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Educators' Guide for Pedagogy and Assessment

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Learning Area: Science and Technology

Life Science > LEVEL 8

Learning Area Outcome: I understand the science and technology of the everday world and place within it.

Subject Focus: Principles of Life

1] I can distinguish between living things and non-living things by identifying and discussing the characteristics common to all organisms.
2] I can describe viruses as complex molecules consisting of a protein coat surrounding genetic material. 
3] I can explain the fact that because viruses need a living cell host in order to reproduce, they are not living organisms since they do not have all characteristics common to all organisms.
4] I can distinguish between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells using the presence of the nucleus and membrane-bound organelles , limited to mitochondria and chloroplasts, as their distinguishing characteristics.
5]  I can distinguish between plant cells and animal cells by  the presence or absence of specific organelles such as the presence  or absence of chloroplasts and structures e.g. cell wall, related to the organisms' mode of life e.g. autotrophic and heterothrophic.
6] I can explain the functions of the plant and animal cell structures visible under a light microscope. 
7] I can describe the mitochondrion as an organelle specialised in aerobic cellular respiration.
8] I can use a microscope to prepare a temporary slide, e.g. observing pond life or onion epidermal cells

9] I can identify and describe net diffusion as the phenomenon driving particles across membranes.

10] I can identify and describe osmosis as the special diffusion of water through semi-permeable membranes.
11] I can predict and explain the effects of osmosis on cells of protoctists, plants and animals.

12] I can design and perform an experiment to investigate the effects of osmosis on plant cells.

13] I can distinguish between a turgid and a plasmolysed plant cell and their effects on overall plant structure and function.
14] I can compare the surface area to volume ratios of different organisms.

15] I can identify biological structures with a large surface area for increased passage of substances.
16] I can use the concept of active transport to explain nutrient uptake against a concentration gradient.
17] I can explain that atoms are the constituents of molecules, which in turn can make up organelles, which in turn are the components of cells.
18] I can explain that cells can team up and form tissues, which in turn make up organs and systems, thus constituting organisms.
19] I can explain the functioning of a multicellular body through cell specialisation.

Learning Area Outcome: I understand the science and technology of the everyday world and my place within it.  I am able to use evidence in formulating investigations and arriving at solutions to relevant scientific or technological issues and to use my knowledge to understand issues of our society and make evidence-based decisions. I can use my knowledge and understanding of science and technology in considering issues, including ethical ones relevant to myself as a citizen, such as environmental sustainability and health.

Subject Focus: Functions of Life Part 1: Processing Food and Metabolites

1] I can deduce why water is fundamental to life because of its solvent properties and high specific heat capacity, or the rate at which heat can be lost or gained by a substance.

2] I can describe lipids, proteins and carbohydrates as large molecules made out of many smaller molecules; the formation of the large molecule gives it specific properties such as the fact that starch is insoluble in water but glucose is soluble.
3] I can use the concept of difference in solubility in water to explain why carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides, have different uses, e.g. energy, transport, for storage or structure.
4] I can relate the use of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates in life to some of their physical properties, e.g. lipids in membranes due to their immiscibility with water.

5] I can describe symptoms of diseases deriving from a deficiency and excess consumption of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids e.g. marasmus resulting from a deficiency in carbohydrates, diabetes from an excess of carbohydrates.
6] I can explain why the properties of the “chemicals of life” e.g. solvent properties of water, polymerization or the joining of small molecules into larger molecule chains.
7] I can use models or diagrams to distinguish between an amino acid, a polypeptide and a functional protein.
8] I can explain the concept of chemical reaction with reactants that join irreversibly to form products.
9] I can use the lock-and-key model of enzyme activity to explain the binding of the substrate to the enzyme active site.
10] I can describe a number of factors namely pH, temperature, and concentration that affect rates of reactions.
11] I can explain the effect of temperature on enzyme reaction rate using the Kinetic Theory of Matter.

12] I can give everyday examples of how changes in temperature and pH change protein structure and function, e.g. cooking proteins, hair straightening.
13] I can describe the sources and functions of iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and magnesium in plants and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D in the human diet. 

14] I can describe some symptoms of deficiency of iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and magnesium in plants and vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D in the body. 

15] I can deduce the function of dietary fibre in our diet from the fact that it is not digested by the human digestive system.
16] I can use experimental evidence to identify the presence of lipids, proteins, reducing sugars and starch in food.

17] I can describe enzymes as biological catalysts enhancing the speed of chemical reactions in living things and industry, e.g. biological washing powders.

18] I can enlist the chemical and biological properties of enzymes, as resulting from their catalytic and protein nature.
19] I can design simple experiments to investigate the effect of temperature, pH and concentration on the rate of enzyme catalysed reactions.

20] I can define photosynthesis as a chemical process in which inorganic material is converted into food using light as the energy source.
21] I can explain photosynthesis as a change from light to potential and chemical energy.
22] I can summarise photosynthesis using a chemical equation and point out the factors which are required for such a reaction to take place.

23] I can understand and analyse experiments to investigate the effects of light, temperature and carbon dioxide on the rate of photosynthesis of an aquatic plant, e.g. Elodea.
24] I can distinguish and describe ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and egestion in holozoic nutrition.
25] I can distinguish the role of physical and chemical digestion.
26] I can explain the importance of following a balanced diet and discuss the implications of under- and over-nutrition, including eating disorders and lifestyle choices to general health problems. 
27] I can summarise the reactions catalysed by digestive enzymes, especially amylase, pepsin and lipase.
28] I can distinguish and explain the importance of the components of saliva, gastric and pancreatic juice for digestion.
29] I can describe the functions of the liver for nutrient storage and processing, detoxification and deamination.
30] I can compare the role of bile in fat emulsification to physical digestion.
31] I can predict the implications of surface area to volume ratio in the need to develop specialised organs for nutrient absorption.
32] I can describe the fate of the soluble products of digestion after intestinal absorption, in relation to the the size and shape of the concerned molecules. e.g. amino acids for protein synthesis; glucose for glycogen and fatty acids and glycerol for triglycerides. 
33] I can relate the essential roles of mutualistic gut microbiota in digestion and immunity in humans and herbivores, more specifically, the importance of bacteria in cellulose digestion i.e. fermentation and humans respectively.
34] I can deduce the diet of an animal by observing features of its digestive system, e.g. jaws in carnivores and herbivores. 

35] I can compare and describe the position and function of xylem and phloem tissue in angiosperm stems and roots as seen under the light microscope.
36] I can explain the process of transpiration and identify the transpiration streams as a means of water transport in vascular plants.
37] I can describe the transpiration stream as a process that creates negative pressure because of suction pressure e.g. as happens when using a drinking straw.
38] I can design, perform and use experimental data to investigate the effect of temperature, humidity, wind and light on the rate of transpiration.
39] I can assess the consequences of transpiration on plants living in moist or arid conditions.
40] I can explain the fact that the xylem in plants has specific characteristics, namely the fact that they are dead, hollow, continuous tubes that give support to a plant and allows for transpiration stream.
41] I can link the characteristics of the xylem vessels with their capability to cause water to rise up into them by means of processes that describe the movement of water because of its specific physical characteristics e.g. narrow tubes encourage water to rise up them by capillarity due to the surface tension properties of water.
42] I can describe the functioning mechanism of the heart by explaining how its different components such as blood vessels, atria, ventricles and valves, work together. 
43] I can explain the adaptations of the three different types of blood vessels to their function.
44] I can illustrate the interdependence between different body organs through a description of the circulation of blood between heart, lungs and body.
45] I can identify the concepts of diffusion, osmosis and active transport as the main processes of substance exchange across membranes. 
46] I can give an account of the transport and immune functions of the components of the blood e.g. some white blood cells produce antibodies and others perform phagocytosis.
47] I can relate the structure of the red blood cell to its role in oxygen transport.
48] I can describe the role of the lymphatic system in immunity, maturation of some white blood cell types and transport of fats to the circulatory system.
49] I can define cellular respiration as the chemical process in which energy is released from food to be converted to ATP as the universal energy currency of cells.
50] I can classify the reaction of cellular respiration as a reaction which converts potential energy to a number of other forms of energy such as heat, sound, kinetic etc.
51] I can distinguish between the energy output and requirements of aerobic and anaerobic respiration using the chemical equation and taking into account the requirements for such reactions to occur e.g. glucose and the presence/absence of oxygen. 
52] I can define an exothermic reaction as one where heat energy is released as a result of the reaction.
53] I can classify the reactions of cellular respiration as exothermic reactions.
54] I can understand breathing as a process leading to a gaseous exchange e.g. resulting in a change in oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration in the alveoli and a concentration gradient. 
55] I can explain the economic importance of alcoholic fermentation in terms of the by-products of the process, namely carbon dioxide in bread making and alcohol in wine making.
56] I can explain the economic importance of lactic acid fermentation e.g. using yoghurt production.
57] I can perform simple experiments to investigate the production of carbon dioxide by yeast and germinating seeds.
58] I can identify leaf features e.g. general surface area of leaf, stomata, guard cells and loosely packed spongy mesophyll, enabling gas exchange in plants.
59] I can describe the gross structure of the human respiratory system such as trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli. 
60] I can predict the implications of surface area to volume ratio in terms of the need to develop specialised organs for gas exchange.
61] I can describe the process of ventilation in terms of the relationship between pressure and volume.
62] I can identify and relate the gaseous exchange system features which include a large surface area and high vascularity in fish gills to their effectiveness of gas exchange underwater. 
63] I can relate the excess oxygen consumption after exercise to oxygen debt developed by muscles.
64] I can link the behaviour of carbon monoxide to its strong  affinity to haemoglobin.
65] I can relate the affinity of carbon monoxide to haemoglobin to its lethality.
66] I can relate the components of tobacco products to addiction, the health of the lungs such as increased risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema and increased risk of cancer.

