North Middlesex Regional High School
AP Biology 2005-06 - Mr. Virzi

Read your book reviews!

Independent Reading Assignment

Campbell Chapter 43 - Immunology lectures by John Forte, UC Berkeley:
Scroll down to the lectures for Wed, 11/30 and Fri, 12/02

Links worth a second look before the AP test
Bio-Ed Online (Baylor College of Medicine) - lots o' lectures
Lab Bench - simulations and quiz questions on the AP labs
Massengale's AP Bio site - Lab write-up examples, etc.
Essay Writing Advice
More Essay Writing Advice
Even More Essay Writing Advice
Berkeley Lectures


Third Quarter Grading Formula

Movies of Pond Creatures

Sign-ups for Connecticut Valley organisms - updated 3/16/06

P 3371 - SNAKES (one preserved - no one yet)

P 2510 - PERCH, YELLOW PERCH (Perca flavescens) (three preserved - Beth F. % Tanya C.)

P 2300 - LAMPREYS (one preserved - no one yet)

L 590125 - WOODFROG TADPOLES (Rana sylvatica)(25 LIVE - Laria H. & Jenn D.)

L 469012 - PRAYING MANTIS EGGS (one egg cluster of about 200 eggs - LIVE - Grant B.)

P 9525 - PIG ORGANS, PIG EYE (five preserved - Rebecca R. & Willow A.)

P 2255 - CEPHALOCHORDATA, AMPHIOXUS (5 preserved - no one yet)

P 5300 - BATS (one preserved - Laria H. & Melissa B. & Jeanna R.)

P 161 - CEPHALOPODA, SQUID (one preserved - Brandon W. & Katie F.)

L 3750F25 - FEEDER CRICKETS (25 LIVE - Kaylie B.)

L 12SM - PROTOZOA SURVEY MIXTURE (LIVE - A single culture containing the following 8 organisms: Amoeba, Blepharisma, Spirostomum, Paramecium, Colpidium, Rotifers, Euglena, Euplotes - Casey T. & Jenn J.)

L 6X - BLEPHARISMA AND STENTOR (LIVE - Brianna B. & Brandon W.)

L 107 - VOLVOX (LIVE - Tim. O.)

L 47M100 - TENEBRIO LARVAE (Mealworms) (100 LIVE - Kerry N.)

P 9595 - SHEEP ORGANS, SHEEP BRAIN (preserved - Beth F. & Tanya C.)



Full-length AP Bio Practice Test

Where - NMRHS, in the ASC

When: Wednesday, February 22, 10:00 AM

80 minute, 100 question multiple choice + 10 minute reading period + 90 minute four question free response


1. Quiz on Chapters 16 & 17 - Friday, Feb. 3

2. You will be having approximately 2 unannounced 20-minute AP-style essays to do per week until the AP exam on Monday, May 8th (8:00 AM at Nissitissit Middle School). One will be on material we've already gone over, and the other will be on material we have yet to cover. They will count as quiz grades.

3. You will each be taking turns teaching parts of chapters, using the visuals that go along with the Campbell text. To access the images from the book, sign in under login name apbionm and password nmrhs. Choose the chapter you want, click "Art and Videos" on the left and you will see the thumbnails of all the texbook pictures and videos for that chapter. You should plan a 5-10 minute presentation covering 5-10 images or videos from the chapter, which you can display on the big TV in class.

4. On the Campbell web site, click on "The Campbell Biology Interviews" and scroll down to "Campbell Biology 1st Edition" "Unit 3 - James D. Watson." Read this interview, you'll have a question or two on it on the quiz on Friday.

5. Do the Online Onion Root Tip Activity from the good folks at the Biology Project at the University of Arizona. Copy the table and keep track of the number of cells in each phase of mitosis as you go along. Bring your completed table with you to the quiz on Friday to be stapled to it.

6. Check out these online animations related to these chapters:

Chapter 16 (there are 3 different animations here) (there are 4 different animations here)

Chapter 17


Monday's genetics quiz will consist of 4 problems that will be taken from the following problems from the packet: 23-29, 39-43, and 48-55. Skip #42.

After the quiz we will pick up where we left off going over the packet. So far these questions have already been answered: 1-7, 18, 26, 39, 58, 2.15, 2.17, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, 5.15, 5.22, 5.31, 5.32. (notes to B.W. and K.F. - your answers to 5.6, 5.15 and 5.22 were correct). Skip 5.9, 5.10, 5.12 - 5.14, and 5.27 - 5.30. Monday-Wednesday will be roundtable problem session days; the genetics mini-test on Thursday 1/26 will count as 50 test points for 3rd quarter and will include questions on population genetics (in Chapter 23) and chromosome mapping (in other words, the whole packet). If you don't finish this test on Thursday, you may continue it on Friday; I will not be grading your answers until you have told me that you are finished with the test (so you are free to change your answers on Friday).

