Living Environment

UA Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists

Curriculum Map (under construction)


September October November/DecemberJanuary/ February March April May/June      

Scientific Inquiry 

Origin of Life       

Organization and Patterns        



Genetics and Biotechnology     

Reproduction and Development          



Human Influences on the Environment 

  Regents  Review  

 Big Idea(s) 


Where It All Started     

How Scientists Organize Life

Our Body ‘s Balancing Act 

Protecting Ourselves From Invasion 

Changing the genetic code

 The Circle of Life Changes Over TimeInteractions with the Environment

What We Do To The Planet 

How Much Did We Learn?


Demonstrate knowledge of scientific method

Compare and contrast independent variable and dependent variable

Describe the characteristics of a good experiment

Distinguish between a control group and an experimental group

Discuss the use of a placebo

Use a microscope to locate specimens under low and high power

Prepare a wet mount slide

Make an appropriate scale and plot data points from a data table

Interpret graphs

Design an experiment to test a hypothesis

Measure in SI units

Identify biochemical structures. 

Lab:  Making Connections* 

Identify the different cell parts

Distinguish between a carbohydrate, lipid and protein

Demonstrate the difference between acids and bases

Use indicators to test for presence of nutrients

Create and use a dichotomous key

Compare and contrast plant and animal cells

Identify different mitotic phases

Explain how could a single cell be a metaphor for an entire city

Lab:  Diffusion through a membrane*

Explain the relationship between the different body systems and how they contribute to homeostasis

Suggest how knowledge of how our body systems function could empower us to make changes in our everyday life

Give an example of a disease and how it disrupts homeostasis

Draw a negative feedback diagram

Discuss the role of hormones in the body and give an example of their action

Describe antibody/antigen reactions

Analyze genetic inheritance and calculate probability of inheritance using a Punnett Square

Interpret a karyotype

Construct a model of the DNA molecule

Compare and Contrast DNA and RNA 

Evaluate a pedigree

Identify a suspect using a DNA fingerprint

Take a position on genetically modified food and support it with evidence.  

Lab:  Who’s Got The Germ?

Compare and contrast asexual reproduction with sexual reproduction

Diagram the different stages of meiosis

Identify key differences between meiosis and mitosis

Trace the development of a human fetus

Identify flower reproductive structures.

Dissect flowers and seeds 

Collect seed samples and describe dispersal strategies

Explain why  women have a menstrual cycle and men do not

Identify reproductive structures that plants have and humans don’t

Summarize why bees are our most important pollinator. 

Explain why Darwin’s Finches are so important  to the study of evolution.

Write a short piece of fiction about survival of the fittest

Predict the effects of environmental changes on species. 

Lab:  Beaks of Finches* 

Lab:  Opposable Thumbs.

Diagram the process of energy transfer through a food web and a food chain

Discuss the different types of ecological succession

Recognize the different types of biomes

Identify the negative consequences of reduction of biodiversity.

dentify the biological factors that determine which organism can live in an ecosystem

Demonstrate how can a city block provide the living, non-living and once living factors to support the survival of a variety of organisms. 

Lab:  Relationships and Biodiversity*

Describe the negative environmental effects of deforestation, acid rain, ozone layer depletion and global warmng

Discuss actions taken by humans to reduce or repair damage to the environment

Calculate your ecological footprint

Analyze questions on practice Regents Exams

Identify strengths and weaknesses for Living Environment concepts

Determine topics that need further review

Summarize test taking tips.   

Lab:  Slime 

Essential Question(s)

What do we need to do to investigate problems like scientists? 

What are the origins of life on Earth?  

How do we know something is alive?  

How do our bodies stay physically and chemically balanced? 

How do the various components of the immune system work together to keep us free from disease? 

Do we understand enough about our genes to modify them? 

Which is more effective, sexual reproduction or asexual reproduction?Did humans ascend from apes or descend from Adam and Eve?How do individuals and groups of organisms interact with each other and their environment?  

Can our planetary resources be preserved? 

Do BSSWA students understand and use the concepts needed to pass the Living Environment Regents?  

Assessments/Evidence of Learning

Evaluation of lab write ups

Written problem solving exercises

Individual and group projects


Completed homework assignments

Unit exams


Tracking sheet:  Demonstrated skills.  

Art projects

Writing projects

Art project:  Concrete Poetry: The Cell. Art/Writing project:  Informational pamphlet on genetically modified food

Writing project:  Journey of a Sperm

 Art project:  Demonstrating Biomes.

Regents Exam practice tests.

What You Absolutely Must Know worksheet

Suggested Texts         

Video:  Osmosis Jones

Trip:  Genetics Lab, AMNH

Video excerpts:  The Miracle of Life


Mock Trial:  British Petroleum

Video:  Earth 

 *Required State Labs

Standards per NYS Scope and Sequence