94195 - Basics and Teaching Tools of Animal Biology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has: (a) basic knowledge to master specialist terminology and understand a medium complexity non-popular scientific text; (b) basic knowledge in the field of animal biology at a cellular, organismic and population level from an evolutionary perspective, useful for implementing knowledge in further fields of biology; also knows how to: (c) critically discuss, through formally correct exposures, biological issues related to animal biology and evolutionary aspects derived from different sources; (d) provide suggestions for teaching the various aspects of animal biology in secondary school classes.

Course contents

The program aims to acquire basic scientific concepts of Biology, selected on the basis of their relevance and accessibility in the context of secondary school. Among which the awareness of the existence of a complex and ecosystemic nature, highlighted by the interdependence relationships between living and environment physico-chemical factors. Furthermore, teaching knowledge and skills relating to the various interconnected scientific disciplines will be acquired (learning to identify the structuring scientific concepts and their connections, to develop possible integrated teaching activities and courses and to develop a systemic vision).

In detail, the integrated program of the plant and animal part will deal with the following topics:

• The cell: levels of organization of biological macromolecules, origin, types, structure, functions (prokaryotic, animal, plant and fungal eukaryotic cell)

• Principles of biochemistry: flows of matter and energy in living things: photosynthesis, cellular respiration, exchange relationships with the outside, carbon cycle.

• The cell cycle: mitotic and meiotic cell division (animal cell)

mitotic and meiotic cell division (plant and fungal cell)

• Animal organismic reproduction. Plant organismic reproduction

• Biological diversity and its bases: the biological concept of species, notes on the classification of living things, principles of genetics, mutations.

• Evolution: biological evolution (historical outline and evolutionary mechanisms). From spontaneous generation to the theory of evolution by natural selection.

For both modules the different topics will be discussed for the didactic aspects needed in secondary school classes.

Prerequisites: knowledge of the topics covered in the chemistry and biology courses of the secondary school.


The teaching material used for the lessons, as well as articles, book chapters and other materials from the specialist literature will be provided during the course by the teacher and / or deposited on the Moodle platform.

Suggested reference texts:

1. Longo C. Didactics of Biology. Ledizioni, 2014.

2. E. Padoa Schioppa. Methods and tools for teaching and learning biology. with Espa

3. Sadava et al. Principi di Biologia. Zanichelli

4. Morris et al. Biology. How life works. Volume Plants and fungi first Italian edition and Volume Cell, Genetics, Evolution, Animal Biology, Human Body first Italian edition. Zanichelli

Any further references will be discussed with the students.

Teaching methods

From the methodological point of view, the presentation of the different concepts will be accompanied by their evolutionary contextualization, taking care to highlight the experimental nature of biology. Frontal and dialogue lessons supported by presentations (ppt) with diagrams and graphic illustrations. Practical activities involve the organization of group activities, while some topics will be completed or corroborated through individual activities.

In consideration of the types of activities and teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this training activity requires the performance by all students of Modules 1 and 2 in e-learning mode and participation in Module 3 of specific training on safety and health in the places of study. Indications on the dates and methods of attendance of Module 3 can be consulted in the appropriate section of the course of study website."

Assessment methods

The learning verification takes place through the evaluation and discussion of a paper in which the didactic development of a topic chosen independently by the student and its theoretical aspects is exposed. The paper (max 3 pages of 2000 characters each) can concern a topic of animal or plant biology or integrated between the two parts. The paper must indicate the target (or the level, the type of class), the timing of the performance, the objectives, the structure of the presentation; the contents must be consistent with the declared target. The written paper must be sent by email one week before the day of the appeal to both teachers.

The reflexive and integration skills of knowledge themselves, the ability to organize and transmit knowledge will be assessed; critical reasoning skills. Questions will follow to ascertain basic knowledge (as per program). The practical exercise activities will also contribute to the final evaluation.The two animal and vegetable modules to be supported in the same appeal.

Teaching tools

Classrooms equipped for teaching with: personal computer, projector, touch-screen with the role of a digital whiteboard, document camera for shooting texts, drawing objects, video cameras for shooting the teacher. Classrooms / laboratories (1 CFU / module) are connected to the teaching, equipped for carrying out practical activities.

Office hours

See the website of Federico Plazzi