I will be collecting your answers to the genetics packet problems on Thursday after the test. Your participation in the roundtable problem sessions will count as 50% of a test grade for 2nd quarter, and your written problems will count as the other 50%. Since we have devoted an extra week to the genetics chapters, this should give everyone enough time to do ALL of the problems in the packet (1-58 as well as the problems in smaller print at the end).

Ground rules for 3rd quarter:

After the 50-point genetics test on Thursday 1/26, I may give you one more 50-point test at some point late in the 3rd quarter; otherwise, you will be taking chapter tests individually during 3rd quarter, on any chapter in the book. Everyone must take a minimum of 10 chapter tests during 3rd quarter. Each test will count as 100 points. The format will be all multiple choice; you will have approximately 15-22 questions. Answer all of them, and pick out any 10 which you want me to count toward your grade.

If you only take 9 chapter tests, then one will count as a zero. You can space them out however you wish, but keep in mind that it would probably be a good idea to not have to take 10 chapter tests all at once during the last week of 3rd quarter. You are also free to take more than 10 chapter tests.


Genetics Roundtable Tues. & Wed., 1-17 & 1-18
Multiple choice test on Genetics chapters - Chapters 14 & 15 - Thursday 1/26


Christmas break assignment - answer any THREE of the following essay questions:,
# 37, 51, 67, 77, 83, 84, 91, 105, 119 and 121.

and a FOURTH essay question from the other questions on that page covering a subject that we have not gone over in class yet. At the end of each essay, please copy and sign the following sentence: "I wrote this essay in no more than 20 minutes without books or notes." Due date - Wednesday, Jan. 4. These essays will count as 200 test points.

------------------------------------------ 1. Show and Tell on Monday, 12/19/05 - Prepare short 2-5 minute presentations in which you describe about 5 important features of the organisms in the hard plastic and in the jars. You will be making the presentation to groups of about 4-5 other students, and you will be repeating a few times. You may use a microscope, book illustration, or any other visual in addition to the organisms themselves to clarify your points.

Try to avoid reading everything from note card. Try to make connections to some of the key points from Chapters 32-34 in Campbell. READ Chapters 32-34 in Campbell. Remember that the purpose of this activity is for everyone to be LEARNING; you are TEACHING. Make your presentations interesting, and focus in on the important stuff to remember about your organisms.

After you have finished presenting to your small group, have everyone initial your sheet. Give me the sheet with the initials on it at the end of class; it will be worth 50 lab points. If time permits, I would like for eveyone to be able to listen to everyone else's presentations, but don't rush through it too quickly. If we need more time, we may extend this into Wednesday.

2. After School Extra Credit Projects - please see me if you're interested in working on any of these. They are worth ten test points per hour, up to ten hours, and a write-up of your work is also required. If any of these pan out, the results will be published online and you will be a co-author. WOW! (A) Searching for plant-derived milk curdling activity. You would be preparing many homogenates of plant materials, and testing them for milk curdling activity at pH 6-8. (B) Testing for albumin binding of stains using paper chromatography. You will be doing paper chromatography analysis of many stains to test for their ability to bind to the protein albumin, and then trying to dislodge the bound stain from the protein. You will also be confirming your results using size exclusion gel chromatography. (C ) Troubleshooting the failed photosynthesis lab - why didn't the DPIP photosynthesis lab work for us when we tried it, and is there another more reliable photosynthesis lab that can be substituted for next year's AP Bio class?


Packets for Respiration & Photosynthesis labs are due Tuesday, 12/13.

Photosynthesis test will be Monday, December 12 (due to snow day on Friday 12/9)

Dissection Days: Tuesday, December 13 (worm and mussel) and Wednesday, December 14 (grasshopper and crayfish). You may also work on your specimens any time during the day in room 21, all week, during or after school.

Procedure - for each organism, draw and identify 10 external and 10 internal structures. They can be either macroscopic or microscopic features. Draw what you see, give the structure an imaginative name, and in a sentence or two in which you take your best guess at describing what you think the function of the structure is. Try to really think about this question; what would be the advantage of a structure being designed the way it is, if it has the function that you think it actually has? Somehow, try to come up with a plausible function that would be related to the structural design of the features that you pick out.

After you do this for each specimen, go to the diagrams and try to find the actual names of the structures that you described, and briefly give the actual function. If you've picked a structure or two that you can't find a name for, don't worry about it. Remember, before you start sifting through reference diagrams in books and online, you should treat these creatures as if they are from outer space, so expect to make some mistakes.

Optional assignment (worth a maximum of 30 test points) - due Tuesday, December 13th
Listen to the two lectures on invertebrates (I and II) at; take notes, and bring your notes to class on Monday.

A few links with labeled photographs and diagrams:
crayfish *** crayfish and grasshopper *** mussel *** clam *** earthworm *** earthworm ***


Follow THIS LINK to go to a very nice set of webcast lectures from UC Berkeley's Introductory Biology course. For lectures on cellular respiration and photosynthesis, click on "1A - General Biology" and then scroll down to 9/23, 9/26, 9/28, and 9/30.


Do-Your-Own-Thing Quiz Option - To earn additional quiz points, listen and take notes on any of the lectures from the UC Berkeley Bio 1A or 1B course. Take GOOD notes, and then read the chapter in Campbell that goes along with the lecture. Be ready to answer (orally) any of the non-multiple choice questions at the end of the chapter. Each lecture is worth 10 points (for example, if you listen to the two lectures on photosynthesis and then successfully answer an oral quiz question on Chapter 10 in Campbell, you earn yourself a quiz grade of 20/20). You may use this either to reinforce what we've already covered, or to move ahead and cover material that we may not get to by the time of the AP test (Monday, May 8, 2006). This option is avilable to you for the rest of the year.


1. Multiple choice test on Chapters 6-10 on Monday, 11-21.

2. We will be doing the Cellular Respiration Lab and the Plant Pigments & Photosynthesis Lab after Thanksgiving. Read through both labs over the long weekend and be ready for a very short quiz on this material on Monday 11/28 before we start the lab. Sample reports for these labs can be found HERE.

3. Reading quiz on Chapters 11 & 12 on Thursday, 12-1.


1. Our Show Me The Variation Expo will be held on Friday 11-18 (after the Chapter 10 reading quiz). Bring in 10 organisms or parts of organisms (examples - peanuts, pistachio nuts, grapes, raisins, blades of grass, pine cones, raisins, apples). Put each organism in its own Baggie (I have extra Baggies if needed) and give each organism a name, writing the name on the Baggie. Become familiar enough with the variations of your organism collection so that you will be able to correctly identify the individual organism by name. You will be allowed descriptive notes - words only, no pictures! More on this in class.

2. Reading quiz on Chapter 9 - Thursday, 11-17. Reading quiz on Chapter 10 - Friday, 11-18.


1. Free Response Essay Test Revisions - If your grade on the 2-essay test on Chapters 1-5 was less than 90%, you must rewrite your entire essay on clean sheets of paper (do this at home when you're ready to do so, under test conditions; give yourself 22 minutes for each question.) Before writing your essay, reread Chapters 4 & 5. Also, read "Tips For Writing AP Biology Exam Essays." Your rewritten essays are due on Monday, 10/31.

2. Show and Tell Day is 10/31. Bring in your mystery specimen and tell us about it! (Pass/Fail)

Our Show Me The Variation Expo will take place in mid-November. Be on the lookout for 10 or more organisms (or parts of organisms) that you're going to study and try to find some interesting trait that shows variation. Start thinking about putting together a poster to explain what you discovered.

Seed Germination Project: The ground rules for this are (1) The seeds or pits may not be purchased. (2) Try to grow them "blindly" the first time around. Keep accurate records of all your work! Please feel free to use the greenhouse. (3) Try to find some information about the optimal conditions for germination of your seeds, and try your germination experiment again, knowing what you know. (4) Your write-up for this will consist of a "how-to" step-by-step set of instructions describing how to germinate the seeds or pit.

3. Catechol oxidase lab is due on Monday, 10/24. Here is a link that describes the format and gives an example lab report format:

4. Reading quiz for Chapter 6 - Wednesday, 10/26.

5. Reading quiz for Chapter 7 - Friday, 10/28.


1. Reading Quiz - Chapter 4 - Friday, 10/7.

2. Read through the catechol oxidase lab procedure at - you will be doing this lab on Thursday and Friday, 10/13 and 10/14, using this procedure. We will be using banana juice instead of potato juice as our source of catechol oxidase.

3. Reading quiz on Chapter 5 on Moday, 10/17.

4. The test on chapters 1-5 will be given on two days: Tuesday 10/18, multiple choice (about 60 questions, one class period) and Wednesday, 10/19 - 2 essays (another full class period) which will be taken from the following past AP Bio essays: Look at "Chapters 4 & 5, 1972" (the salivary amylase question), and the next two questions - #2 from 1969 and #3 from 1981. The 1991 question about carbon. Here is a link to a clearer diagram of the two compounds:

5. Enzyme lab write-up is due Monday, 10/24. To see sample lab reports for this lab, go to - Click on "Sample Lab Reports."

