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Applied General Education Path

The Living World

In The Living World, students acquire scientific and technological knowledge pertaining to life as it relates to molecules, cells, organisms and ecosystems.

In secondary school, students explore increasingly complex phenomena and technical objects and seek answers and solutions to a variety of problems. They acquire scientific knowledge about The Living World that helps them understand and explain the factors at play in different scientific issues. This knowledge, along with the knowledge they acquire in other areas of the program, particularly The Earth and Space, enables them to understand the complexity of the relationships between living organisms and their planet. Students refine their understanding of the concepts related to The Living World by using the experimental method, the observation method and modelling.

In Secondary III, students explore applications related to the seven technological fields, which enables them to make connections between technology and The Living World. In Secondary IV, they continue constructing and applying their knowledge about The Living World by analyzing and designing a variety of applications related to the same technological fields. Thus they acquire a better understanding of the contribution of science and technology to human and environmental health. In the optional Science and the Environment program, students consolidate their knowledge and form their own opinions regarding two environmental issues they will be asked to examine.

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.

 

Student reinvests knowledge.

Statements preceded by the symbol  indicate knowledge specific to the compulsory Applied Science and Technology program. Most of these statements are, however, found in the progression of learning for the optional Environmental Science and Technology program.
Secondary
ST
Cycle One
AST
Cycle Two
SE
Cycle Two
  1. Diversity of life forms
1 2 3 4 4
Elementary school
Students classify animals by kingdom and, in the case of vertebrates, by class (mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians). They describe the physical and behavioural characteristics that demonstrate that an animal has adapted to its environment (e.g. fins, claws, colour, ability to burrow into the ocean floor, migration).
Secondary school
  1. Ecology
ST AST SE
    1. Habitat
      1. Names the characteristics that define a habitat (e.g. geographic location, climate, flora, fauna, proximity of man-made constructions)
     
      1. Describes the habitat of certain species
     
    1. Ecological niche
      1. Names the characteristics that define an ecological niche (e.g. habitat, diet, daily rhythms)
     
      1. Describes the ecological niche of an animal species
     
    1. Species
      1. Names the characteristics that define a species (common physical characteristics; natural, viable and fertile reproduction)
     
    1. Population
      1. Distinguishes between a population and a species
     
      1. Calculates the number of individuals of a species in a given territory
     
    1. Dynamics of ecosystems
      1. Ecosystems
        • Defines an ecosystem as the relationships between the individuals in a community and abiotic factors in the environment
       
      1. Disturbances
        • Defines a disturbance in a community
       
        • Explains the effects of certain factors that disturb the ecological balance (e.g. human activity, natural disasters)
       
      1. Trophic relationships
        • Describes the trophic levels (producers, consumers, decomposers)
       
        • Explains the relationships between the trophic levels of a food web
       
      1. Primary productivity
        • Defines primary productivity as the quantity of organic matter produced by plants in a given territory
       
        • Explains the effects of certain factors on primary productivity (e.g. bees help pollinate fruit trees, pathogenic microorganisms hinder plant growth)
       
      1. Material and energy flow
        • Describes material and energy flow in an ecosystem
       
      1. Chemical recycling
        • Describes certain processes underlying chemical recycling (e.g. action of microorganisms and decomposers, erosion)
       
      1. Factors that influence the distribution of biomes
        • Describes the geographical and climatic factors that affect the distribution of biomes (e.g. latitude, humidity, temperature, salinity)
       
    1. Ecotoxicology
      1. Contaminant1
        • Defines a contaminant as an agent that causes changes in the physical, chemical or biological properties of an environment or an organism
       
      1. Bioaccumulation
        • Defines bioaccumulation as the process by which a contaminant from the environment or food supply accumulates in an organism
       
        • Explains bioaccumulation in food chains (biomagnification)
       
      1. Bioconcentration
        • Defines bioconcentration as a special case of bioaccumulation by which an organism accumulates a contaminant through direct contact with its environment (from sources other than food)
       
