The concept of "The Levels of Organization" is a basic one. Things can be understood from a size perspective. It is often useful to investigate science from this basic perspective, whether it be from smallest to largest or largest to smallest.
It is my belief that understanding the levels of organization from smallest to largest is a great way for basic or advanced Biology students to begin to organize their study. I also believe that within this simple organization, some powerful realizations can be made.
Most would agree that Biology encompasses the levels of Atoms through Individual Organisms with Ecology covering the levels of Individual Organisms through Biosphere...while Chemistry is usually going to be confined from Atoms through Macromolecules...Physics can comfortably be said to cover it all. I find it useful; to ask students to consider how their are other levels of detail with which to investigate science.
From a concise view of teaching high school level BIOLOGY - we can consider that THE 8 CHARACTERISTICS OF LIVING THINGS are covered within the the following LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION: (With the use of an Interactive Whiteboard - In class I will usually engage the class in discussion of how these areas overlap)
ATOMS --> MOLECULES --> MACROMOLECULES --> ORGANELLES --> CELLS --> TISSUES --> ORGANS --> ORGAN SYSTEMS --> INDIVIDUAL (Multicellular) ORGANISMS --> POPULATIONS --> COMMUNITIES --> ECOSYSTEMS --> BIOMES --> BIOSPHERE
- GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
- UNIVERSAL GENETIC CODE - NUCLEIC ACIDS, DNA, RNA
- METABOLISM - ABILITY TO ACQUIRE RAW MATERIALS FOR USE AS RAW MATERIALS AND ENERGY
- RESPONSIVENESS - TO STIMULI AND ENVIRONMENT
- HOMEOSTASIS - THE ABILITY TO MAINTAIN A STABILE INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
- EVOLUTION - CHANGE OVER TIME (POPULATION/SPECIES)