Biology 12

In Biology 12, the course explores the genetic makeup of organisms and the diversity of life. Stemming away from biology 11 where the course was mainly about homeostasis in the human body, biology 12 dives into the microscopic aspects of life. The course is focused on two separate main themes, 1) genetics – macroscopically (what we see) and microscopically (what we cannot see) and 2) diversity of life – organization of various kingdom, phyla, classes, and families.

In order to be successful in biology 12, students must not fall behind in their readings and work. Due to the nature of the content and the amount of details needed, students must keep up with their readings and homework. Dissections are also a part of the biology 12, and must be done in a fashion that the students keep well drawn drawings.

The units found in gr.12 biology are as follows:

  1. Genetics
    1. Macroscopic (phenotypes and genotypes) and diseases
    2. Microscopic (DNA, RNA, and Protein)
  2. Diversity of life
  3. Evolution

A typical rubric is as follows:

30% for Final Exam

70% for in class work

  • 40% / 70% is on quizzes and tests
  • 20% / 70% is on assignments/projects
  • 10% / 70% is on lab work/homework

Gr.12 Biology

Pseudo Project Based Learning Approach

The pseudo project based learning approach in the gr.12 biology uses various mini-projects to investigate, research, and produce a project that best represent the learning outcomes discovered. It is not completely project based learning because the mini-projects have more of a direction and structure than a true project based learning where the projects / leading questions are more open ended. The various mini-projects incorporates all of the learning outcomes while keeping the students’ engaged by producing an authentic and rich project as a finale.  The projects work on several levels to promote a rigorous and rich learning experience such as keeping a weekly log, learning to research in an academic sense, producing a project, talking with an expert, creating / experimenting / and tinkering with a project and hosting an exposition of their learning.

In addition to the explicit outcomes required for gr.12 biology, other important ‘soft-skills’ are emphasized for our ever evolving 21st century learning.  These are and not inclusive to

  • time management of projects
  • working and resolving conflicts in a small group
  • research scientific paper
  • citing and referencing credible and academic sources
  • writing a scientific paper
  • public speaking and presenting original ideas
  • designing / devising / and analyzing data

Classroom structure:

Due to the nature of project based learning, every mini-project has been designed with specific outcomes / vocabulary that students should touch on and learn. However, these vocabulary and outcomes are not simply memorized such as definition, but are used in conjunction with their learning. For example, taking an example from Elon Musk, if a group of students were to learn the workings of a car engine and the tools associated with the part, the students are provided with a scenario with an engine where they are to figure out the tools needed in fixing the engine instead of the traditional approach where each individual tool is taught before using them on the engine. Thus, instead of memorizing the definitions or steps of mitosis and meiosis, students are provided with a question that may analyze the underlying reasons of cancer cell growth. Looking at cancer cell growth will immediately require students to dive into cell growth, which is mitosis, and will dive further in transcription and translation for how cells are replicated.

At the end of each mini project, students are required to produce a project that will be evaluated by 1) teacher 2) peers 3) other members of the community.

What if students get stuck?

Periodically, concepts that may be deemed challenging will be introduced in class to reinforce the learning or to clarify any misunderstanding. Students are also encouraged to talk to other teachers of the same field, experts of the field, and even members of the community.



Mini-activities / centres:



Big Picture questions and worksheets:

Worksheets and Work booklets:

Mastery Check Questions





Videos to watch:

Games to play:

Worksheets and assignments:



  1. Notes 1: Evolution intro with Darwin: unit5evolution1
  2. Notes 2: Natural selection and adaptations: unit5evolution2a
  3. Taxonomy notes 1:
  4. Taxonomy notes 2: taxonomy2



Videos to watch:

Jumping spider (ant)

Bower Bird

Mimic Octopus

Darwin’s Dangerous Idea






Need help?

Check out the tutorial videos!