At a Glance

Discipline

  • Biology
  • Nursing

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP

Course

  • Introductory biology or A&P course (101-NYA-05 and 101-805-AB)

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Solving problems
  • Analyzing
  • Reading

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Pen & Paper

Class size

  • Small (20-49)

Time

Single class period (< 90 mins)

Purpose

  • Application & practice
  • Review & consolidation

Overview

This activity gives students the opportunity to review the internal organization of the cell, specifically the organelles making up the endomembrane system, mitochondria, and cytoskeleton. Before class, students prepare using a handout that outlines the learning objectives, topics to review, and an introduction to the activity.

In the activity, students work together to learn to associate organelles with their functions and to associate the internal organization of a cell type with its function. First, in groups, students match organelles with their names and functions. Then students identify cell types and their organization of organelles according to their function. During the ...

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This activity gives students the opportunity to review the internal organization of the cell, specifically the organelles making up the endomembrane system, mitochondria, and cytoskeleton. Before class, students prepare using a handout that outlines the learning objectives, topics to review, and an introduction to the activity.

In the activity, students work together to learn to associate organelles with their functions and to associate the internal organization of a cell type with its function. First, in groups, students match organelles with their names and functions. Then students identify cell types and their organization of organelles according to their function. During the group work, the instructor pauses several times to review progress and answers before the class moves on.

Finally, students take the remaining 30-40 minutes to work together to complete an assessment task, where they draw each cell type, justify the organization of organelles within the cell according to the given function. In their responses, students are able to apply their learning to differentiate between cell types and illustrate different cell organization.

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Instructional Objectives

  • Describe the structure and functions of the animal cell.
  • Describe and recognize examples of the major types of human tissues.

Workflow & Materials

Activity Workflow

Download

Review Handout

For Student Preparation

Download

Activity Handout

Student In-Class Assignment

Download

Cards

Download

Call Me By My Organelle

Link to CourseFlow Tool

Link

Contributor's Notes

Benefits

Students get exposed to the idea that cells come in different shapes and sizes, that there are variations within categories of organelles, and that organelles predominate based on a cell’s function. These ideas aren’t always clearly introduced in a lecture. Further, this activity addresses different learning styles, with a large emphasis on tactile learning.

Challenges

Pacing and scaffolding is a huge challenge because this activity asks students to apply an early topic in biology before students have had any experience with higher levels of biological organization. The first part of the activity aims to review organelles and their functions. While the later parts ask students to apply these ideas based cellular functions. I had the most success when I gave 30+ minutes for the last parts of this activity AND went over each cell. This leaves the students to justify the appearance of each cell within the time provided.

Tips

Be ready to address difficulties immediately as the activity may be challenging to many students. I constantly circulate to check in on groups. Directing groups, dropping hints, and providing immediate feedback has greatly improved the quality of student answers on this assignment.

Feedback

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