Archive for the ‘G12 SL Biology’ Category

IVF role play

Friday, November 25th, 2011

sperm injection into egg on wikimedia commons

We are going to try something a little different to help us learn about the process of IVF, and the ethical considerations that go along with it.  Here’s the situation:

A couple have been trying to conceive for over 3 years.  They have had 2 miscarriages. They are considering IVF as their next step. The man is really keen to go ahead with it, but his wife is skeptical.  They have an appointment with a doctor who is a specialist in the area of fertility and IVF.

What to do:

  • Get into groups of 3.
  • Each person will have their own role to play – decide who is going to be the doctor, who is going to be the woman and who is going to be the husband.
  • The doctor must become knowledgeable about the process of IVF, so that s/he can explain it to the couple and answer any questions they may have.
  • The woman must be ready to listen, but also have a well thought out list of concerns about the negative aspects of this treatment and the ethical considerations she is worried about.
  • The husband must have his arguments ready as to why he thinks the treatment would be a good next step for them, and address any of his wife’s concerns.
  • Spend about 30-40 mins researching your role.
  • Role play the interview between the doctor and the couple.
  • Reflect on the process – what difficulties did you find? Is there a “right” answer to this problem? Include your thoughts in a comment on this post.

Revision tips and command terms

Monday, April 19th, 2010
exam cartoons by Robin Hutton on flickr

exam cartoons by Robin Hutton on flickr

So you have all the infomation you need to succeed in the upcoming exams.  Make sure you also know the command terms used by the IB. 

It is no good knowing the syllabus inside out, but then answering an explain question by describing, or a distinguish question by comparing. 

Check out this very helpful presentation by Mr Taylor in Bandung that clarifies these action verbs.  It is an important part of your revision.

And for HL candidates, here’s the syllabus outline for Option H. Option H syllabus guide

Syllabus guides

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
ghosts of semesters passed by foreverdigital on flickr

ghosts of semesters passed by foreverdigital on flickr

Here are the syllabus guides for the core (SL) and HL topics for the entire IB Bio course.  The syllabus guides for the options we have studied are in previous posts.

For SL – you need TOPICS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 only.

For HL – you need all the above PLUS TOPICS 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.

Topic 1 – Statistical Analysis 2009 Syllabus   Topic 2 – syllabus outline  Topic 3,7,8 – syllabus outline   Topic 4 – Syllabus outline  Topic 5 – syllabus guide  Topic 6 – syllabus outline  Topic 9 – Syllabus outline  IB Biology HL Topic 10 – syllabus guide  Topic 11 – syllabus guide

Before you know it, mocks will be over, then Easter break, then in a few short weeks it will be May and you’ll start the REAL IB exams… and then graduation and tears of joy and sadness and a new chapter will begin…. One step at a time.  Keep studying.  It will end.

Optical illusions

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Check out lottolab.  Watch the TED video and then play around the site.  There are loads of optical illusions to keep you entertained.

And now get back to your mock revision….Friday 19th March is looming!

How we see, how we hear

Friday, February 12th, 2010
Eye see you! by dotbenjamin on flickr

Eye see you! by dotbenjamin on flickr

We’ll start by looking at the different kinds of receptors that humans have, then focus on the photoreceptors in the eye and mechanoreceptors in the ear.  Click4biology is useful, as is this presentation by Mr Taylor in Bandung.

You need to be able to label a diagram of the eye like this one: Eye diagram

We’ll also do an eye dissection so you can relate the diagram to “reality”.  We’ll compare the different types of photoreceptors that are on the retina, namely rods and cones.  We’ll explain contra-lateral processing (right brain processing information from left eye, and vice versa). And finally we will explain certain kinds of optical illusions by looking at edge enhancement.

We’ll label a diagram of the ear and explain how sound is perceived.  Here are some questions for consideration:-

Why do we have two ears?  What role does the pinna play in other animals? Can fish hear? What range of sounds can the human ear hear? What is a cochlear implant and how does it work?  What does it mean to be tone deaf or have perfect pitch?

Neurotransmitters and synapses

Friday, February 12th, 2010
addiction by alancleaver_2000 on flickr

addiction by alancleaver_2000 on flickr

Here are the big questions for us to tackle in this section:

  • How does decision-making occur in the CNS?
  • How do psychoactive drugs affect the brain and personality?
  • What the physiological effects of THC and cocaine?
  • What are the causes of addiction?

We’ll use this presentation from Mr Taylor.  And, as usual, click4biology is a great resource.  Also, for fun, check out this site.  You’ll find some very entertaining mice!

Thanks to Mr Hobbins for this powerpoint. E4 Neurotransmitters and Synapses

Stimulus and response

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The syllabus guide for this topic: Option E – syllabus guide

We are starting option E with a look at the nervous system.  Check out this excellent presentation from Mr Taylor.

What are some examples of reflexes that exist in humans?  Are there some that exist in babies but not in adults?  Do other animals have reflexes that we don’t have?  Do plants have reflexes?  What is the purpose of a reflex action? 


Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Here are some questions we need to answer:

  1. What is the difference between innate and learned behaviour?  How can the process of learning improve the chance of survival?  Give examples.
  2. What is the difference between taxis and kinesis?  Give examples of each.  How could these be investigated in the lab?
  3. What experiments did Pavlov carry out on dogs?  What is the difference between unconditioned and conditioned stimuli?  What is the difference between unconditioned and conditioned response?
  4. What role do genetics and learning play in the development of birdsong in young birds?

This presentation from Mr Taylor in Bandung is excellent, as is click4biology.

And we’ll finish this section by doing a design lab – you need to design an experiment to investigate innate behaviour by either taxis or kinesis.  This will just be a design exercise – we won’t actually carry out the lab. Here are the criteria: Design lab criteria

Ethical issues in human nutrition

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
sweet, sweet honey by BotheredByBees on flickr

sweet, sweet honey by BotheredByBees on flickr

There are several issues to consider when choosing what we eat and what we buy to eat. 

Is it ok for us to consume animal products such as honey, eggs, milk and meat?  What are the ethical issues concerning including these in our diet?  Is it culturual?

Discuss the concept of food miles.  Is it appropriate for consumers to choose foods that minimize food miles?

Playing doctors

Monday, January 25th, 2010

We are going to do a little role-playing.  Here are two scenarios:

You are a new mother of a 2 week old baby.  Throughout your pregnancy you read a lot about breastfeeding vs bottle-feeding.  At your first doctor’s appointment since giving birth, the doctor asks you which method you have chosen, and why, and how it is going.  Script the conversation between you and the doctor.  Do some research to find out the composition of breast and bottle milk, and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your chosen method.  Include ethical and social issues as well as medical ones.

You are a doctor who has recently confirmed a diagnosis of type II diabetes for a particular patient.  Script a conversation between you and your patient that includes what the causes and symptoms are, the relevance of ethnicity, what the dangers are, and any dietary advice (with justification).