Activity 1: Concept Map of Human Systems
Draw on elements of Unit C (Cellular Respiration) and Unit D (Human Physiological Systems) to develop a ‘concept map’ that highlights and explores the interconnections among various human physiological systems.
Each student’s response must address these particular Biology 20 sub-unit topics –
• Cellular Respiration (C2)
• Respiratory System (D1a)
• Cardiovascular System (D2a)
• Musculoskeletal system (D4)
• Digestion (D1b)
These subtopic areas can be addressed in any order and will inevitably overlap as the student describes and evaluates the structural and functional connections among them.
Essentially this project is a concept map (drawn using programs like google drawings, photoshop, or canva in which you must connect every unit to one another using detailed connections described in text boxes within the concept map, or through a separate word document that can be used to connect back to the drawn concept map with connection points from one unit to another. THIS IS NOT AN ESSAY. The descriptions in the word doc must be tied to a title or a point in the concept map and should be described on the word doc instead of the concept map if needed solely for the purpose of space.
Please use the rubric below to follow the guidelines provided under the Excellent column and review below the rubric for a course description of each unit or subsection of biology that must be touched on and connected.
- A concept map, conceived by the individual student, to link the main features of their different unit topics in a ‘system’, via the dynamic processes that connect them. Two examples of such concept maps have been provided at the end of this guideline document. All sources of information must be appropriately cited.
The strategy of ‘systems concept mapping’ can be applied at any level of biological organization, from individual organelles within a given cell, to the entire biosphere of the planet. In each case, knowledge is compartmentalized into  the ‘system’, with its various interacting internal components, and  the ‘surroundings’ (within which the system exists, and with which the system can exchange both materials and energy).
All of these conceptual constructs are human inventions, although they (at least, good ones) certainly correspond to real aspects of existence. Nonetheless, it is valuable to recognize that even the most sophisticated, complex system representations are simplifications of the real world in action. That simplification is both limitation and liberation in the quest to understand how reality works: we know our models are only approximations of reality, but they enable us to make our understanding ‘functional’.
It is important to note that any given biological entity can be a component in more than one sort of system. The field mice mentioned in the first ‘population’ system example (end of document) are also components of –
• the larger scale ‘community system’ that includes other populations such as grasses, ladybird beetles, mushrooms, and red-tailed hawks,
• the still larger ‘ecosystem’ that includes abiotic factors of the mouse population’s habitat,
• the still larger ‘biome’ that encompasses a variety of interconnected but distinct ecosystems,
and so on…
As well, each of the mice harbours within itself a multitude of smaller scale components that each can be considered a system (as shown in the second example at the end of the document), and each of those (e.g. the digestive system) can be considered an assemblage of still smaller-scale interacting systems of tissue types and specialized cells (such as the gastric pits lining the mouse’s stomach).
Remember, the system is something you decide on, as a valid way to organize the information – biological, in this context – that is important to help you communicate your understanding. Making a good decision about how to construct your own system is the major determinant of a successful paper.
The table presented at the end of this document identifies Key concepts, knowledge outcomes and skills (from the Alberta Education program of Studies document) to help students design their narratives. There is no expectation that students will address all of the bullets in this column (and no reward for doing so!) – it is far better to be selective, rather than exhaustive, in developing a narrative. Students have broad latitude in deciding what form this narrative might take; refer to the descriptors in the assessment rubric on the following page to see what aspects of the written response are rewarded.
Evidence of higher order cognitive skills (as demonstrated by clear and insightful discussion of connections among the systems described above) will be rewarded. Accuracy is important, but not sufficient on its own to achieve the higher grade band scores. Open-source assessments are such that simple, descriptive ‘clerical’ assembly/transfer of information is less academically valuable. Feedback on work-in-progress might be possible, if negotiated with instructor well in advance.
Category Achievement Levels for Activity 1 (Maximum score = 22)
Excellent Proficient Competent Rudimentary
1 Scope of concept map coverage
[point range – 1-4]  All stipulated concept map aspects are presented. The connections depicted are realistic and relevant.  Most stipulated concept map aspects are presented. Connections depicted are mostly realistic and relevant.  Some concept map aspects are presented. A few connections have unrealistic or irrelevant aspects.  Few concept map aspects are presented. The connections are mostly unrealistic or irrelevant.
