Planning Index: Biological Diversity | Print |

Grade 9 Science Unit Plan
Unit A - Biological Diversity
(Social and Environmental Contexts)
Careers in Biology

Grade 9 Unit Overview (Alberta)
Biological diversity is reflected in the range of species found in local and global
environments, and by subtle variations in characteristics found within individual species. In this unit students learn that diversity is maintained through natural processes of sexual and asexual reproduction, though the survival of individual species - and variations within those species may be influenced by ecological and human-caused factors. Students examine trends toward loss of diversity, and examine related issues concerning environmental quality and the impact of technologies.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

  • cell division (includes binary fusion & formation of sex cells)

This unit builds on ideas introduced in Grade 7, Unit A Interactions and Ecosystems, and introduces ideas that will be developed further in Science 20, Unit B: Changes in Living Systems.

What do the students already know?

 Do they know what biological diversity means?
Can they explain how humans influence and have an impact on this?

What must they Learn?

Diversity is maintained through reproduction, and survival of species.
Variations within species can be influenced by ecological and human-caused factors.


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus

Focus 1

Diversity of Species

Investigate and interpret diversity between species and within species, and describe how diversity contributes to species survival.


- variation
- adaptations
- niches
- survival
- role of variation

 Describe Variations
Adaptations for Survival
Text Resources
Research and Viewing
Lab Activities

Focus 2


Investigate the nature of reproductive processes and their role in transmitting species characteristics.


- types of reproduction
- variation
- traits
( heritable, non-inheritable, continuous, variable, dominant, recessive )

Text Resources
Lab activities
Text / Graphing w/ Excel

Global Traits Project 

Focus 3


Describe, in general terms, the role of genetic materials in the continuity and variation of species characteristics, and investigate and interpret related technologies.


- chromosomes, genes and DNA
- cell division
- reproductive advantages and disadvantages
- artificial and natural selection
- emerging technologies

Research / Text / Visual

Text / Internet

Lab Activities
Text / Internet
Text / Internet

Focus 4

Human Impact

Identify impacts of human action on species survival and variation within species, and analyze related issues for personal and public decision making.


- abundance of species
- changes in diversity
- local and global strategies
- biotechnology

Internet and Graphic Organizer w/ Inspiration
Lab Activities
Case Study / Presentations

Scientific Reports / Internet

Additional Links:

Kids Web Resources for Biological Diversity

Endangered Species

Noted Geneticists

Alberta Environmental Protection Agency

Queensland Environmental Protection