**Updated and expanded! It now has an optional end activity for students to build cholesterol using pipe cleaners and clearer questions!**
This is a fun way to teach a traditionally very difficult subject for students to understand. Chemical structures, monomers, and polymers are so abstract!
My students love my lipid structure activity and performing this task really helps them to understand the concepts needed for the basic biochemistry taught in high school biology courses.
This product is part of my Hands-On Biochemistry Bundle! The bundle includes Carbohydrates, Lipids, and Proteins!
Before performing this activity, students should have a basic background in chemistry. Single bonds, simple molecular structure recognition, and an understanding of dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis reactions are necessary to complete the activity. Also, there is one question that refers to a monosaccharide and amino acid, so it will help if your students have learned about carbohydrates and proteins already.
This activity could directly follow my “Learning about Carbohydrate Structure with Beads” and my “Learning about Protein Structure with Beads”. Performing both of these activities will greatly increase student understanding of molecular structure, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and the differences between the three polymer categories.
Students will read through a packet of careful instructions and form simple triglycerides using beads and pipe cleaners. Each bead a polar head group and pipe cleaners represent fatty acids and glycerol. This activity goes through triglyceride structure, fatty acid structure, saturated vs unsaturated, cis vs trans, and a basic introduction to the cell membrane
. The questions were designed to start on a basic level and push students to think and understand. This activity should take about 60 minutes.
This activity has 3 student pages, a full answer key, and a teacher preparation guide. The teacher will need beads and pipe cleaners
which are easily found in a local craft store. Small paper plates and Ziploc bags are also useful.
If you like this activity, check out my other biochemistry activities:
Hands-On Biochemistry: Carbohydrate Structure with Beads"
Hands-On Biochemistry: Protein Structure with Beads
If you have any questions, suggestions, or corrections, please leave a question on the question and answer section of my store and I will get back to you quickly!
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