Friday, September 17, 2010

Observation Assignment for 4th Period Biology Due 9/21/10

 On loose-leaf paper to turn in:

Title centered at top of paper: Observations
Full heading in upper right corner
            Full name
            Biology    period #

Make 20 observations outside or at home. 
4 with each sense (4 obs. X 5 senses = 20)
At least 10 must be quantitative – please label the quantitative observations with a “QUAN”.

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Assignment Due Wed. 9/15- Period 1 and Period 4 Biology

Your first assignment in biology is to read Chapter 1, Lesson 1 from the AGS Biology textbook. It is just a few pages, but the real assignment is taking Cornell Notes on what you read in your AVID binder.

Here is a link to a page with an audio version of the AGS textbook so you can listen as you read if you like.

Here is a link to a site about Cornell Notes in case you need a reminder of how to do them. Remember, the "Note Taking Area" on the right is where you write down ideas, vocabulary and examples from what you read. The "Cue Column" is for you to write main ideas and questions that relate to the material you have in your notes. When you are done you should write a 1-2 sentence summary of what you learned in the "Summaries" part on the bottom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did AIDS start in monkeys? Did chicken pox start it chickens?

How do diseases which start in one species "jump" to another species? How do people get a flu which started in chickens? Scientists at the University of Chicago and the Field Museum are using DNA to trace how diseases like AIDS and SARS pass from one species to another.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Genetics - How parents pass down traits to their offspring

We're learning about how offspring inherit traits from their parents.

AGS Chapter 10 Lessons 1, 2 and 3 give a great explanation of the basics.

Your assignment is to take notes on those 3 lessons IN YOUR IBN and then do the lesson review for those 3 lessons on separate paper to turn in.

We are also using the site, "DNA From the Beginning" to get into more depth and to learn from the excellent animations on the site.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Go to our audio page to listen to the "These are the Parts of a Cell" song. You can listen there and refresh your memory about what different cell organelles do.

Another great resource for all things cell, is the Cells Alive website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Macromolecule Project

We are researching Lipids, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Nucleic Acids and then presenting what we find to the class.

Go to the Biology Links page to find the template for the PowerPoint presentation as well as the research sheet, if you need it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lorenzo's Oil RAFT Letter assignment

Remember, RAFT stands for Role, Audience, Format and Topic.

Your Lorenzo's Oil RAFT assignment should be set up as follows:

ROLE: Lorenzo's Parents
Audience: The doctors who are working on ALD
Format: A business letter
Topic: Why ALD boys should go off the proscribed diet and start taking "Lorenzo's Oil"

A business letter is written in "block style," so rather than indenting for paragraphs, you need to skip a line between paragraphs. Be sure to include the date, the salutation (Dear Fred,) and the signature at the end.

A good example of a business letter can be found on Purdue University's web site.

Here is a sample letter to the ALD doctors to get you started:


Dear Doctors,

We are the parents of a boy named Lorenzo. He has a rare disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). As many of you know, this disorder leaves the body unable to break down big fat molecules, either ones the body makes itself or ones that enter the body through food. The diet that many of you are prescribing is not working. We want to tell you why ALD boys need to go off the diet and start taking “Lorenzo’s Oil.”

We think the diet you are prescribing is not working because…. (explain how removing fats from the ALD boys’ diets is causing their bodies to create more of the harmful long chain fatty acids like C24 and C26)

Lorenzo’s Oil is made of Oleic Acid (C18) and Erucic Acid (C22)….(explain that Lorenzo’s oil prevents the body from creating extra long chain fatty acids like C24 and C26)

We know that you are trying to help ALD children, but we believe the diet is harmful and that the oil we have developed... (Thank the doctors for taking the time to read the letter and ask them to take action.)


Agosto and Michaela Odone
Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lorenzo's Oil - Some people make their own miracles.

The movie Lorenzo's oil is the true story of how one family uses science to find a way to treat their son when he gets the debilitating disease adenoleukodystrophy (ALD). The research the doctors were doing was taking too long, so Lorenzo's parents identified the problem which caused the disease and tested their hypotheses about how the disease could be treated. Boys who get ALD now use the treatment that Lorenzo's parents invented.

If you were absent during the movie you can watch it for free on HULU

Here are a couple of obituaries of Lorenzo Odone who passed away the day after his 30th birthday... 22 years after the doctors predicted he would die.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Black History Month Essays due Feb. 15

When most people think of the word "scientist" the image which comes to mind is not usually of a woman, an African American or a Latino. There are actually many notable scientists who aren't white men.

For those of you who want to enter the Black History Essay competition, I urge you to think about writing about a great African American scientist.

Take a look at the following links to explore more about some of these amazing people who make our world a better place.

Percy Julian
Percy Julian was a great African American scientist with ties to Chicago.
The official PBS Nova Percy Julian page. You can watch the show online, find out facts about Julian, and find links to other sites with information about Percy Julian.
The PBS NOVA preview page with a good summary of the Forgotten Genius show about Percy Julian

Sites about Vivian Theodore Thomas, the African American carpenter (yes, carpenter) who first figured out how to do open heart surgery.

Info about the HBO movie about Vivian Thomas staring Mos Def – Rent the movie and see if you want to write about this amazing innovator.

The website and video page of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist in the NOVA movies about the formation of the Earth we watched in biology.

Website with listing of many African American scientists

Black History Month website about African American inventors

The Faces of Science – a university site highlighting African American scientists

Site listing notable African American physicists

Site listing notable African American astronomers and astrophysicists.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chemistry of Biology

We're exploring the chemistry of biological processes.

Vocabulary lists and review questions for AGS Chapter 2, Lessons 1 and 2 are due on 1/11 (a) and 1/12 (b).

Follow these links to learn about basic chemistry:




And a great animation to a song about all the elements: