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Lesson Ideas

Complete Scientific Article Collection for AP Biology

In this collection, we have gathered scientific articles that cover each of the units in the College Board’s AP Biology curriculum. These articles were adapted from original academic research papers published in peer-reviewed journals, re-written for students, and reviewed by the researchers. Each article contains an introductory video as well as questions to assess the students’ understanding.

Unit 1: Chemistry of Life

  • Topic 1.1: Structure of Water and Hydrogen Bonding
  • Key terms: splitting water molecules, renewable energy, chemistry, physics
  • Method: experiment
  • Type of graph: pictograph
  • Additional resources: Original lab on osmosis, hydrogen fuel cells, and renewable energy (PDF)

Unit 2: Cell Structure and Function

  • Topic 2.2: Cell Structure and Function and Topic 2.4: Plasma Membranes
  • Key terms: microbiology, immunity, infectious diseases
  • Method: cell culture, experiment
  • Type of graph: pictograph
  • Additional resources: Available in 2 reading levels (Use Upper-level PDF for AP Bio)
  • Topic 2.2: Cell Structure and Function
  • Key terms: stem cells, microbiology, COVID-19, disease control, infectious diseases, outbreak, vaccine
  • Method: systematic review
  • Type of graph: microscopy image, pictograph
  • Additional resources: Available in 2 reading levels (see Upper-level PDF). Also available in Spanish.

Unit 3: Cellular Energetics

  • Topic 3.5: Photosynthesis
  • Key terms: microbiology, chemosynthesis, photosynthesis, biomass, metabolism
  • Method: data extrapolation, DNA sequencing, fluorescence imaging, mass spectrometry, representative sampling
  • Type of graph: bar graph, map
  • Additional resources: Also available in Dutch
  • Topic 3.1: Enzyme Structure and Topic 3.6: Cellular Respiration
  • Key terms: plant respiration, algal bloom, greenhouse gas emissions
  • Method: experiment, mass spectrometry
  • Type of graph: bar graph
  • Additional resources: Available in 2 reading levels (see Upper-level PDF)

Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle

  • Topic 4.6: Cell Cycle
  • Key terms: stem cells, cell division, molecular biology
  • Method: cell culture, experiment, fluorescence imaging, microscopy
  • Type of graph: pictograph
  • Additional resources: Ask-A-Scientist video interview (YouTube) with the original researcher. Also available in Arabic.

Unit 5: Heredity

  • Topic 5.3: Mendelian Genetics
  • Key terms: mosquitoes, genetic traits propagation, vector-borne disease
  • Method: case study, data validation, PCR (Polymerase chain reaction), representative sampling
  • Type of graph: histogram, time series graph
  • Additional resources: Available in 2 reading levels (see Upper-level PDF)
  • Topic 5.5: Environmental Effects on Phenotype
  • Key terms: phenotype, genotype, climate change adaptation
  • Method: experiment, scientific modeling
  • Type of graph: bar graph, line graph
  • Additional resources: Also available in French

Unit 6: Gene Expression and Regulation

  • Topic 6.3. Transcription, Topic 6.6 Gene expression and Topic 6.7. Mutations
  • Key terms: DNA mutations, epigenetics
  • Method: experiment
  • Type of graph: bar graph
  • Additional resources: Also available in Spanish
  • Topic 6.7: Mutations and Topic 6.8: Biotechnology
  • Key terms: single nucleotide mutation, nanoparticles
  • Method: gene editing, DNA sequencing, experiment, fluorescence imaging
  • Type of graph: box and whisker plot
  • Additional resources: Video of nanoparticles circulating in blood vessels (35MB mp4 download). Also available in Korean.
  • Topic 6.8: Biotechnology
  • Key terms: gene drive, malaria, mosquitoes, vector-borne diseases
  • Method: gene editing, CRISPR, data validation, experiment, scientific modeling
  • Type of graph: pictograph, time series graph
  • Additional resources: Introductory videos (YouTube)

Unit 7: Natural Selection

  • Topic 7.2: Natural Selection and Topic 7.4: Population Genetics
  • Key terms: evolution, fitness, amphibians, radioactivity
  • Method: experiment, field study, observation, representative sampling
  • Type of graph: bar graph
  • Additional resources: Lesson Idea video (YouTube) on natural selection with bacterial resistance. Also available in Spanish.
  • Topic 7.6: Evidence of Evolution
  • Key terms: fossils, brain development, horseshoe crabs
  • Method: microscopy, observation
  • Type of graph: pictograph
  • Additional resources: Ask-A-Scientist video interview (YouTube) and podcast (Substack) with the original researcher. Lesson Idea video (YouTube).
  • Topic 7.9 Phylogeny, Topic 7.10 Speciation, and Topic 7.11 Extinction
  • Key terms: phylogenetic tree, groundwater, amphibians, extinction
  • Method: field study, DNA sequencing
  • Type of graph: dendrogram, map
  • Additional resources: Audio version available (YouTube)

Unit 8: Ecology

  • Topic 8.1 Responses to the Environment
  • Key terms: adaptation, species distribution
  • Method: field study, experiment, DNA sequencing
  • Type of graph: scatterplot, map
  • Additional resources: Ask-A-Scientist video interview (YouTube) with the researchers in the field. Lesson Idea video (YouTube).
  • Topic 8.3 Population Ecology
  • Key terms: population assessment, survival rate
  • Method: scientific modeling, risk analysis
  • Type of graph: time series graph
  • Additional resources: Introductory videos (YouTube)
  • Topic 8.3 Population Ecology
  • Key terms: mosquitoes, vector-borne diseases
  • Method: mark-release-recapture (MRR), data extrapolation, representative sampling, scientific modeling
  • Type of graph: bar graph
  • Additional resources: Introductory videos (YouTube)
  • Topic 7.12 Variations in Populations, Topic 8.6 Biodiversity, and Topic 8.7 Disruptions to Ecosystems
  • Key terms: genetic diversity, species distribution, animal behavior, climate change adaptation
  • Method: field study, GPS tracking, DNA sequencing, representative sampling, survey research, climate scenarios, data reconstruction
  • Type of graph: map
  • Additional resources: Lesson Idea video (YouTube) on the greenhouse effect

That’s Not All!

You can find many other free adapted scientific articles in the following collections:

Happy science exploration!

Title image: AP Biology word cloud by UTA Science & Engineering Library

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