Each unit contains a series of sections comprising several lessons. Each lesson is based upon a learning goal that prepares students for the unit challenge in which students draw on the information presented to propose and defend a solution to an environmental issue. Unit challenges are introduced in the beginning of the units and referred to in each lesson, so their completion serves as a performance assessment for each unit.

Other features of the Biocomplexity curriculum include:

Readings – Many lessons contain short readings intended to provide a deeper level of understanding of the topics under investigation.
Investigation Protocols – Protocols are supplied for field and lab investigations or for new technology applications. These are placed after the lessons in each unit for easy reference.
Unit Reviews – Students can review the key learning goals of the unit and use multiple choice or short answer questions for review.
Blackline Masters – Copies of tables, charts, and other student materials  are available at the back of the Teacher Guide.
Glossary – A glossary of terms is provided at the end of the curriculum.
Biocomplexity Website – Teachers can find copies of curriculum materials, links to additional resources, examples of student work, video clips, and datasets for student use in all four units.