Within each unit there is a series of Sections containing several Lessons. Each Lesson is based upon a learning goal that guides what students are learning. Every lesson prepares students for the unit Challenge in which students prepare a solution to an environmental challenge and argue in support of their solution drawing on all information presented in the unit. Although the Challenges are introduced in the beginning of the units and referred to in each lesson, their completion as final projects at the end of the units serves as a performance assessment for each unit.

Other features of the Biocomplexity curriculum include: