Cell Structure, Cell Function, and Biomolecules Edit

Edited by Peter Blodnik, Jessica Clark, Nicole Martinez, and Amanda Smith

Learning Goals, Motivation, and Standards Edit

1. Cell Theory- Students will understand the cell theory, or cell doctrine, states that all organisms are composed of similar units of organization, called cells. The modern tenets of the Cell Theory that will be known include:

  • All known living things are made up of cells.
  • The cell is the structural & functional unit of all living things.
  • All cells come from pre-existing cells by division.
  • Cells contain hereditary information which is passed cell to cell during cell division.
  • All cells are basically the same in chemical composition.
  • All energy flow (metabolism & biochemistry) of life occurs within cells.

Motivation: National and State standards, as noted above, declare students should understand the basis of the cell theory upon completion of eighth grade prior to entering high school. Therefore, Cell Theory will be used as a segue into future units; this big idea will be covered in the minimum amount of time needed, one lesson if possible, depending on students prior knowledge. It is important for all of the students to know Cell Theory prior to entering the next unit (big idea) as this is the fundamental basis for understanding cells. Covering this briefly will ensure all the students are on the same page going into in depth topics, whether they are taking Biology immediately following eighth grade or later in their high school career.

Cell Theory State and National Standards

2. Cell Structure- Students will understand that the inside the cell is a concentrated mixture of thousands of different molecules. These molecules form a variety of specialized structures that carry out such cell functions as energy production, transport of molecules, waste disposal, synthesis of new molecules, and the storage of genetic material.

  • The structures functions which students will be able to identify are:
  • Plasma Membrane
  • Cytosol
  • Organelles:
  • Mitochondria: structure and function
  • Structure: double membrane of an outer smooth and inner-cristae, which is folded to increase surface area
  • Function: powerhouse of the cell as it is generates energy from food
  • Nucleus: control center of the cell as it stores genetic material (DNA)
  • Nucleus subtopics: Nucleolus (partially assembles ribosomes), Nuclear Pores, and Nuclear Envelope (double membrane)
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum: passageway for
  • (rough and smooth):
  • Ribosomes
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • Lysosome
  • Vacuoles
  • Plant subtopics: Chloroplasts, Cell Wall
  • Cell Subtopics
  • Microtubules
  • Microfilaments
  • Recognize Different Cell Types – Prokaryote vs. Eukaryote, Plant vs. Animal; including which organelles are specific to each I don’t know that you need to address this in this unit
  • Be familiar with DNA - store genetic information and located in nucleus; is a precursor for proteins what do you mean by precursor?
  • Be familiar with types of Specialized Cells- Nerve cells, skin cells, muscle cells, red blood cells what about these cells will you teach and why?

Motivation: It is important to learn about cell structures as noted briefly by the state standards and more explicitly by the national standards. Students need to understand this big idea in order to move on to more complex biological processes, such as Mitosis, Meiosis, and Photosynthesis. In addition, cell structure provides an introduction to biomolecules, another state and national standard.

Cell Structure and Function State and National Standards

3. Cellular Function with Relationship to Cell Structure (Biomolecules)

  • Students will be able to explain and understand biomolecules as follows:
  • Lipids (Fatty Acids)- as seen in the lipid bilayer of plasma membrane; fluid mosaic model that’s a pretty complex model
  • Carbohydrates (Sugars)- a source of short term energy and a building material for what?
  • Proteins (Amino Acids)- as catalysts (enzymes), structural material, involved with signaling and regulation, and can act as carriers will you cover all these functions of proteins or just some?
  • Nucleic Acids (Nucleotides)- DNA and RNA as sources of genetic information
  • What about the structure of these will you teach, at what level?

Motivation: The National and State standards declare students should understand the links between cell structure and function. This link will be made through the discussion of biomolecules and the relationship to cell structure. As with the big idea of cell structure, it is important to understand this relationship since biological processes are based on these biomolecules. For example, in order to understand how molecules and ions are transported across the plasma membrane, one must have knowledge about the lipids that make up this membrane. In addition, when relating cell structure to function, students will acquire a preview of the biochemistry required of life on the cellular level, which can help provide a fuller understanding of life on a larger scale.

Biomolecules State and National Standards

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