Living Environment Honors

Living Environment H - 4210                                                         

Full year - 1 credit

Grades 9,10,11,12
Prerequisite: Honors Policy Applies


This course is designed for the science-oriented, high achieving students who may be considering a career in science. The NYS Living Environment Syllabus forms the foundation of the course however Honors curriculum covers concepts in greater depth and detail. The course involves advanced readings in order to strengthen reading and comprehension across the curriculum and to better prepare students for future AP courses and the SAT exam.  Areas of concentration include: research skills, scientific inquiry, biochemical aspects of modern biology, cells, genetics, evolution, ecology, human anatomy and physiology.  This class will prepare students for the NYS Regents exam which will be taken in June at the conclusion of the school year.  

Instructional philosophy

Living Environment Honors course is built on the knowledge, understanding, and ability to do science that students have acquired in their earlier grades. Instruction is focused on understanding important relationships, processes, mechanisms, and applications of concepts. At the same time, the course
requires memorization of many new concepts and terms. These will be introduced using lectures, demonstrations, large and small group discussions, text readings and lab activities.
The assessments will test students’ ability to explain, analyze, and interpret biological processes and phenomena as well as their knowledge of specific facts. Laboratory experiences will provide the opportunity for students to develop the scientific inquiry techniques, the use of information systems, the interconnectedness of content and skills and the problem-solving approaches.

Knowledge and Skills Objectives

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Living Environment Honors - click here for more Detailed Syllabus

Living Environment Honors - Units of Study

1. Scientific Inquiry and Laboratory Skills


                 Lab Safety

                 Scientific method

                 Interpreting Graphs

2. The Life of the Cell

                     The Chemical Basis of Life

                  The Molecules of Cells

                  A Tour of the Cell

                  The Working Cell

                  Cellular Respiration:  How Cells Harvest Chemical

                  Photosynthesis:  Using Light to Make Food

 3. Reproduction & Genetics

                    The Cellular Basis of Reproduction & Inheritance

                 Patterns of Inheritance

                 Molecular Biology of the Gene

                 DNA Technology & Genomics

4. Concepts of Evolution

                       How Populations Evolve

                    Tracing Evolutionary History

                    The Origin and Evolution of Microbial Life

                    The Evolution of Animal Diversity

                    Human Evolution

5. Ecology

                       The Earth’s Diverse Environments

                    Behavioral Adaptations to the Environment

                    Population Dynamics

                    Communities and Ecosystems

                    Conservation Biology

6. Human Impact on the Environment

                       Positive effects of humans on the environment

                    Negative effects of human on the environment

7. Animals: Form & Function

                       Animal Structure & Function

                    Nutrition & Digestion

                    Gas Exchange


                    The Immune System

                    Nervous Systems

                    Control of the Internal Environment

                    Chemical Regulation

                    Reproduction & Development

8. NYS Required Labs

                    Making Connections
                             Beaks of Finches

Major Resourses for
Living Environment Honors

Primary Text:
Title:  "Biology: Concepts & Connections"
Authors:  Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reece, Martha R. Taylor, and Eric J. Simon Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall

Review Book: 
Title: "The Living Environment"
Authors: John Bartsch, Mary P. Colvard
Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall

On-Line Text:

On-Line Practice and Review: