Micro-organisms Cells newsletter

Cells & Microorganisms
Newsletter 2007-2008
Volume 1, Issue 5.2
Dear Parents,
The purpose of this newsletter is to give you an overview of what your child will be learning during our
current unit of study in science. Please take a moment to look over the different sections of this newsletter.
You will see example questions, important terms to know, and some extension activities you can do at home.
Parent Background:
All living things are organisms, and all organisms are made of cells. The cell is the basic
unit of life. The cell is the smallest thing we call “alive.” Some organisms, like bacteria, are singlecelled—are made up of only one cell. Most organisms that you see are made of many cells. In fact,
plants and animals are made of thousands, millions, or even trillions of cells. Cells are found in all
parts of plants and animals: the blood, bones, skins, nerves, roots, stems, leaves, etc.
From the simplest single-celled animals to the most complex multi-cellular ones, cells
perform all of the chemical processes needed to sustain life. Cells vary in shape and form depending
on the tasks they perform. All cells, except bacterial cells, have a distinct nucleus that contains the
cell’s DNA. A microscope is needed to view cells. When a cell is viewed with a microscope, tiny
structures inside the cell can be seen. These structures are the organelles and they perform specific
functions in the cell.
A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is invisible to the naked
eye, or microscopic (can only be seen with a microscope). Microorganisms may be found
everywhere in nature. Some microorganisms are helpful in baking breads and dough, or in
biotechnology. Others are harmful when they are pathogens, or disease carrying agents.
Students will know…
Students will be able to…
the parts of an animal cell;
the parts of a plant cell;
how to use a microscope;
the similarities and differences between
animal and plant cells; and
what animal and plant cells look like under a
microscope; how microorganisms benefit
larger organisms
how microorganisms harm larger organisms.
Ways Parents Can Help
Things you can do with your
1. Visit www.cellsalive.com .
2. Visit the microbe zoo at
http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/dlcme/zoo/ to see both beneficial & harmful
microorganisms. Great ‘Try This’
3. Draw or use art materials to create animal
and plant cells. Label the parts and talk
about each part’s job.
Investigate how common items have parts that are too
small to be seen without magnification
draw & label the organelles of an animal cell
(membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus) and state the
function of each
observe and recognize an animal cell, microscopically
draw & label a plant cell (cell wall, cytoplasm,
nucleus, chloroplasts) and state the functions of each
compare and contrast the animal cell with plant cell
explain the role and function of cells as the basis for
all living things
explain the similarities and differences of multi-celled
and single-celled organisms.
identify, sort, & explain how microorganisms are
beneficial and harmful
use a microscope to view microorganisms.
Help! We need the following items for our
Lemon jello
Sandwich Ziploc bags
jaw breaker candy
Gum balls
Candy sprinkles
cell: the basic unit of function and structure of living things
cell membrane: a thin, outer enclosure of an animal cell that allows certain materials to
pass in and out of the cell.
cell wall: the outer boundary of a plant cell; made
about the mature student
having trouble with weight and
chloroplasts: a cell organelle that contains chlorophyll
in the photosynthesis
mass? He
tell his old tons
that “feed” the plant cell.
from his Newtons
cytoplasm: the area between the cell wall or cell membrane and the nucleus, where many
important organelles are located.
nuclear membrane: the outer boundary of the nucleus.
nucleus: an organelle in plant and animal cells that directs all the activities of the cell.
organelle: the “organs” or parts of the cell such as the nucleus, chloroplasts, etc.
beneficial: producing or promoting a favorable result; advantageous; helpful; useful.
harmful: of a kind likely to be damaging
microorganism: an organism that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope
Sample Test Prep Question #1
Sample Test Prep Question #2
2. A paramecium is a one-celled organism.
Which of the following MUST be true about
the paramecium?
A. Its one cell does everything it needs to
B. It can only live inside the cells of other
living things.
The job of a cell membrane is to
A. produce food for the cell.
C. It is the smallest living thing.
D. It causes dangerous diseases.
B. allow substances in & out of cell.
C. help the cell make more cells.
Here’s a funny!
D. tell the cell how to live.
What kind of parties do cells have?
1) B
2) A