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  • Writer's pictureJolene Pappas

Teacher Guide to Biology Simulations by course

Updated: Jan 17

For the full teacher guide to each simulation, complete with standards alignment, see this post!


This post will be a little simpler than the full teacher guide and will break down which simulations and games are aimed at various courses. Of course, there is a lot of variation in how schools set up their course sequences, but this should be a good start for anyone who wants a quick reference. You will also notice that much of the content can be appropriate for multiple levels. The difference is often in how you choose to use it (level of math involved in analysis, new learning vs. review). If you have any questions, reach out via the contact page.

 

AP Biology/College Intro


Unit 1

Carbon 'n Stuff - Review game to practice recall of compounds students should be familiar with for the course


Unit 2

Cell Structure Game - Review the structure and function of cell parts.

Diffusion and Osmosis - Practice diffusion and osmosis before a hands-on lab.


Unit 3

Enzyme - Anylize the impact of several different factors, including an inhibitor on enzyme-mediated reaction rates.

Cell Energy - Analyze photosynthesis, respiration, and the interaction between the two processes.


Unit 4

Cell Cycle - Practice identifying cells in mitosis and analyze the impact of several substances on the rate of mitosis.


Unit 5

Heredity I - Practice analysis for two autosomal, unlinked traits.

Heredity II - Practice analysis for an x-linked trait.

Heredity III - Practice analysis for incomplete dominance and/or epistasis. Make sure to check out the blog post for an explanation of the inheritance involved.

Heredity IV - Practice analysis for two autosomal, linked genes.


Unit 6

Mutation - A simplified bacterial mutagenesis virtual lab.


Unit 7

Evolution: 10,000 - Review a variety of evolutionary concepts including natural selection and mutation with a focus on the impact of environmental changes on evolution.

Bottleneck Event - Introduce bottlenecks as an example of genetic drift.

Founder Effect - Introduce the founder effect as an example of genetic drift.

Population Genetics - Anaylize changes in a population resulting from natural selection, drift, and mutation.

Sexual Selection - Analyze the impacts of sexual selection and natural selection.

Arms Race - Introduces the concept of an evolutionary arms race between predator and prey species.

Mission Taxonomy Game - Reviews the names of major animal phyla.


Unit 8

Biodiversity - AP Bio classes typically use this to practice Simpson's Diversity Index calculations.

Macroinvertebrates - Diversity index calculation practice.

Competition - Study the competitive exclusion principle.

Population Dynamics - Test the impact of several factors on populations of predator, prey, and producer.


General

AP Bio Key Term Review Game - Review for unit tests or the AP Exam.


Instructional Blog Posts -


AP Environmental Science/College Intro


Unit 1

Competition - Study the competitive exclusion principle.

Population Dynamics - Test the impact of several factors on populations of predator, prey, and producer.

Cell Energy - Calculate primary productivity.

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for nutrient cycles.


Unit 2

Biodiversity - Practice various diversity calculations.

Macroinvertebrates - Practice diversity calculations or practice the use of bioindicators for water quality analysis.

Evolution: 10,000 - Review evolution with a focus on the impact of environmental changes.


Unit 4

Soil Texture - Practice the jar test method of soil texture analysis.

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for soil horizons.


Unit 8

Macroinvertebrates - Practice the use of bioindicators for water quality analysis.


Unit 9

Mutation - A simplified bacterial mutagenesis virtual lab that could tie into an environmental discussion of the impact of UV light.


Instructional Blog Posts -


Anatomy

Cell Structure Game - Review the structure and function of cell parts.

Anatomical Terms - Practice basic anatomical directional terms.

Cat Anatomy - Practice identifying cat anatomy (*uses real dissection images).

Mammalian Organ Set - Practice identifying the anatomy of several organs (*uses real dissection images).

Livestock Anatomy - Practice identifying the anatomy of a goat and pig. Aimed at students/schools with agricultural programs, but could also be used in a standard anatomy course.

Hematocrit - Learn about hematocrit and practice analyzing results.


High School Intro Biology


Ecology

Biodiversity - Practice quantifying biodiversity.

Macroinvertebrates - Introduce diversity calculations or practice the use of bioindicators for water quality analysis. If you live near rivers, this can be a good introduction to a field trip.

Competition - Introduce the impact of competition on population dynamics.

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for the levels of organization.


Evolution

Evolution: 10,000 - Practice recognizing the connection between mutation, natural selection, and the environment.

Natural Selection - Explore the connection between the environment and natural selection

Sexual Selection - Analyze the impacts of sexual selection and natural selection.

Mission Taxonomy Game - Practice the names of major animal phyla.


Cell Biology

Cell Structure Game - Review the structure and function of cell parts.

Cell Energy - Study the impact of several factors on photosynthesis or cellular respiration.

Enzyme - Introduce enzymes.

Cell Cycle - Practice identifying cells in mitosis.


Genetics

Heredity I - Practice analysis for two autosomal, unlinked traits.

Heredity II - Practice analysis for an x-linked trait.



High School Intro Biology - Advanced


Ecology

Biodiversity - Practice quantifying biodiversity.

Macroinvertebrates - Introduce diversity calculations or practice the use of bioindicators for water quality analysis. If you live near rivers, this can be a good introduction to a field trip.

Competition - Introduce the impact of competition on population dynamics.

Population Dynamics - Test the impact of several factors on populations of predator, prey, and producer.

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for the levels of organization and nutrient cycles.


Evolution

Natural Selection - Explore the connection between the environment and natural selection

Evolution: 10,000 - Practice recognizing the connection between mutation, natural selection, and the environment.

Sexual Selection - Analyze the impacts of sexual selection and natural selection.

Bottleneck Event - Introduce bottlenecks as an example of genetic drift.

Founder Effect - Introduce the founder effect as an example of genetic drift.

Mission Taxonomy Game - Practice the names of major animal phyla.


Cell Biology

Cell Structure Game - Review the structure and function of cell parts.

Cell Energy - Study the impact of several factors on photosynthesis or cellular respiration.

Diffusion and Osmosis - Introduce and visualize solutions, diffusion, and osmosis.

Enzyme - Introduce enzymes and test the impact of several different factors on reaction rate.

Cell Cycle - Practice identifying cells in mitosis.


Genetics

Mutation - A simplified bacterial mutagenesis virtual lab.

Heredity I - Practice analysis for two autosomal, unlinked traits.

Heredity II - Practice analysis for an x-linked trait.


Instructional Blog Posts-


Middle School

Biodiversity - Introduce diversity calculations.

Macroinvertebrates - Introduce diversity calculations, also a good introduction to a river/stream field trip.

Mission Taxonomy Game - Practice the names of major animal phyla.

Cell Structure Game - Review the structure and function of cell parts. There is a simplified section for middle school that focuses on a smaller number of structures.

Natural Selection - Explore the connection between the environment and natural selection.

Heredity I - Practice analysis for two autosomal traits.

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for the levels of organization and hydrologic cycle.


Elementary School

Biodiversity - Introduce the concept of biodiversity.

Macroinvertebrates - Introduce the concept of biodiversity, also a good introduction to a river/stream field trip.

Natural Selection - Explore the connection between environment and adaptations

Environmental Science and Ecology - Practice identification for the hydrologic cycle.

 

For various assignments that can be used with many of the simulations, check out the Google Drive. Click on File and Make a Copy to get your own copy of the file that you can edit and use as necessary for your classes.

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