      1. Toxicity threshold
        • Defines the toxicity threshold of a substance as the minimum concentration of a substance that produces a significant harmful effect in an organism (mg/kg of the organism’s mass)
       
        • Describes factors that influence the toxicity of a contaminant
          (e.g. concentration, characteristics of the environment into which it is released, nature of the organisms with which it is in contact, duration of exposure)
       
  1. Diversity of life forms
ST AST SE
    1. Physical and behavioural adaptation
      1. Describes physical adaptations that enable animals and plants to improve their chances of survival (e.g. coat colour matched to the environment, shape of leaves)
     
      1. Describes behavioural adaptations that enable animals and plants to improve their chances of survival (e.g. movement in groups, phototropism)
     
    1. Evolution
      1. Describes the stages in the evolution of living organisms
     
      1. Explains the natural selection process
     
    1. Taxonomy
      1. Defines taxonomy as a system for classifying living organisms based for the most part on their anatomical and genetic characteristics
     
      1. Identifies a species using a taxonomic key
     
    1. Genes and chromosomes2
      1. Locates chromosomes in the cell
     
      1. Defines a gene as part of a chromosome
     
      1. Describes the role of genes (transmission of hereditary characteristics)
     
  1. Life-sustaining processes
1 2 3 4 4
Elementary school
Students explain the essential needs of living organisms (e.g. food, respiration) and describe metabolic activity (transformation of energy, growth, maintenance of systems and body temperature). They describe the function of photosynthesis, which they distinguish from respiration.
Secondary school
    1. Characteristics of living things
      1. Describes certain characteristics common to all living things (nutrition, relationships, adaptation, reproduction)
     
    1. Plant and animal cells
      1. Defines the cell as the structural unit of life
     
      1. Names vital functions carried out by cells
     
      1. Distinguishes between animal and plant cells
     
    1. Cellular components visible under a microscope
      1. Identifies the main cellular components visible under a microscope (cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, vacuoles)
     
      1. Describes the role of the main cellular components visible under a microscope
     
    1. Inputs and outputs (energy, nutrients, waste)
      1. Names cellular inputs
     
      1. Names cellular outputs
     
    1. Osmosis and diffusion
      1. Distinguishes between osmosis and diffusion
     
    1. Photosynthesis and respiration 3
      1. Names the inputs and outputs involved in photosynthesis
     
      1. Represents the photosynthesis reaction in a balanced equation
       
      1. Names the inputs and outputs involved in respiration
     
      1. Represents the photosynthesis reaction in a balanced equation
       
  1. Systems
1 2 3 4 4
Elementary school
Students describe the functions of certain parts of their anatomy (limbs, head). They associate parts of animal anatomy and systems with their main functions.
Secondary school
Nutrition
  1. Digestive system
ST AST SE
    1. Digestive tract
      1. Names the main parts of the digestive tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, anus)
       
      1. Explains the role of the digestive tract (decomposition of food, absorption of nutrients and water, elimination of waste)
       
      1. Describes the functions of the main organs that make up the digestive tract (mouth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine)
       
    1. Digestive glands
      1. Names the main digestive glands (salivary glands, gastric glands, pancreas, liver, intestinal glands)
       
      1. Describes the function of the main digestive glands (e.g. secretion of saliva, gastric enzymes, digestive juices, bile)
       
    1. Types of foods
      1. Describes the main biological functions of the different food constituents (water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals)
       
      1. Associates food constituents with their main sources (e.g. proteins with meat and meat substitutes)
       
    1. Energy value of different foods
      1. Evaluates the energy and nutritional value of different foods
       
    1. Transformation of food
      1. Describes the two types of transformation of food that take place in the digestive system (mechanical, chemical)
       
      1. Associates the organs in the digestive tract with the type of transformation they perform (e.g. mechanical action of teeth, chemical action of glands)
       
