© Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Name______________________________ Class __________________ Date ______________

Reading Guide

Section 1.3 Studying Life

This section describes the characteristics of living things. It also explains

how life can be studied at different levels.


Characteristics of Living Things

1.  Complete the graphic organizer to show the characteristics living things share.



























2.      What is biology?



3.      What is a cell?



4.      What are two types of reproduction?

a. A




5.      Living things are based on a universal _______________________________________.




6.      Why does an organism need energy and a constant supply of materials?


An organism uses energy and materials to grow, develop, and reproduce.

7.      What is metabolism?



8.      What is homeostasis? It



9.       A group of organisms that changes over time is said to ___________________________


Big Ideas in Biology

10.  Complete the table of Big Ideas in Biology. The first row is filled in for you.

Big Idea


Cellular basis of life

Living things are made of cells.

Information and heredity



Life requires matter that provides raw materials, nutrients, and energy.

Growth, development, and reproduction



Living things maintain a relatively stable internal environment.




Each major group of organisms has evolved structures that make particular functions possible.


All living things are fundamentally similar at the molecular level.


All forms of life on Earth are connected into a biosphere—a living planet.

Science as a way of knowing



11.  Pick two of the big ideas from the chart and describe how the ideas interlock.



Fields of Biology

12.  Biology is made up of many overlapping fields, each of which uses different tools to gather information about living things. Fill out the table below with information about two fields of biology—one that appeals to you, and one that does not. Include a description of each field and the tools scientists in the field use, as well as your impressions of each.

Field of Biology

Description of Field

Why It Does or Does Not Appeal to Me









Performing Biological Investigations

13.            Why do scientists need a common system of measurement? R


, and most experiments involve measurements.

14.  When collecting data and doing experiments, what system of measurement do most

scientists use?



15.  What is the metric system?






16.   Complete each equation by writing the correct number or metric unit.

a. 1000 meters = 1_____________________


b. 1 liter =________________________ milliliters


c. 1 gram = ______________________ milligrams


d. 1000 kilograms = 1 ____________________




17.  Suppose two scientists are trying to perform an experiment that involves dangerous chemicals. How might their safety be affected by not using a common measurement?








18.  What is the single most important rule for your safety while working in a laboratory?