Cells are Us

This Cells Are Us module has five units of instruction that focus on the processes that cells must perform. The first unit is an introduction of the levels of organization in living systems, followed by four other units based on the main functions that cells must perform. Rather than discuss cells from the basis of their anatomy (membranes, mitochondria, nucleus, etc.), we thought it would be more interesting to emphasize what cells DO and why and how they do it. Clicking on the unit titles will take you to the topic. These units include an interactive PowerPoint presentation, pre- and post-tests in multiple formats for varied delivery methods, a self-study game, note-taking outline, and multiple activities to reinforce and enrich the content of the lessons.

Standards Aligned: Each unit is aligned to the NGSS and TEKS for both middle school science and high school biology, as appropriate for the lesson content. A document included with each unit provides the standards for that unit.

Each module has a “Hazards” section that presents environmental hazards (such as aflatoxins, fungicides, prions, and so on)

You may go through the units in any sequence, but we suggest first exploring Unit 1, Levels of Organization. After that, the sequence does not matter.

Each instructional unit includes topics on:

  • Introduction
  • “Why Does It Matter” to explain the significance of the subjects
  • “How We Know” to explain how under-standing develops
  • “What We Know” to summarize the main facts
  • “Story Time” a short bio sketch on famous scientists, emphasizing, where possible, their childhood
  • Activities, Assignments for hands-on learning
  • Major Hazards
  • Interactive self-study game
  • Interactive flash cards for self-study

Famous Scientists

Click here if you want to review the short biographies of famous scientists mentioned in “Cells Are Us,” “Organ Systems,” and “Ecosystems.”

Toxic Hazards

Click here to see an index of common toxic hazards that are explained in the various instructional units.

Teacher's Note

These modules are designed to be used by middle and high school students. The interactive PowerPoint documents are developed to be student-centered and self- guided. The note-taking outlines go along with the PowerPoint presentations and focus on materials that are required in the NGSS and TEKS standards. The pre- and post- tests are developed to prepare students for the types of questions that they might encounter on standardized tests. There are many higher level questions included in the presentations and the activities that encourage students to critically analyze the content. Full teacher instructions are included in each unit.