  1. Respiratory and circulatory and systems
ST AST SE
    1. Respiratory system
      1. Names the main parts of the respiratory system (nasal cavity, pharynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs)
       
      1. Explains the role of the respiratory system (gaseous exchanges between the blood and the surrounding air)
       
      1. Describes the function of the nasal cavity and lungs
       
    1. Functions of blood constituents
      1. Describes the main function of plasma (transportation of the blood's soluble and formed elements)
       
      1. Names the formed elements of the blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets)
       
      1. Describes the main function of the formed elements of the blood
       
    1. Compatibility of blood types
      1. Determines the compatibility or incompatibility of blood types
        (e.g. an individual with type A blood can only receive type O- or type A- blood)
       
    1. Circulatory system
      1. Names the main parts of the circulatory system (heart, types of blood vessels, pulmonary and systemic circulation)
       
      1. Explains the role of the circulatory system (transportation and exchange of gases, nutrients and waste)
       
      1. Describes the function of the main parts of the circulatory system (heart, arteries and veins, capillaries)
       
    1. Lymphatic system
      1. Names the main parts of the lymphatic system (lymph, antibodies)
       
      1. Explains the role of the lymphatic system (circulation of antibodies outside the blood vessels)
       
      1. Describes two ways of acquiring active immunity (production of antibodies, vaccination)
       
  1. Excretory system
ST AST SE
    1. Urinary system
      1. Names the main parts of the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra)
       
      1. Explains the role of the excretory system (filtration of the blood, elimination of cellular waste)
       
      1. Describes the function of the kidneys and bladder
       
    1. Components of urine
      1. Names the main components of urine (water, mineral salts, urea)
       
    1. Maintaining a balanced metabolism
      1. Explains the role of the kidneys, lungs and sweat glands in maintaining a balanced metabolism
       
Relationships
  1. Nervous and musculoskeletal systems
ST AST SE
    1. Central nervous system
      1. Identifies the parts of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord)
       
      1. Explains the role of the central nervous system (e.g. to manage complex behaviours and process sensory information and the related responses)
       
      1. Describes the functions of the brain and the spinal cord
       
    1. Peripheral nervous system
      1. Neuron
        • Names the main parts of a neuron (synapse, axon, dendrites)
       
        • Explains the role of the peripheral nervous system (transportation of nerve impulses from the senses to the brain and from the brain to the muscles)
       
      1. Neural inflow
        • Associates nerves with the transmission of nerve impulses
       
        • Distinguishes between voluntary acts and reflex arcs
       
    1. Sensory receptors
      1. Eye
        • Names the parts of the eye involved in vision (iris, cornea, crystalline lens, retina)
       
        • Describes the function of the main parts of the eye
       
      1. Ear
        • Names the main parts of the ear involved in hearing and balance (auditory canal, ear drum, ossicles, cochlea, semicircular canals)
       
        • Describes the function of the main parts of the ear involved in hearing
       
        • Describes the role of the semicircular canals in maintaining balance
       
      1. Tongue
        • Describes the function of the taste buds on the tongue (transformation and transmission of flavours: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami)
       
      1. Nose
        • Names the parts of the nose involved in smelling (nasal cavity, olfactory bulb)
       
        • Describes the function of the olfactory bulb
       
      1. Skin
        • Describes the function of the skin's sensory receptors (transformation and transmission of feelings of pressure, temperature and pain)
       
    1. Musculoskeletal system
      1. Function of bones, joints and muscles
        • Names the main parts of the skeleton (head, thorax, spinal column, upper and lower limbs)
       
        • Describes the functions of the main parts of the skeleton (e.g. the spinal column protects the spinal cord and allows the trunk to move)
       
        • Explains the role of the musculoskeletal system
       
        • Describes how pairs of antagonistic muscles work (e.g. biceps, triceps)
       
