Lesson Plan

Biological Levels of Organization


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In this lesson, students will observe that biological organization is a hierarchal system of classification in which each successive level is more complex than the lower level, and each successive level has properties that did not exist before. Students will:

  • sequence the levels of biological organization in order from least to most complex.

  • make a foldable that list and describe the levels of biological organization.

  • give examples for each level of organization.

  • describe an example of an emergent property at each level of organization.

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  • Abiotic: Nonliving factors in an ecosystem.

  • Biotic: Living organisms in an ecosystem.

  • Biosphere: All the different ecosystems that make up the planet; the sphere that contains life on Earth.

  • Cell: The smallest unit that is capable of carrying out all the processes of living things.

  • Community: All the different populations that interact and coexist in a specific area.

  • Ecosystem: Contains all the communities that inhabit a specific area, along with the abiotic factors in that environment.

  • Emergent Properties: Components can form complex systems that interact in such a way that new properties appear, which did not exist in lower levels

  • Homeostasis: The process by which organisms maintain a stable internal environment.

  • Organ System: A group of organs that interact to perform a similar function, (e.g., circulatory system, excretory system).

  • Organ: A group of different tissues that form a singular unit and perform a similar function, (e.g., kidney, brain, skin).

  • Organism: An individual, either unicellular or multicellular, that is capable of carrying out all the processes of living things.

  • Population: A group of organisms of the same species in the same area.

  • Species:A group of similar organisms that can mate and produce fertile offspring.

  • Tissue: A group of cells that perform a similar function.


45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

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