11 IB Biology

Welcome to Grade 11 IB Biology!

Course Outline:  Science, Grade 11 IB Biology, SBI 3UW


Semester:    1 Block:  D/E Room:    F432
Teacher:     Ms. Trainor

Teacher Contact Information:

email: marie_trainor@wrdsb.ca

Course/Teacher Website:


Course Description

This course enables students to deepen their understanding of Biology through the study of cells and cell processes, molecular biology, genetics, ecology and evolution and biodiversity. Students will further develop their lab design and writing skills, to prepare for the individual investigation that will occur in the Grade 12 portion of the IB Biology course.


Essential Learnings 70% 30%

Demonstrate an understanding of the following essential ideas:

Cell Biology:

The evolution of multicellular organisms allowed cell specialization and cell replacement.

Eukaryotes have a much more complex cell structure than prokaryotes.

The structure of biological membranes makes them fluid and dynamic.

Membranes control the composition of cells by active and passive transport.

There is an unbroken chain of life from the first cells on Earth to all cells in organisms alive today.

Cell division is essential but must be controlled.

Molecular biology:

Living organisms control their composition by a complex web of chemical reactions.

Water is the medium of life.

Compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are used to supply and store energy.

Proteins have a very wide range of functions in living organisms.

Enzymes control the metabolism of the cell.

Metabolic reactions are regulated in response to the cell’s needs.

The structure of DNA allows efficient storage of genetic information.


Every living organism inherits a blueprint for life from its parents.

Chromosomes carry genes in a linear sequence that is shared by members of a species.

Alleles segregate during meiosis allowing new combinations to be formed by the fusion of gametes.

Meiosis leads to independent assortment of chromosomes and unique composition of alleles in daughter cells.

The inheritance of genes follows patterns.

Genes may be linked or unlinked and are inherited accordingly.


The continued survival of living organisms including humans depends on sustainable communities.

Ecosystems require a continuous supply of energy to fuel life processes and to replace energy lost as heat.

Continued availability of carbon in ecosystems depends on carbon cycling.

Concentrations of gases in the atmosphere affect climates experienced at the Earth’s surface.

Evolution and Biodiversity

There is overwhelming evidence for the evolution of life on Earth.

Gene pools change over time.

The diversity of life has evolved and continues to evolve by natural selection.

Species are named and classified using an internationally agreed system.

The ancestry of groups of species can be deduced by comparing their base or amino acid sequences.

Quizzes, Tests and Assignments Final exam (mimics the IB exam that will be written in the Grade 12 year)

Demonstrate scientific investigation skills:

Analyse, Evaluate and Communicate the estimation of osmolarity in tissues by bathing samples in hypotonic and hypertonic solutions. (Practical 2)

Design and Communicate an experiment to test the effect of temperature, pH and substrate concentration on the activity of enzymes.

Analyse, Evaluate and Communicate an experimental investigation of a factor affecting enzyme activity. (Practical 3)

Design and Communicate the setting up of sustainable mesocosms to study the interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. (Practical 5)

3 labs (1 full lab done in a group, 2 individual = 1 full lab)

Practical Skills:

Use of a light microscope to investigate the structure of cells and tissues, with drawing of cells. Calculation of the magnification of drawings and the actual size of structures and ultrastructures shown in drawings or micrographs. (Practical 1)

Biological drawing assignment


Course Evaluation

  • Throughout the course, teachers will gather evidence of student learning through observations, conversations, and student-produced work.  
  • Seventy percent (70%) of the final mark will come from term work, and thirty percent (30%) will come from final evaluations.  Report card grades will reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement, with consideration given to more recent evidence.

Learning Skills

The Learning Skills and Work Habits section of the provincial report card is an integral part of a student’s learning.  Students will be assessed in the following areas:

  • Responsibility
  • Independent Work
  • Organization
  • Initiative
  • Collaboration
  • Self-Regulation

The following scoring system is used for Learning Skills:    E=Excellent; G=Good; S=Satisfactory; N=Needs Improvement

Course Materials

In order to be successful it is important to be organized and prepared for each class.  You will be expected to have the following items with you in class each day:

  • Pens, pencils, ruler and scientific calculator (especially for assessments! ie. no phones)
  • Charged chromebook
  • Binder with plenty of lined paper
  • Biology Course Companion textbook, 2014 ed.

Labs and assignments are expected to be handed in online, and a working knowledge of GSuite programs / applications are necessary. Also, Excel is needed to make graphs.


Absences must be validated and missed work completed outside of class time. If you miss a unit test or major lab for a valid reason, be prepared to complete it on the day you return. It is your responsibility to find out what you missed and catch up after being absent. If you know ahead of time about an absence make arrangements beforehand!

Extra help is available– your teachers are pleased to assist you! The Science Office is Room F434; please make arrangements with your subject teacher or visit peer tutoring in room A202 if extra help is needed.

For more information about the content of this course outline, please consult:

  • Higher Level IB Biology syllabus (available in class and online)
  • WRDSB’s Administrative Procedure 1660 (Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting)
  • The appropriate CHCI teacher or administrator.