Learning Area Outcome: I know how to learn, update my knowledge and apply my understanding so I will be a lifelong learner, building a knowledge of issues in science and technology and thus making evidence-based decisions.

Subject Focus: Functions of Life Part 2: Maintaining Balance and Responding to the Environment

1] I can list water availability and temperature as two main conditions that affect life. 
2] I can define homeostasis as the maintenance of a constant internal state by organisms.
3] I can explain the skin's thermoregulatory functions, through sweating, vasodilation, vasoconstriction, using physical principles of heat transfer and evaporative cooling. 
4] I can distinguish between ectothermic and endothermic vertebrates using temperature versus time graphs.
5] I can deduce the need for osmoregulation in unicellular protoctist that have no cell wall.
6] I can use the concepts of active transport, osmosis and diffusion to explain the excretory and osmoregulatory role of the human kidneys as performed by the nephrons i.e. ultrafiltration, selective reabsorption.
7] I can explain how a dialysis machine works and compare it to the operating mechanism of the kidney.
8] I can list the three types of muscles in the human body and state their main function. 
9] I can explain the fact that locomotion in the human body is brought about by a combination skeletal muscle attached to bone.
10] I can describe the principle behind the specialised structures that support the body of animals, namely the hydrostatic skeleton, a fluid-filled cavity, the exoskeleton, a deposition of chitin all over the body and the endoskeleton, as a formation of bony structures.  No coverage of bone histology is required, within the body.
11] I can acknowledge the fact that exo- and endoskeletons also offer protection of internal organs.
12] I can relate positive or negative tropisms to plant survival in different environmental conditions. 
13] I can use experimental evidence to explain the effect of auxin on phototropism and geotropisms in plant stems and roots.
14] I can explain the function of adrenaline in preparing the body for fight and flight. I can explain the function of the thyroid gland found in the neck as a source of production of growth hormones which regulates growth and development.
15] I can use blood glucose regulation by insulin and glucagon as an example of negative feedback in hormonal control.

Subject Focus: Diversity of Life

1] I can link the diversity of life to the fact that living things have evolved over a long period of time in different environments on earth.
2] I can deduce how changes in the environment cause natural selection of populations, which, over long periods of time, result in evolutionary differences among organisms.
3] I can refer to the taxonomic and binomial systems as devised by humans to classify and name organisms.

