Life Science

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

The K12 Life Science program invites students to investigate the world of living things—at levels both large and small—by reading, observing, and experimenting with aspects of life on earth. Students explore an amazing variety of organisms, the complex workings of the cell, the relationship between living things and their environments, and discoveries in the world of modern genetics. Practical, hands-on lesson activities help students discover how scientists investigate the living world. Students perform laboratory activities and a full unit investigation to learn about the application of scientific methods.

Students will study a variety of topics in biology, including:

  • The chemical building blocks of life
  • Fundamentals of ecology and life's environments
  • The biology of organisms from bacteria to mammals
  • The life processes of plants
  • The variety of cell structure and how cells perform the tasks necessary for life
  • Fundamentals of genetics
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Course Outline


From giant redwoods to tiny algae, and from lumbering elephants to "no-see-em" gnats, the diversity of life on earth delights, startles, and amazes. But all living things share some common characteristics. What are the characteristics of life? What is the chemical basis for life? What molecules support life? In this course you'll explore these questions and more.

  • Introduction to Life Science
  • Diversity of Life
  • Challenges of Life
  • Characteristics of Life
  • Classification of Living Things
  • Domains of Life
  • Chemistry of Life
  • Single-Celled Organisms
  • Multicellular Organisms


They're everywhere, and they control our lives. What are they? Alien invaders? No. They are cells. They are inside us and all around us, in every living thing on earth. They are constantly growing, reproducing, communicating, and using energy. They sense, respond, and adapt to their environment. You've probably never thought much about cells, but there's much to discover about their intriguing lives.

  • The Cell
  • Differing Cells
  • Cell Organelles
  • Looking at Cells
  • DNA Makes RNA Makes Proteins
  • Plant and Animal Cells
  • Cells and Energy
  • Diffusion and Osmosis
  • Cell Division
  • Mitosis

Living Systems

Organisms must meet many challenges to survive. The systems in multicellular organisms are like the different parts of a computer. Just as all the parts of a computer must function individually so that the computer will work, all the systems in an organism work together in a coordinated manner to keep the organism alive. What are these systems? How are they related? This unit will explore living systems and how they function.

  • From Cells to Organs
  • Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  • Respiratory System
  • Circulatory System
  • Digestive and Excretory Systems
  • Immune System
  • How Systems Work Together
  • Comparison within Species
  • Continuation of Species
  • Cells for Reproduction
  • Life Cycles

Interdependence of Life

Look at everything in an aquarium. How do you think each of the organisms in the aquarium survives? If you were to draw a diagram of the interactions that take place in an aquarium, you would see a complex series of relationships. In the living world, no organism can survive by itself. Living things depend on other organisms and their environment to supply them with their needs.

  • Organisms and Their Needs
  • Staying Balanced
  • Responses
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations
  • Cycles in Nature
  • Energy Flow in Ecosystems
  • Food Chains
  • Food Webs
  • Competitive Relationships
  • Cooperative Relationships

Adaptation and Change

Every organism lives in a particular type of environment. In this unit, we will explore how populations change over time to survive in their environments, and what happens when the environment changes.

  • Change Over Time
  • Structural Adaptations
  • Behavioral Adaptations
  • Extinct or Endangered?
  • Changes in Ecosystems
  • Rates of Environmental Change
  • Population Changes
  • The Human Factor


Individuals that reproduce sexually have many characteristics that make them different from each other. In this unit, you will learn about the mechanisms responsible for these differences.

  • Mendel's Pea Plants
  • Genes and Alleles
  • Inheritance
  • Punnett Squares
  • Similarities Among Organisms
  • Chromosomes
  • Meiosis
  • Meiosis and Mitosis
  • Mutations
  • Genetic Engineering

History of Life on Earth

Galaxies teeming with stars. Mysterious black holes. Exploding supernovas. The far reaches of the universe are filled with wonders. Right here on our own planet, however, is perhaps the greatest wonder of all: life. Scientists currently know of no other place in the universe where life exists. This unit explores scientists, ideas about how life originated on earth and how it has changed over its long history.

  • Origin of Life on Earth
  • The Theory of Evolution
  • Natural Selection
  • Origin of New Species
  • Development of Life

Science Investigation

  • Scientific Methods
  • Design and Set Up Your Experiment
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Reporting Conclusions
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Number of Lessons and Scheduling

60 minutes

You might choose to split the lessons into smaller segments and take a break between investigations. The K12 online lesson tracking system allows you to pick up wherever you left off in any given lesson.

Total Lessons: 108

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling