Introductory lesson

This is a free lesson. We trust you enjoy it!

Introduction to the lesson

Welcome to Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IG) biology course. We trust that you will enjoy the course very much and come to appreciate the beautiful world in which live.

In this first lesson you will explore what is in the IG biology course.

Introduction to IG Biology.

What is biology?

One dictionary defines biology as the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology (shape), physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution. From this definition you can see that there are many aspects to biology and you will be exploring some of these in the IG biology course.

Learning Activity 1

Write down a list of things that you are hoping to learn from this course. What aspects of biology interests you and what would you like to know more about?

Keep this list safe so that you can evaluate your learning at the end of your studies. Remember that you are studying biology not only to pass an exam but also to appreciate the subject itself.

Before starting to work through the material you need to know for the exams, it is important to familiarize yourself with the resource material you will be using to study from. Let us begin by examining the Coursebook.

Learning Activity 2

Take out your Coursebook and look at the front and back covers

  1. Notice the title of the book - Cambridge IG Coursebook? What does the title suggest about the contents of the book?
  2. Notice in the top right hand corner of the front cover that the book is endorsed by Cambridge Assessment International Education - this means the book meets the requirements and specifications of the syllabus set out by Cambridge Assessment International Education.
  3. Notice too, that this is the third edition. The Cambridge International Science courses have been updated in 2016 and this textbook has been updated to reflect the changes to the syllabus. The textbook supports the 2019 and 2020/2021 syllabi as well, since there have been no changes from the 2016 syllabus.
  4. Notice the authors are Mary Jones and Geoff Jones. Both these authors have written a number of biology textbooks.
  5. Also from the front page, you will notice that this book is published by Cambridge University Press and is part of their 'Completely Cambridge' series.
  6. From the back cover, note the features of the Coursebook. What features do you think will help you the most in working through the course?
  7. What does the back cover say the accompanying CD-ROM contains?
    (We will look at the CD-ROM in more detail in Learning Activity 5)

Learning Activity 3

Turn now to the Contents page of the Coursebook.

  1. How many chapters are there in the book?
  2. Which chapter do you think you know the most about? Why?
  3. Which chapter do you think you know the least about? Why?
  4. Which chapter looks the most interesting to you? Why?
  5. Now look at the Camrbidge IG syllabus and note that the Coursebook follows the same order as the syllabus. This study guide will also work in that same order.

The Cambridge University Press Coursebook also has an accompanying Workbook.

Learning Activity 4

Now look at the Workbook

  1. Do you notice that the covers of both the Coursebook and Workbook are similar and both books are written by the same authors?
  2. Look inside the Workbook. What is different about the Workbook from the Coursebook?
  3. The Workbook will give you excellent practice in thinking about the work and applying it to different situations. This is very important exam preparation, so don't leave it out!

The other resource that you need to be familiar with is the CD-ROM which should have been attached to the back of the Coursebook. The next activity will help you to explore the contents of the CD-ROM.

Learning Activity 5

Put the CD-ROM into the CD player of your computer.

  1. What is on the main menu?
  2. Click on the first button - 'Study Resources'. What do you get on that menu?
    1. Click on 'study and revision skills'. Read this article - it has many very important tips and helps for studying biology at IG level.
    2. The second button under 'Study Resources' contains a set of practice exam papers which you can practice once you have completed the course.
    3. The third button under 'Study Resources' contains self assessment checklist. The first one is for drawing, the second for graphs, the third for planning an experiment, and the fourth for a results chart. Please refer to these self assessment checklists every time you do a biological drawing, or a graph, or plan an experiment or draw up a results chart. The examiners are strict about how these are done. Read through each checklist so that you have an idea of what is expected in each.
    4. The fourth button under 'Study Resources' are multiple choice questions based on each chapter. It is a good idea to include these questions with the end-of-chapter questions.
    5. The fifth button under 'Study Resources' is the glossary. These are definitions to important terms used in biology. Note that there is also a glossary at the end of the Coursebook on p.330-337
    6. The last button under 'Study Resources' are revision checklists. At the end of each chapter, you can evaluate yourself using these checklists. It is also a good practice to check with the syllabus to make sure you have covered everything you needed to cover.
  3. The other buttons on the main menu refer to the different chapters starting at chapter 2. Each chapter has the answers to the end-of-chapter questions, a revision checklist, any information necessary regarding experiments to be done in the chapter. Some chapters include animations to help you understand some of the more complex concepts.
  4. Keep the CD safe and use it!

 These will form the essential part of your resources. You may need to use the internet or other biology textbooks to research a topic that you are uncertain of.

 Closing the lesson

  •  Which chapter in the biology Coursebook are you looking forward to learning the most about? Why?
  • Which chapter in the biology Coursebook are you looking forward to learning about the least? Why?