Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fun with the Parts of a Cell

When we learned about the different parts of a cell there were different stations with an activity associated with each part of the cell. At each station was a paper with a description of that part of the cell. Here is what we did.

Organelles -- Since organelles perform important functions for the cell, the girls put on a headband with an "L" and became Robot L with the name of "Organ L". Then they had to walk around like a robot and speak in a robot voice and say "I am Organ L. How can I help you?"

Since ribosomes are the protein assembly factories of the cell, at this station the girls assembled or built things with blocks. 

The yarn at this station represented the cilia, the short hair-like structures found on the outside of some cells. The girls danced to music while holding the yarn in their hands and mouth.
To represent the cytoplasm, the liquid part of the cell that all the other parts "float around in", we put water and oil in a jar. The girls then added food coloring and dropped in various items to represent the parts of the cell. These items included grapes, nutes, mandarin oranges, sprinkles, and macaroni.

I used yogurt raisins to represent the mitochondria, the power plants of the cell that convert sugar into a form of energy the cell can use. As I gave each of the girls some to eat, they had to say "that's mighty kind-of-ya" (mitochondria).

We used a parachute to represent the membrane. The girls and I lifted it up and then brought it down around us so we were inside and it surrounded us.

The Easter grass represented the nucleoid of a prokaryotic cell, not surrounded by a membrane. The bean bags hidden inside represented the genetic material that is found in the nucleoid. Each beanbag had a letter on it, and when the girls found one they had to tell a genetic trait that began with that letter.

The bean bag chairs represented the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell that is surrounded by a membrane. The bean bags hidden between the bean bag chairs represented the genetic material that is found in the nucleus. The girls had to run and jump onto the beanbag chairs and then reach in and pull our a beanbag with a letter on it. Then they had to tell a genetic trait that began with that letter.

To represent the cytoskeleton that gives shape and structure to the cell, the girls had to get under a blanket and give it some kind of shape with their body.

Endomembrane System
For this system, which transports materials around the cell, the girls had to transport a stuffed animal across the room while doing a crab walk.

The long yellow ribbons represented the flagella, the long tail that sticks out of a cell and helps the cell move. The girls had one in each hand and danced to music while waving the ribbons.

Since chloroplasts convert light energy into chemical energy, this station was in the bathroom, which could be completely dark. The girls had to shine a flashlight on a tube that had baking soda in it. Then they poured some vinegar in it and the chemical reaction occurred.

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