2 Accuracy of information provided for the narrative
[point range – 1-6]  All key concepts are accurately depicted in relevant connections, with few (or no) minor errors in content or applicability. All information required to describe the system is stated explicitly, and with appropriate depth. [4/5] Most key concepts are depicted with reasonable accuracy, in approximately relevant contexts; one significant error in content or applicability is accepted. Most of the information required to describe the system is stated explicitly, and with adequate depth. [2/3] Some key concepts are depicted, with only moderate accuracy or doubtful relevance; a few significant errors are present. Some information required to describe the systems is stated, may be implicit, or may contradict other information. There is basic engagement.  Few key concepts are depicted, with limited accuracy or relevance; frequent errors are present. There is trivial engagement.
3 Validity and relevance of connections identified
[point range – 1-8]  All connections are explicitly identified, and express valid, relevant links among the various systems. Imagination and insight are evident in many of the processes linking the stipulated concepts. [4/5] Some connections presented are identified explicitly; others might only be implied. Most of these connections are valid and relevant. Imaginative insight is demonstrated in some cases. [2/3] Few connections are accurately identified, whether explicitly or implicitly. These connections might exhibit deficiencies in claiming validity and/or relevance. Imaginative insight is not obviously present.  Few connections are presented, or they are inaccurate. The response shows limited engagement with making connections or simply lists/describes information points.
4 Production values
[point range – 1-4]  Text elements are clear, legible, and with few or no errors; all figures/images /graphs are high quality; layout is excellent; sources are acknowledged.  Text elements are mostly clear and legible, but some errors occur; some figures/images/ graphs are moderate quality; layout is good; most sources are acknowledged.  Text elements exhibit several significant errors or many minor errors; legibility impedes reading; figures/ images/graphs are adequate; layout exhibits some major flaws; few/no sources are acknowledged.  Text elements have numerous errors; legibility is poor; figures/images/graphs are low quality or missing; layout impedes understanding; sources are not acknowledged.
Program Aspects Key concepts, program outcomes and skills
1 [1a] Respiratory System
[1b] Digestive Systems • identify the principal structures of the digestive and respiratory systems; i.e.,
o mouth, esophagus, stomach, sphincters, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, gall bladder
o nasal passages, pharynx, larynx, epiglottis, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, diaphragm, rib muscles, pleural membranes
• describe the chemical nature of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and their enzymes; i.e., carbohydrases, lipases and proteases
• explain enzyme action and factors influencing their action; i.e., temperature, pH, substrate concentration, feedback inhibition, competitive inhibition
• describe the chemical and physical processing of matter through the digestive system into the circulatory system explain the exchange of matter and the transfer of thermal energy between the body and the environment, using the mechanism of breathing in gas exchange, removal of foreign material and heat loss.
2 [2a] Cardiovascular System
[2b] Immune Systems
• identify the principal structures of the heart and associated blood vessels; i.e., atria, ventricles, septa, valves, aorta, venae cavae, pulmonary arteries and veins, sinoatrial node, atrioventricular node, Purkinje fibres
• describe the action of the heart, blood pressure and the general circulation of blood through coronary, pulmonary and systemic pathways
• describe the structure and function of blood vessels; i.e., arteries, veins and capillaries
• describe the main components of blood and their role in transport, clotting and resisting the influence of pathogens; i.e., plasma, erythrocytes, platelets, leucocytes
• explain the role of the circulatory system at the capillary level in aiding the digestive, excretory, respiratory and motor systems’ exchange of energy and matter with the environment
• explain the role of blood in regulating body temperature
• describe and explain, in general terms, the function of the lymphatic system
• list the main cellular and noncellular components of the human defence system and describe their role; i.e., skin, macrophage, helper T cell, B cell, killer T cell, suppressor T cell, memory T cell
• describe the ABO and Rh blood groups on the basis of antigens and antibodies.
3 Excretory System • identify the principal structures in the excretory system; i.e., kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra
• identify the major and associated structures of the nephron, including the glomerulus, Bowman’s capsule, tubules, loop of Henle, collecting duct, afferent and efferent arterioles, and capillary net, and explain their function in maintaining plasma compositions (i.e., water, pH, ions)
• describe the function of the kidney in excreting metabolic wastes and expelling them into the environment
• identify the role of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and aldosterone in water and sodium ion reabsorption, excretion and blood pressure regulation.
4 Musculoskeletal System • explain how the motor system supports body functions (i.e., digestive, circulatory, respiratory, excretory and locomotory), referencing smooth, cardiac and striated muscle
• describe, in general, the action of actin and myosin in muscle contraction and heat production.
Type of service: Academic Paper Writing
Type of assignment: Project
Number of sources: 2
Academic level: Freshman(college 1st year)
Paper format: MLA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: CA Writer