ancestry: Conserved Traits

1.20 Phylogeny and the Interrelatedness of Life

1.21 Speciation and Extinction

1.22 Your Choice: Complete Unit & Review for Unit Test. Request Unit Test Password.

1.23 Unit Test


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Lab Tips & Hints:

The 1.05 Natural Selection lab is a nature observation lab.
They schedule this over 3 days in the course so you see it listed for 1.05 - 1.07 (it's all the same lab).

You will focus on observing 3 species and answer the guided questions for each species.
This can easily be done in you own yard, observing birds, squirrels, insects, etc.

The lab report form for the 1.05 Natural Selection lab is in your 1.05 course content link or you can find it in your

Unit 1 > Student Resources.: Materials > Lesson 5 area.

When done, upload your file for grading in the AP Biology course.


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The 1.12 Population Genetics Lab is a 2 part ab activity is scheduled over 3 days, so you will see 1.12 - 1.14.

1.12 Population Genetics Lab 1
is a virtual lab in SmartScience, so Part 1 is a computer simulation lab.
All of the 1.12 lab part 1 is done in SmartScience and you will submit your work in SmartScience.
You will answer a pretest quiz, then do the simulation which involved bird predation on insects in different camouflage situations.
You will look at differences in insect survival. Run this simulation under multiple different background conditions.
The results will be graphed for you and will population the report.
There are conclusion/discussion questions to answer and often another quiz.
Then select Submit, to turn your lab in via the SmartScience area.
I will grade this report in Smart Science and post my comments for you there.


The 1.12 Population Genetics Lab 2 is the second part which is a home lab that explores population genetics.
Download your laboratory instructions, then gather your materials and do the lab simulation.

You will be using different colored beans as the test populations that are undergoing natural selection in your lab simulation.
You could use other objects (beads, coins, colored paper squares, etc.).
Dried beans are just inexpensive, already present in many home kitchens, come in different colors ... and can be washed and used to cook a tasty meal later :-) so they do not go to waste.

After you collect your data, you will get practice doing some population genetics calculations (see your AP Biology Formulas & Equations list)
Then write up the lab report (download the lab report form) and submit it in your AP Biology course.


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Unit Quizzes are Password Protected: In each unit, you will take the assigned two part Unit Quiz. I strongly encourage you to spend time reviewing your Unit concepts and content prior to taking your Unit Quiz. Unit Quizzes are password protected and you must complete all unit coursework (quizzes, assignment and labs) prior to requesting the Unit Quiz password.


Contact Dr. Ginnett via email for your Unit Quiz password. While waiting for a reply, use the time to review and study for your Unit Quiz or begin the next module.

Unit Quizzes will be taken on an Honor System as closed book exams. I recommend you do your best to complete it as a closed book test, as this will better prepare you for success on your Final Semester Exam and the College Board AP Biology Exam, both of which are closed book. However, you may keep your notes nearby during Unit Quizzes for quick reference (if needed).

Your school district, however, may require that you take proctored (supervised) Unit Quizzes. Be sure to ask your Local Education Guide (LEG) about your school district policy..

Favorite Biology Websites - Explore and Bookmark

Need Help?

Dr. Dorothy Ginnett, WVS AP Biology Teacher

Need AP Biology Content Help? You can contact me with your questions by posting a message to the "Raise Your Hand" discussion forum, attending Collaborate Virtual office hours, or via the email and phone links listed below.


Need Technology Assistance? Contact your local school district Information Technology Staff and your Local Education Guide (LEG) to resolve local school district technology issues. Be sure to let me know if you need further assistance and/or if the issues are delaying your progress. Please include assignment specifics (assignment name and number) and technology setup specifics for faster trouble-shooting. You can also contact the WVS Help Desk at wvshelpdesk@gmail.com