Essential Question: How do cells function? (Cell Structure and Function) By Sid Lucas
Students will use the components of an Iditarod racing kennel and the functional role they play in building an Iditarod dog team, to create a metaphorical model of a cell and the functional role its organelles play in creating proteins. Students will create an organized table to record the functions of each organelle in the cell, paying close attention to how each organelle works together to reach the goal of producing proteins. Include rows or columns that can later be used to record the components of an Iditarod racing kennel that will be used to model each organelle’s function
This lesson was created for middle school, grades 6 – 8.
Download and print the lesson plan.
Each Has a Role
in Reaching the Goal
A Cell Metaphor
Developed by: Sid Lucas
Discipline / Subject: Life Science
Cell Structure and Function
Resources / References / Materials Teacher Needs:
1) Online resource for searching pictures.
2) PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, or similar program for creating picture board.
3) Cell organelle function table (attached).
4) List of organelles, their functions, and kennel metaphors (attached).
5) Example picture board (attached).
Students will use the components of an Iditarod racing kennel, and the functional role they play in building an Iditarod dog team, to create a metaphorical model of a cell and the functional role its organelles play in creating proteins.
Standard’s Addressed: (Local, State, or National)
1) Develop and use models to support explanations about the structure and function relationships in cells and specific parts of the cell.
1) Students can explain the function of cell organelles, and describe how they work together to carry out the role of a cell.
2) Students can metaphorically link the components of an Iditarod racing kennel to the functions of key cell organelles.
Students can share their completed picture board and use it as a model to communicate their understanding of the functions of each cell organelle.
1) Create an organized table to record the functions of each organelle in the cell, paying close attention to how each organelle works together to reach the goal of producing proteins. Include rows or columns that can later be used to record the components of an Iditarod racing kennel that will be used to model each organelle’s function. (See example table attached)
2) Investigate components of an Iditarod racing kennel, paying close attention to how each component plays a role in the development of an Iditarod racing team.
3) Complete the table by entering kennel components that will model each cell organelle and describe their metaphorical relationship.
4) Use the Internet to search and save photos of each kennel component you will use in your metaphor.
5) Choose a photo to use as a backdrop for your picture board.
6) Paste your background picture onto a PowerPoint slide or other similar application.
7) Continue pasting in your pictures of kennel components to create an Iditarod racing Kennel.
8) Use textboxes to name and label each component.
9) Use your picture board as a model to communicate the function of each component and how its function relates to a specific cellular organelle.
Materials Students Need:
1) Cell organelle table.
3) PowerPoint (or similar program).
Technology Utilized to Enhance Learning:
Students should be encouraged to site all photos taken from websites. Depending on your desired outcomes, students can also create a bibliography to accurately site their photo sources.
Modifications for Special Learners/ Enrichment Opportunities
The quantity of organelles studied in this less can vary. Students can be asked to create their own table for organizing information or be given one like the example attached. Motivated students can be challenged to independently create their own metaphor to model the functions of cell organelles. Students interested in exploring multimedia presentations may link kennel component names to other documents or pages containing information on each organelle. Video and/or voiceovers may be incorporated as well.
Animal Cell Metaphor
Plasma Membrane: Controls what enters and exits the cell in order to maintain balance within the cell.
Kennel Fence: Controls what enters and exits the kennel in order to keep dogs in and unwanted intruders out.
Cytoplasm: Substance that fills inside of cell and supports all of the organelles within the cell. Also provides a medium to move things around within the cell.
Snow: Fills the kennel, supports the activities of the kennel, and provides the base for sleds to move around.
Nucleus: Controls all of the cellular activities and provides the instructions (DNA) for making proteins.
Musher: Controls all of the activities of the kennel and makes decisions on how to produce a successful Iditarod dog team.
Lysosome: Digests, breaks down, and removes waste or unwanted materials from the cell.
Poop Scoop: Cleans up and removes dog waste from the kennel.
Golgi Apparatus: Sorts, packages, and transports proteins from the cell.
Dog Truck: Organizes and houses dogs as they are transported to a training run or race.
Mitochondria: Converts stored chemical energy (food) into usable energy for the cell.
Dog Food Cooker: Prepares the dog food to be used for energy to fuel the dog team.
Cytoskeleton: Provides the cell with structure and is used to move materials within the cell.
Post and Chain: Keeps structure by controlling the movement of dogs within the kennel.
Vacuole: Used for storage of materials within a cell.
Sled: Stores mushers and dogs gear.
Ribosome: Makes proteins to be used by the cell or to be sent out of the cell for use somewhere else.
Whelping Pen: Used to provide a place where puppies are born.
Protein: The final product produced by a cell and used for life processes.
Iditarod Dog: The athlete produced in the kennel for the purpose of racing The Last Great Race.