For more background on catechol oxidase, check out some of these links: [on your browser, click "edit" then "find on this page." Type in "catechol" and click on one of the sweet potato Quick-PDB images. Try playing with the settings on the left side, and have fun exploring the 3-D structure of this very complicated molecule!]


Essay Test - Monday, 10/3

You will have TWO of the following essay questions to answer: - # 4 only

Also, read "Tips for Writing AP Biology Essays" at

For a very nice explanation of water transport through plants, see (from Dr. Stephen Grace, University of Arkansas - Little Rock, Bio Dept.)


1. Diffusion & Osmosis Lab is due on or before Thursday, 9/29.

2. Reading Quiz - Chapter 2 - Tuesday, 9/27.

3. Reading Quiz - Chapter 3 - Thursday, 9/29.


1. The Leaf Plasticity Lab is due Monday, September 19

2. Reading Quiz - Chapter 1 - Tuesday, September 20


4. Read through the Diffusion and Osmosis Lab Procedure. Another more animated presentation of the same material, along with an interactive quiz, is at (click on "Diffusion and Osmosis"). There will be a reading quiz on this lab at the beginning of the period on Thursday 9/22, and after the quiz we will be working on the lab on Thursday and Friday, 9/22 & 9/23. Check out a few of the sample lab reports for this (and other) labs at - Click on "Sample Lab Reports."

Things you should know for the Diffusion-Osmosis quiz on Thursday:
A. Be able to define the following terms: solute, solvent, diffusion, osmosis, isotonic, hypertonic, hypotonic.
B. What effect does temperature have on rate of diffusion? Be able to describe the experiment to test this.
C. What is a semipermeable membrane?
D. Is dialysis or cellulose tubing permeable to glucose? To starch? To iodine? How do you know?
E. Does the magnitude of the solute concentration gradient affect the rate of osmosis? Describe the experiment to test this.
F. What happens to celery in salt water?
G. Be able to identify Elodea cells in hypertonic and hypotonic solutions.
H. How and why do plant cells respond differently than animal cells to hypotonic solutions?

5. Speaking of osmosis, go to and try the U-Tube Osmometer, Elodea, and Red Blood Cells and see how well you do on these osmosis questions.


Reading Quiz - Chapter 50 - Thursday 9-1-05
Reading Quiz - Chapter 51 - Tuesday 9-6-05
Reading Quiz - Chapter 52 & 53 - Wednesday 9-7-05
Reading Quiz - Chapter 54 - Thursday 9-8-05
Reading Quiz - Chapter 55 - Friday 9-9-05
Test - Chapters 50-55 - Tuesday 9-13 (multiple choice) and Wednesday 9-14 (essays)

Extra Credit Project on Animal Behavior (worth a maximum of 5 points toward final 1st quarter grade! Wow!)
Go and see March of the Penguins and write a review of it (150 words minimum). Post your review at by clicking HERE.
notes - (A) Please e-mail me a copy of your review. (B) Your review MUST be posted online in order to qualify for extra credit points.

Info for Plasticity of Leaves Lab


I hope you're having a great summer!!

You are going to need to have access to the Campbell 6th Edition web site in order to do the practice questions for Chapters 50-55, as well as for many assignments during the upcoming year.

Please send me an e-mail ASAP and I will send you back a temporary login name and password for access to the Campbell site. Once you have logged on, you can change your login name, password and email info. Please do not share your login info, since each of you will be assigned your own login name and password; no more than one person can use the same login at the same time.

My e-mail is

Summer Assignment

Welcome to AP Biology!

Your summer assignment consists of two parts:

Part 1. Read chapters 50 - 55 on ecology and animal behavior (pages 1092 - 1247). We will be having a test on this material soon after you return from school in September. After reading each chapter, please take the online multiple-choice chapter quizzes:

Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55

Ecology Essay Questions from Past AP Biology Exams: Try answering one or two of these questions under AP Test conditions - give yourself only 22 minutes per question, and grade your answer according to the standards listed below each of the questions. All of these questions were actually asked on past AP exams; you will have to answer 4 essay questions like these on the AP test next May.

These two sites have additional practice questions:
click on "Continue Test" and then "End Test and View Score." This will load all of the questions at once; for each question, scroll up far enough to read the question without reading the answer, then scroll up a little more to see if you answered it correctly.

Most of the questions on the test in September will come directly from these practice questions.

You can also hear lectures covering most of the topics in Chapters 50-55 at
Click on the slide shows for Animal Behavior, Ecosystems, Populations, and Interdependence of Life: Population Ecology.

Part 2. Prepare a 5-minute Powerpoint presentation about the biome which you were assigned in June.
Have a great summer!! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, at

AP Biology Test Scores

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