Teacher's Corner

Goals and Objectives Student Investigations

Cells are the fundamental unit of life and thus to understand the cell process is to begin to understand life. All cells give rise to other cells through cellular replication. The process of mitosis occurs in eukaryotic cells.

The cell is like a living factory. It is composed of organelles that carry out particular function very similar to the way organs carry out functions in the human body. Some of the organells and their function are the nucleus which contains the inherited material or DNA. The DNA contains the information to manufacture proteins and thus control the functions of the cell. Another cell organell is the mitochondrion which controls the process of respiration and the chloroplast regulates photosynthesis. The other organells can be explored on line. As the students discover the structures and their functions they will begin to see the interactions between them. Help the students keep focused on the idea that the cell is not a static structure but that all of the organells interact and the entire process is life.

It is very important that students propose questions to investigate cell structures and their functions.

To get students started you could pose questions like:
What are organells?, or What are the functions of the organells?
How do the organells interact?

You may want to give the students the following guidelines as they develop their story, play, presentation, poster or video on the cell.

Cell Concoction Guidelines

You will be creating a cell story. This is a creative story in which you will share your knowledge of the cell organelles, nucleus, cytosol, membrane and the functions of all of these parts.

You will start your work on the cell story with a description of the cell membrane since that is the first structure that you see when you view the cell. You should include a description of the membrane stucture (phospholipid bi-layer and proteins). Please include a description of passive transport, explaining diffusion and osmosis. A description of one of the following water environments for the cell will be included when describing osmosis: hypotonic, hypertonic, isotonic. Also, include a description of facilitated diffusion and a description of active transport. When describing active transport explain protein activated transport and endocytosis, either phagocytosis or pinocytosis.

After you have described the cell membrane then include an explanation of respiration and how the mitochondria is involved with this process. You will need to describe glycolysis, and the krebs cycle for this process. Rember to describe the electron transport chain. Include in you story a description of photosynthesis and how the chloroplast is involved in this process. Explain both the light reaction and Calvin cycle or dark reaction.

You will need a description of the structure and function of the following organelles: endoplasmic reticulum, golgi apparatus or golgi body, lysosome, vacuole, vesicle and microtubules as part of the cytoskeleton.

In another section you will need to explain the nature and functions of DNA including the stucture of DNA and DNA replication as you elaborate on the structure of the nucleus. The structure of the nucleus will include the nucleolus, nuclear envelope, and chromatin material or DNA. The transcription of the DNA creating a messenger RNA will be an important step in making the transition to explain how the nucleus controls cellular functions. Then the ribosomes will be described along with the process of protein synthesis or translation.

Finally you will need to share the concept of cellular division in the process of mitosis. Please include all of the steps (prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase).

Enjoy this assignment. Make it as fun and creative as possible and take advantage of the resources on line. It is a very challenging assignment. I believe you will have a lot of fun!

This activity is part of a large simulation which the students can participate in. The activity is referenced under Jean and Eugene Genetic Analysis.

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