Cell Structure and Function

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SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.

The Cell Structure and Function SciPack explores how cells, the basic building blocks of all organisms, function as systems of organelles and associated structures in a dynamic equilibrium between its internal and external environment. The focus is on topics related to Standards and Benchmarks related to the structure of various types of cells, the molecular workings inside the cell, and the role of proteins as the main structural and functional molecules of the cell. This SciPack uses the “cell as a system” concept.

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Reviews (50)
  • on Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:25 PM

I thought that going through the process of completing this SciPak was very beneficial to me because it offered a good refresher course on cells for me. I would like to teach the fourth grade, and I know that cells are addressed there, so I feel better prepared. I also like that I can go back and look at the SciPak any time and refresh my memory again. I alos really liked the virtual manipulatives in the SciPak as well as the visuals because they made it fun. I thought the assessment was a little difficult because the time limit stressed me out. Other than that, I thought it was great!

Sydney Gaspard  (Nashville, TN)
Sydney Gaspard (Nashville, TN)

  • on Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:02 PM

This Sci Pack provides a lot of information for teachers who are new to the subject, or who want a refresher course. The analogies use in the section, "The Cellular Factory" are useful in teaching students how to remember the functions of various parts of a cell.

Jamie Walsh  (Poway, CA)
Jamie Walsh (Poway, CA)

  • on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:10 PM

I really enjoyed this Sci Pack due to the simplistic but complete overview for cell structure and function. This source is a good refresher tool or starting point for a lesson outline or information. The pictures and activities enhanced the learning experience and would also be great tools for the classroom.

Lauren M  (Wheeling, WV)
Lauren M (Wheeling, WV)

  • on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:53 PM

I have always loved cells and this SciPack was great. I loved the refresher course so that I can share the best with my students.

Jessica Minton  (Collierville, TN)
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)

  • on Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:17 PM

I started this Sci-Pack with just basic knowledge of cells and I really found that I did not know how much I did not know. This Sci-Pack has proven to be invaluable to me because I have taught K-2 for 9 years and then found myself in the K-5 Science Lab teaching content that I was unfamiliar with. I understand so much more than before and I credit the interactive nature of the Sci-Pack with helping me learn it quickly and in an engaging way.

Dianne Spencer
Dianne Spencer

  • on Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:52 AM

This Sci Pack is great. I think scipacks are so easy to use in the class room.

Anna
Anna

  • on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:22 PM

The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format, but the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend SciPacks to anyone needing to learn more about scientific topics!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:01 PM

Loads of information, fun and informative interactives -- I'd do well to just let my students work through this sciPack themselves! The assessments were fairly straightforward, too, with less "tricky" questions than many of the other SciPacks

Gina Langley  (Ruidoso Downs, NM)
Gina Langley (Ruidoso Downs, NM)

  • on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:29 PM

This resource is very detailed and very practical. The presentation is very relatable for students.

Olukayode Banmeke  (Riverdale, MD)
Olukayode Banmeke (Riverdale, MD)

  • on Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:12 PM

Woo! I just completed the cell structure and function sci pack! It has so much detailed, specific information that I wish I could provide to my gifted and talented students, but for all my students too. There were a lot of interactive computer animations I also felt would benefit all my students. I especially liked the section on cell surface area ratio because it involved math. This is a great reminder to me how I can make a lesson where students recognize the purpose to having small cells. Overall, I felt this sci pack was a great refresher on many important facts. I like how the information was organized because it helped remind me how to align my curriculum and to be mindful of the common preconception students might bring. The pedagogical section, it was helpful to have helpful ways to teach this unit that I feel is very abstract, but can be understood in chunks. Again, this was great for me to review and to prepare my students in understanding how to better approach teaching and learning about cells.

Monica Chavez  (Kailua-Kona, HI)
Monica Chavez (Kailua-Kona, HI)

  • on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:29 PM

This SciPack gives a good overview of what cells are and what they do. The information was straightforward and I didn't feel like there was a lot of terminology to get bogged down in. Then again, I'm speaking from the teacher side. I suspect students might feel differently. As usual, animations are helpful for showing what goes on with the cellular machinary and making the subject a bit less abstract. Definitely worth a look.

Eric Carlson  (Royal City, WA)
Eric Carlson (Royal City, WA)

  • on Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:51 PM

This is one of the most challenging lessons I have taken in the course of my PD with NASA-IDEA. It is as challenging as being inside the cell itself, and understanding every detail of the smallest unit of life. This preparation of this lesson is great and despite the intricacies of the concept of the cell, it made it very comprehensive and interesting.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:10 AM

Within cells there is an intricate network of organelles that all have unique functions.... From the beginning to the end, this SciPack did an excellent job of engaging the viewer in cellular biology. The information is presented in such a way that it clearly and concisely explains a concept that is often challenging for students to comprehend. Kudos are in order.....

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:06 PM

This Sci.Pack has everything in nut-shell for all my diverse group of learners.

Vidya Gawade
Vidya Gawade

  • on Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:49 AM

I can't begin to exprees my joy at finding such a simple yet concise resource for a topic that can be difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach; so many ways to scaffold the subject matter for learning!

Duane Little  (Washington, DC)
Duane Little (Washington, DC)

  • on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:34 AM

Great Review of Cells. You can certainly integrate some of the ideas to your own classroom assessment.

Dat Le  (Arlington, VA)
Dat Le (Arlington, VA)

  • on Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:38 PM

Fantastic photos help to see into the cells. Wonderful explanations you can really dive deep into the cells structure and functions.

Leslie  (Louisville, Kentucky)
Leslie (Louisville, Kentucky)

  • on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:11 PM

Fantastic overview of basic cell biology, characteristics of life, biochemistry, classification, and protein synthesis. The order was logical and there were many animations/interactives that were helpful in reviewing the material and they could be useful for students. Highly recommended.

David
David

  • on Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:26 AM

This unit will help in my presentation to the students, information on cells and cell structure. Very good unit.

John Smith  (, )
John Smith (, )

  • on Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:21 AM

The Cell Structure unit was fascinating and informative; visuals very helpful. I liked it.

Barbara Fleenor  (, )
Barbara Fleenor (, )

  • on Wed May 24, 2017 9:03 PM

This Sci-pack was very beneficial for me because I wanted to test my knowledge and refresh my knowledge about cell structure and function. I am very interested in teaching Elementary grades and this course helped me see my strengths and weakness in this area of science. Also I believe as a teacher you could pull information from this SciPack for lesson planning. I truly enjoyed refreshing my brain about cell structure and function through this SciPack.

Kelsey
Kelsey

  • on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:50 PM

Overall, I thought that this Sci- Pack had a lot of useful information. The interactive parts of the module were very helpful in understanding the content. One thing, that I did not enjoy was the wording of the test questions. They were worded in a way that was sometimes difficult to understand and I feel like some were very vague. Other than that, the information was useful and in depth and I definitely learned from it.

Shelby Adcock
Shelby Adcock

  • on Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:28 PM

I thought overall this SciPack was very informational. It covered many different aspects about the cell and many features of it. I thought it might not go into that much detail about each part, but it did, and made me more informed about the overall topic.

Kelsey Yarbrough
Kelsey Yarbrough

  • on Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:09 PM

Although I had a very difficult time with this SciPack, I did enjoy it. I did not like the "Select all that apply" options, which were several of the questions. I caught myself second guessing myself numerous times on those questions. I wish there were a way, after you take the final exam, to know which questions you got wrong and what the correct answers were. Overall, this was a great review and reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten.

Kierra M
Kierra M

  • on Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:58 PM

I completed this sci-pack for a college course. I feel the material is appropriate for college level; however, it is advertised for elementary, middle, and high school, so i do not feel that this much depth is needed for any of those levels of understanding. It was a lot of information, but I finally passed a sic-pack assessment. Praise the Lord!

Haley Brown
Haley Brown

  • on Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:46 AM

As use for the completion of a recent assignment, I felt as though the SciPack did a nice job in laying out the main concepts. Although there was a great deal of material to work though, I felt that this SciPack could be used as a valuable tool to learn about or refresh previously learned information. The only thing I would have liked to see change with this SciPack, is the ability to use interactives on my android phone - otherwise, I would give this resource the full five stars.

Andace B
Andace B

  • on Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:53 PM

I think this object gives good ideas on how to provide enrichment to a regular biology class. It gives topics and examples I had never thought of. From this video I went and did some additional research on specific cell types. Its good for students to go beyond the name and function of cell parts. For a freshman class, there needs to be more animation and interaction.

