As with the rest of my curriculum, I’ve gone through the College Board’s Course and Exam Description for AP Biology and extracted the following Learning Objectives, Enduring Understandings, and pieces of essential knowledge. This is what I’m using to inform the development of my on-line tutorials about viruses, and the instruction I’m delivering to my own students at BHS. I’d love to know what you think.

Module 15: Viruses

Textbook Correlation: Campbell Biology, Chapter 17

1. Virus-Related AP Bio Learning Objectives

  1. LO 3.29:29 The student is able to construct an explanation of how viruses introduce genetic variation in host organisms.  (EK: 3C3)
  2. LO 3.30:The student is able to use representations and appropriate models to describe how viral replication introduces genetic variation in the viral population.  (EK: 3C3)

2. Virus-Related Enduring Understandings and Essential Knowledge

  1. Basic viral structure
  2. Viral replication generates lots of genetic variation
    1. Lytic cycle (3.C.3.a)
    2. Lysogenic cycle (3.C.3.b)
  3. Mutation occurs in both cycles
  4. RNA viruses lack error checking mechanisms
  5. Simultaneous infection by multiple viruses of one cell can lead to recombination
  6. Retroviral life cycles and information flow (reverse transcriptase), using HIV as an example (3.A.1.a)
  7. Through transduction, viruses can increase genetic variation in their hosts. (3.C.2.b)