In this Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) activity, students learn about the basic vocabulary and properties of the major components of the cell membrane. They use paper phospholipids to propose arrangements/models for the cell membrane. I've included two versions; differentiated for greater or lesser difficulty.
In part 2, students color code the major parts of the membrane, and answer some questions. Answers are included. All of the materials required (except for scissors to cut the phospholipids and colored pencils) are included in this packet.
I'm new to TPT, and would love feedback if you have a minute. I'm adding new content on a weekly basis, so click follow me under my store name to be the first to know.
If you like this product, you may like "Atomic Speed Dating", where students get to mingle in a class room full of atoms, and try to make stable compounds or molecules. It is fun, and gets them out of their seats!
Buy it here: Atomic Speed Dating
If you like this product, you may like this packet on macromolecules and organic chemistry
Buy it here: Using Modeling Kits to Learn Organic Chem
A. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS HEREIN
DCI’s: LS1.A: Structure and Function
ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions
Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns, Structure and Function
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Developing and Using Models
B. SUGGESTED USES
Prior Knowledge: DON'T SHOW STUDENTS A PHOSPHOLIPID BILAYER BEFORE THIS ACTIVITY. Students should have a knowledge of basic cell parts. Students benefit from a general knowledge of the macromolecules as well. This activity is designed to be an introductory activity into the cell membrane.
Implementing the Lesson:
Materials and Setup: All materials (other than a scissor) are included in this packet. There is no setup for the teacher (other than printing).
I've included two versions of the first page of this packet. The first version is slightly less involved (a few less vocabulary words and concepts). The second version is slightly more complex (perhaps for an Honors class). Choose which sheet works for you, and then print part 2, and the phospholipid cut-outs as well.
I usually begin the lesson with the question, "How does Chapstick work?" Then we discuss what it is made of, and that substances like waxes, fats, and oils are not dissolved by water. Chapstick coats the lips, creating a waterproof barrier on the skin, which prevents water from evaporating off the lips. This primes the students' brains for the type of thinking they will need to work through the activity.
Next, students are to work, as a group (3 or 4) on this packet. Read page 1, answer the two questions, and then cut out the phospholipids (on the dotted lines).
I have students work at lab tables, and lay the phospholipids out. I ask them to imagine that the entire surface of the lab table is water, and that they are looking at a cross-section of somewhere inside their body. With this in mind, they have to come up with an arrangement/model of the phospholipids by where the tails aren't touching/exposed to any of the water, but the heads will touch the water. From here, you should circulate the room, helping to guide students in the right direction.
In Part 2, students will color code the basic parts of the cell membrane, and answer a few questions.
• This packet is 1 classroom/teacher use only. Do not make copies or
email it to your colleagues. This was designed by me and is for your
personal (one user)use. You may
not share it or claim it as your own. You may not redistribute it.
If colleagues are interested in it, please send them the link to my store:
• You are not permitted to use any part of this work to
create products for sharing or selling.
• You are permitted to share the cover image of the packet
on your website when referring to it in a post, as long as
you link back to my store.
All rights reserved by author.