Since this unit deals with abstract concepts, I begin the biochemistry unit by talking about the history of how scientists came to our current understandings about atoms. I give students some basic vocabulary and show them a short video about the structure of an atom.
I then discuss ionic, covalent, hydrogen, and polar bonds.
I discuss the special importance of the water molecule and talk about water's cohesive and adhesive qualities. (Water is "attractive". Like Right Said Fred Video below: It's Too Sexy.)
By this time, I have explained that organic chemistry focuses on the elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. The thrust of this unit is student understanding of the organic molecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Students practice learning about these compounds in a Nutrients Activity Packet, which is available in TEACHING RESOURCES.
After these labs are complete I again review organic compounds, chemical bonds, and the special qualities of water. I then move on to explaining the pH scale and the importance of pH in organisms. Students later complete a lab in which they learn more about the pH scale.
New York State Teacher of Biology/Living Environment
All regular education and most special education students are required to take the New York State Living Environment Regents. This is the material I have delivered to all ability levels of students to prepare them for that test.
My instruction of this course evolved. Although I continually "tweaked" things from year to year and class to class, I found that the most orderly delivery was to use PowerPoint slides to act as my "plan book". From these, I communicated instructional objectives, vocabulary, lab activities, and other learning activities to students.