The Nucleus: A Science Reading Passage

Grade Levels
6th - 9th
Formats Included
  • PDF (6 pages)
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What is this product?

This is a four-page reading passage with pictures and illustrations that introduces students to the basics of the nucleus. New vocabulary/ important concepts are bolded, and there is a chart at the end of the passage for students to record the meanings of the passage vocabulary in their own words.

Included vocabulary/ concepts:

  • nucleus
  • organelles
  • stain
  • chromosomes
  • nucleotides
  • genes
  • phenotype
  • nuclear membrane/ envelope
  • semi-permeable
  • nuclear pores
  • nucleolus
  • ribosomes
  • nucleoplasm
  • eukaryotic
  • prokaryotic
  • nucleiod

All vocabulary are introduced with context clues or in-text definitions. The function of the nucleus is compared to an instruction manual rather than as the "boss" or "control center" of the cell, which will help students more easily connect with the role of DNA in the process of creating proteins.

What is included?

  • Four-page reading passage with images/ media
  • Bolded vocabulary words with in-text context clues
  • A chart for students to define vocabulary concepts in their own words

How can I use this product?

This passage would be excellent as a science center or as homework during the early stages of your cells unit. This passage would follow nicely after the Introduction to Cells Reading Passage, which introduces students to enough cell vocab for them to participate in viewing cheek or onion cells under a microscope without overwhelming students with all the organelle. After students have viewed the nucleus under a microscope as a hook or inciting event, you can have them read about what it does and its impact on the cell and on life.

Total Pages
6 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells. Emphasis is on developing evidence that living things are made of cells, distinguishing between living and non-living cells, and understanding that living things may be made of one cell or many and varied cells.
Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways the parts of cells contribute to the function. Emphasis is on the cell functioning as a whole system and the primary role of identified parts of the cell, specifically the nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cell wall. Assessment of organelle structure/function relationships is limited to the cell wall and cell membrane. Assessment of the function of the other organelles is limited to their relationship to the whole cell. Assessment does not include the biochemical function of cells or cell parts.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.


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