Image by Drew Hays

Cell structure

and organisation

KEYWORDS:

  • Light micrograph

  • Electron micrograph

  • Protoplasm

  • Cell surface membrane

  • Nucleus

  • Cytoplasm

  • Organelle

  • Mitochondria

  • Vacuole

  • Ribosomes

  • Chloroplast

  • Cell wall

  • Root hair cell

  • Xylem vessels

  • Red blood cell

  • Tissue

  • Organ

  • Organ system

  • Organism

Activity

time

Scaffolded Cell Labeling

The best way to ensure the lesson sticks? Labeling cell diagrams. Throw students pre, post and advanced cell labeling worksheets as the curriculum progresses to reinforce new knowledge. Get students to outline the functions of the structures as they identify them on different diagrams. Take special note on the difference between the Golgi apparatus and the Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (which can look very similar in diagrams).

Practical Cell Labeling

One of the most important skills, and the most difficult to learn, is microscopy work. Basic microscopy skills is of course essential, but the manipulation and identification of specimens can be very difficult for students. Repetition and consistent exposure to practicals help students a ton. The aim is to get them to identify details in each specimen they encounter and be aware of minor differences between structures. Take note of organelles/structures that cannot be identified with a light microscope! Oh, and work on those drawing skills. An magnification calculations. They tend to be weak spots as well.

Test in Ten: Cells

A short quiz I created to test the basic concept of Cells.

OTHER RESOURCES

GAME: Cell Craft

You can build a cell and review how each individual organelle or structure helps the cell perform its function.

GAME: Quia

Simple flashcards and matching games about organelles.

SITE: Parts of a cell

A very comprehensive overview of the topic.

SITE: Parts of a cell

A quick, snappy overview of the topic.

videos

Learning Objectives:

  1. identify cell structures (including organelles) of typical plant and animal cells from diagrams, photomicrographs and as seen under the light microscope using prepared slides and fresh material treated with an appropriate temporary staining technique:

    • chloroplasts

    • cell membrane

    • cell wall

    • cytoplasm

    • cell vacuoles (large, sap-filled in plant cells, small, temporary in animal cells)

    • nucleus

  2. identify the following membrane systems and organelles from diagrams and electron micrographs:

    • mitochondria

    • ribosomes

    • endoplasmic reticulum (Pure only)

    • Golgi body (Pure only)

  3. state the functions of the membrane systems and organelles identified above.

  4. compare the structure of typical animal and plant cells.

  5. state, in simple terms, the relationship between cell function and cell structure for the following:

    • absorption – root hair cells

    • conduction and support – xylem vessels

    • transport of oxygen – red blood cells

  6. differentiate cell, tissue, organ and organ system.

 

Use the knowledge gained in this section in new situations or to solve related problems.