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All shapes and sizes
Duration: 1 lesson
Resources needed
Lesson objectives
 Pupil Book: page 10–11.
 Recognise and describe different cell shapes. [Level 5]
 Through the door: LiveText CDROM 1.
 Match cell shapes to their function. [Level 6]
 Starter activity: LiveText CDROM 1.
 Main activities: 1.5.1 Digital
microscope and projector or digital
video clips, living protozoa. 1.5.3 A
selection of clear and varied slides
from different tissues e.g. blood
smear; leaf; root hairs; stem;
smooth muscle; liver. Cell pictures
(downloaded from internet) and
 Safety: If using pond water rather
than cultures from biological
suppliers be aware of the risks of
 Skill sheets: 1, 2 and 3
 Explain how cells can be modified. [Level 6]
 Predict functions of cells based on structure. [Level 6/7]
 Relate cell shapes to their function. [Level 6/7]
Teaching strategies
Pupils examine a range and variety of different cell types by using microscopes.
They then relate the different cell types by matching them to a list of different
functions. They then pool their results in a class discussion to arrive at the
correct conclusions.
More able pupils should be able to predict the structure of a cell when given its
function. For example, the role of a nerve cell could be explained and then
pupils predict a possible structure e.g. long and thin, for its shape.
Less able pupils should only be given simple cells such as red blood cells, cheek
cells and palisade cells and have clear, simple, specific descriptions of functions
to which they match the cells, as more complex cells and tissues are often
difficult to identify using a microscope.
How Science Works
KC1.1a Using ideas and models Pupils observe cell modifications and generate ideas to explain their observations.
KC1.1b Critically analysing and evaluating evidence Pupils should use their observation to relate the structure of
the cells to their function.
KP2.1c Plan and carry out practical and investigative activities Most pupils will need to work in groups unless the
school has sufficient microscope for each pupil.
KP2.2b Evaluate scientific evidence and working methods Pupils will observe feeding in single celled organisms
making use of digital technology to magnify and transmit images and also to capture and record information. The
difficulties of working with microscopic living material will be considered.
Curriculum Opportunities
COa, COc, COi, COk
Through the door activity
Card sort: Ask pupil to match pictures of different workers with their jobs, e.g. builder with hard hat, doctor with mask and
gown, teacher with stick of chalk, farmer with tractor, etc. (LiveText CD-ROM 1)
Suggested starter activity (5–10 minutes)
Review generalised cell structure both in plant and animal cells. Are all cells like this? Pupils should be encouraged to
think of what a cell would need to perform a particular role.
Suggested main activities
1.5.1 All shapes and sizes Teacher demonstration of feeding behaviour of single celled pond animals, using video or
living material. Pupils generate ideas to explain their observations. (Pupil and Teacher & technician sheets) (~25
minutes) [V]
1.5.2 Types of cell Pupils sort images of cells into a branching diagram, identifying key features at each step. They then
Go Science! 1 © Pearson Education Limited 2008
This worksheet may have been altered from the original.
1 of 2
All shapes and sizes
Duration: 1 lesson
justify their decisions to the rest of the class. (Pupil and Teacher and technician sheets) (~25 minutes) [V, K] [AfL]
1.5.3 Pupils use microscope to examine a selection of slides of different cell types and record differences (based on skills
already acquired). They can then be provided with a series of ‘stylised’ diagrams of different types of cells. Pupils should
relate differences observed to the cells’ given functions. More able pupils should be encouraged to explain the
relationships. [V, A, K]
1.5.4 Pupils then relate the different cells to a list of different activities that cells carry out. More able pupils could work
without the list and make predictions based on their observations. (~10 minutes) [V, A, T]
1.5.5 Pupils then work as a class group and pool their observations and conclusions. (~10 minutes) [V, A, T] [AfL]
Suggested plenary activity (5–10 minutes)
Picture of an adapted cell that pupils may not have encountered, e.g. sieve tube elements or goblet cell. Brainstorm its
characteristics (with some hints) with attempts to identify its function. [AfL]
Interactive activities (LiveText CD-ROM 1)
Where is the science? Activity on stem cell research.
Self marking worksheet on cells, levels of organisation and microscopy.
Crossword on special cells.
Learning outcomes
Level 3–4
Level 4–5
Level 5–6
Name an adapted cell.
Describe the adaptation of a cell.
Recognise differences between
Relate cell structure to function.
Explain the advantage of
Construct models of cells.
Explain why adapted cells can
carry out their function.
Predict how models could be
modified for more complex cell
Use models of cells already
Homework sheet: Nanobots.
adapted, embryo, organ, stem cell
‘Adopt a cell’ each pupil should
explain why their ‘adopted’ cell is best
suited to do its particular job.
Key skills and crosscurricular links
ICT skills: Creating and displaying
video images from a digital
Thinking skills: Observe and explain
– evaluating alternative explanations.
Thinking skills: Matching cell types
to a list of possible functions.
Cross curriculum subject link: Art
for recording information in the form
of diagrams.
Go Science! 1 © Pearson Education Limited 2008
This worksheet may have been altered from the original.
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