Aoko Hope  (Chicago, IL)
Aoko Hope (Chicago, IL)

  • on Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:33 PM

The Cell Structure and Function SciPack doesn't delve too deeply into the subject, but coves all the basic concepts that you'd cover in a high school biology class. It serves as a good basic view of principles...

Rebecca F  (Elizabeth, WV)
Rebecca F (Elizabeth, WV)

  • on Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:32 PM

The SciPack: “Cell Structure and Function” is a “must take” for middle school teachers wanting a well-designed and complete unit about cellular structure and function. For elementary teachers, it is excellent content knowledge and for the high school teacher it is more basic knowledge and may need to be supplemented.The Unit is nicely developed into four objectives: 1) “The Basis of Life” (discuses; living/non-living, microscopic life, and classification), 2) “The Cellular Factory” (discusses; diversity of cells, organelles and their functions), 3) “The Molecular Machinery of Life” (discuses; importance of water and the cell, why is life based upon carbon, and macromolecules), and 4) “The Most Important Molecule” (discuses; proteins and other building blocks of life). Each of the four objectives are middle school level and nicely explained with several diagrams to illustrate topics.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

  • on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:06 PM

Overall I thought this was a very informational scipack. However being that I am a Elementary School teacher I found it a bit overbearing because many of the information that was provided was geared to a high school teacher or higher. I know that it is meant to give teachers all the information they need but for me, it went above and beyond my expectations. However they show great pictures and provide opportunities for deeper learning. I would recommend this for all teachers but especially for those who teach upper levels.

Eve
Eve

  • on Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:57 PM

This is great for the person who is teaching cell for the first time or the first time in a while. I went through it before writing my unit. It was really helpful in getting my thoughts organized before I started planning. It was much engaging that reading my old college cell biology book.

Jodi
Jodi

  • on Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:08 AM

The Basis of Life delves into classification and the nature of life, the Cellular Factory the processes needed to maintain life, the Molecular Machinery of Life the nutritional requirements to keep cells functioning, and the Most Important Molecule discusses proteins and amino acids and their formation. The SciPack has additional technical support, and includes a section on pedagogical implications and learner outcomes, as well as a final assessment to demonstrate mastery. I would recommend this resource for teachers who are preparing to teach cells in a life science class in middle school. Preparation for higher level courses should include more advanced preparation.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

  • on Tue May 23, 2017 11:42 AM

I do wish this Scipack went into more details about function of the cells. I wish I had learned more but some of it was a review and a lot was about DNA. As I got past the cells halfway through the rest of the Scipack got a little more confusing.

Madeline S
Madeline S

  • on Tue May 23, 2017 11:42 AM

I do wish this Scipack went into more details about function of the cells. I wish I had learned more but some of it was a review and a lot was about DNA. As I got past the cells halfway through the rest of the Scipack got a little more confusing.

Madeline S
Madeline S

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:15 PM

I did not learn as much as I thought I would but I did leave with a greater understanding of the subject. There was a lot of material and it was in detail so I had difficulty keeping up with it all and remembering when it came to the final assessment. Overall I would rate it a 3.

Krystal Kochans  (Tullahoma, TN)
Krystal Kochans (Tullahoma, TN)

  • on Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:39 PM

I'll be honest. I tried 4 SciPacks and only passed one of them. I think the content goes into great detail and would be great if you were looking for deeper information on the topic. However, I am just an Elementary major and I couldn't even do some of it so I know my students wouldn't be able to. I even took notes to use during the test. Even a high school level, this material would still be too complex. I think this would be a great assignment for more advanced knowledge but not to take for a grade.

Jacqueline C
Jacqueline C

  • on Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:35 PM

I liked the beginning on this sci pack as it focused on types of cells, parts of the cell and the function of cells. The last part of the sci pack was presented in a confusing manner as it tried to explain the purpose of proteins in the cell.

Chris Taylor  (Boise, ID)
Chris Taylor (Boise, ID)

  • on Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:41 AM

This scipack was required for a college class of mine. I thought it gave a lot of information. I thought that the assessment was way above an elementary students level. I feel it is geared more towards a high school level.

Maggie H
Maggie H


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