4] I can explain evolution as change over time.
5] I can link evolution to factors such as natural selection.
6] I can quote the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and pesticide resistance in pests as an example of natural selection. 
7] I can use the concept of selection to explain the loss of function of a vestigial structure, e.g. appendix in humans.
8] I can explain how the physical features of organisms enable them to survive in their habitat.
9] I can identify bacteria as ubiquitous, fast reproducing prokaryotes with a bacterial cell wall and genetic material not surrounded by a nuclear membrane.
10] I can compare the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and pesticide resistance in pests as a result of careless use of antibiotics and pesticides in terms of evolution by natural selection.
11] I can identify protoctists as being the ancestors of multicellular organisms. 
12] I can appreciate the diversity in the Kingdom protoctista in terms of: cellular structure being unicellular and multicellular; feedind - autotrophic and heterotrophic; locomotion, using flagella, cilia and pseudopodia. E.g. Cystoseira (bladder-weed), Amoeba, Euglena and Paramecium. 
13] I can appreciate the diversity of Fungi in terms of: cellular structure, multicellular/hyphae and unicellular and modes of reproduction i.e. asexual spore formation and budding. E.g. Rhizopus and Saccharomyces.
14] I can explain that organisms are classified into taxa according to their main physical features using cnidarians, (radial symmetry), platyhelminthes, (flat body) annelids (body segments), molluscs (shell), arthropods (jointed appendages and exoskeleton), echinoderms (spines and pentamerous symmetry) and vertebrates (chambered heart, endoskeleton) as representative examples.

15] I can appreciate the diversity of arthropods in terms of: body segments such as 2, 3 or many and number of legs i.e. 3, 4, 5 or anumber of pairs and can differentiate between myriapods, arachnids, crustaceans and insects.
16] I can appreciate the diversity of insects in terms of their life cycle either complete or incomplete e.g. the diversity encompassed in the life cycle of grasshoppers and butterflies.
17] I can appreciate the diversity of vertebrates in terms of: skin covering i.e. thin scales, moist skin, waterproof scales, feathers and hair; respiratory surfaces such as gills, skin, and lungs and ability to regulate body temperature ectothermic and endothermic. E.g. the diversity of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
18] I can explain the fact that, through the process of evolution, animals developed features, namely tracheae or lungs, exo- or endoskeleton, appendages, that could support body weight and that enabled life to move from water to dry land.
19] I can appreciate the diversity of plants in terms of: presence of vascular structures; spore or seed formation and presence of seed in cones or fruit. E.g. mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants.
20] I can explain the fact that, through the process of evolution, plants developed features, namely the development of support and vascular tissue, that enabled life to move from water to dry land.

Subject Focus: Life Relationships

1] I can distinguish between biotic and abiotic components of a local ecosystem, e.g. garrigue, shoreline.
2] I appreciate that there are many biotic and abiotic interactions within an ecosystem.
3] I can talk about the fact that competition between organisms is a major force in natural selection.
4] I can explain how predators and prey evolved adaptations e.g. camouflage, to increase their chances of survival. 
5] I can represent feeding relationships in an ecosystem using food chains and food webs.
6] I can describe the general features of the different trophic levels in a local ecosystem.
7] I can distinguish the terms "alien" "indigenous" and "endemic" and give local examples for each, e.g.  Geranium Bronze Butterfly, (Cacyreus marshalli) as an example of a local alien species; Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) as a local indigenous species and Maltese Wall Lizard (Podarcis filfolensis) as an endemic species.
8] I can relate the success of angiosperms with the flower, particularly the insect-pollinated flower, especially their relationship with insects.
9] I can identify the main sampling unit as a quadrat.
10] I can use a sampling method to measure the population size of a plant.
11] I can determine different organisms in different ecosystems by observing species in the field.
12] I can explain how the biotic and abiotic components of a local ecosystem interact through competition, predation and organism adaptations in response to limited resources.
13] I can appreciate the diversity of lifestyles symbiosis, e.g. mutualism, parasitism, as affecting the life of most organisms, e.g. gut microbiota, lichens.
14] I can explain why the body of a parasite has evolved differently from other members of its phylum in response to its mode of life, e.g. Fleas (Siphonaptera), mosquitoes, Culex pipiens, broomrape (Orobanche sp.).
15] I can explain the exploitation of the mutualistic relationship between leguminous plants and nitrogen fixing bacteria in crop rotation.
16] I can recognise interactions between different organisms as processes where there is constant conversion of energy type. 
17] I can define and link photosynthesis, consumption, respiration and combustion within the carbon cycle.

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