        • Describes how joints work (linking bone to bone, mobility)
       
      1. Types of muscles
        • Associates the different types of muscles (smooth, skeletal, heart) with the tissues in which they are found
       
      1. Types of joint movement
        • Describes types of joint movement (e.g. flexion, rotation)
       
  1. Survival of species
1 2 3 4 4
Elementary school
Students describe the growth and reproduction of flowering plants and different animals.
Secondary school
  1. Reproduction
ST AST SE
    1. Asexual and sexual reproduction
      1. Distinguishes between asexual and sexual reproduction (e.g. sexual reproduction involves gametes)
     
    1. Reproductive mechanisms in plants
      1. Describes asexual reproductive mechanisms in plants (e.g. cutting, layering)
     
      1. Describes the sexual reproductive mechanism in plants (flowering plants)
     
    1. Reproductive mechanisms in animals
      1. Describes the roles of the male and female in the reproduction of certain types of animals (e.g. birds, fish, mammals)
     
    1. Reproductive organs
      1. Names the main male and female reproductive organs (penis, testicles, vagina, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, uterus)
     
    1. Gametes
      1. Names the male and female gametes
     
      1. Describes the role of gametes in reproduction
     
    1. Fertilization
      1. Describes fertilization in humans
     
    1. Pregnancy
      1. Names the stages of human development during pregnancy (zygote, embryo, fetus)
     
    1. Stages of human development
      1. Describes the stages of human development (childhood, adolescence, adulthood)
     
    1. Contraception
      1. Describes contraceptive methods (e.g. condom, ovulation suppression agents)
     
      1. Describes the advantages and disadvantages of different contraceptive methods
     
    1. Methods of preventing the implantation of the zygote in the uterus
      1. Names methods of preventing the implantation of the zygote in the uterus (intrauterine device, day-after pill)
     
    1. Sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases4
      1. Names sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases
     
      1. Describes behaviours to prevent contracting sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases (e.g. wearing a condom)
     
      1. Describes responsible behaviours to adopt after being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted or blood-borne disease (e.g. informing one's partner)
     
  1. Cell division5
ST AST SE
    1. Mitosis
      1. Describes the functions of mitosis (reproduction, growth, regeneration)
       
    1. Meiosis
      1. Describes the function of meiosis (production of gametes)
       
    1. Genetic diversity
      1. Associates genetic diversity with sexual reproduction
       
Reproduction
  1. Reproductive system
ST AST SE
    1. Puberty (male and female)
      1. Describes physical and psychological changes that occur at puberty (e.g. appearance of body hair, voice change, ability to procreate, need for independence)
       
    1. Hormone regulation in men
      1. Spermatogenesis
        • Names the hormones responsible for the formation of spermatozoa (follicle stimulating hormone [FSH], luteinizing hormone [LH], testosterone)
       
      1. Erection
        • Describes the physiology of erection
       
      1. Ejaculation
        • Explains the function of ejaculation in reproduction
       
    1. Hormone regulation in women
      1. Oogenesis
        • Names the hormones responsible for the maturation of the ovarian follicle (FSH, LH, estrogen, progesterone)
       
      1. Ovarian cycle
        • Describes the hormone changes that occur during the menstrual cycle
       
      1. Menstrual cycle
        • Describes the main stages in the menstrual cycle (e.g. menstruation, endometrium development, ovulation)
       
1. See The Earth and Space, Characteristics of the Earth, Contamination (ES, A, 2, h ; ES, A, 3, c ; ES, A, 4, f).
2.  See The Living World, Survival of species, Cell division (LW, D, 2).
3.  The Secondary IV concepts related to photosynthesis and respiration are presented in the program under Material World, Changes, Chemical changes.
4.  This replaces the term "sexually transmitted diseases" used in the program.
5.  For concepts related to Genes and chromosomes addressed in Cycle One, see The Living World, Diversity of life forms above (LW, A, 2, d).

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