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Chapter 3: TE Cellular Structure and Function

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

(Opening image copyright by Sebastian Kaulitzki, 2010. Used under license from Shutterstock.com.)

Cellular Structure and Function


Lesson 3.1: Introduction to Cells

3.1.1 Discovery of Cells

  • Leeuwenhoek’s Discoveries
  • The Cell Theory
  • Microscopes
  • KQED: The World's Most Powerful Microscope
  • KQED: Confocal Microscopy

3.1.2 Diversity of Cells

  • Cell Size
  • Cell Shape

3.1.3 Parts of a Cell

3.1.4 Two Types of Cells

  • Prokaryotic Cells
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Viruses: Prokaryotes or Eukaryotes?

Lesson 3.2: Cell Structures

3.2.1 Overview of Cell Structures

3.2.2 The Plasma Membrane

  • The Phospholipid Bilayer
  • Other Molecules in the Plasma Membrane
  • Extensions of the Plasma Membrane

3.2.3 Cytoplasm and Cytoskeleton

  • Functions of the Cytoplasm
  • Cytoskeleton

3.2.4 The Nucleus and Other Organelles

  • The Nucleus
  • Mitochondria
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Ribosomes
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • Vesicles and Vacuoles
  • Centrioles

3.2.5 Special Structures in Plant Cells

  • Cell Wall
  • Central Vacuole
  • Plastids

3.2.6 Organization of Cells

  • From One Cell to Many
  • Levels of Organization in Multicellular Organisms

Lesson 3.3: Cell Transport and Homeostasis

3.3.1 Transport Across Membranes

3.3.2 Passive Transport

  • Simple Diffusion
  • Osmosis
  • Facilitated Diffusion

3.3.3 Active Transport

  • Sodium-Potassium Pump
  • Vesicle Transport

3.3.4 Homeostasis and Cell Function

Pacing the Lessons

Use the Class Periods per Lesson table below as a guide for the time required to teach the lessons of this chapter.

Lesson Number of Class Periods
3.1 Introduction to Cells 1.5
3.2 Cell Structures 2.0
3.3 Cell Transport and Homeostasis 1.5
  • Class periods are assumed to be 60 minutes long.

Online Resources

See the following Web sites for appropriate laboratory activities:

In this lab, students learn how to use a light microscope and analyze evidence from a forensic mystery.

Students prepare wet-mount slides of the aquatic plant Elodea and view them under the light microscope. Then they investigate the effects of solutions of different concentrations on the shape and size of the plant’s cells.

You and your advanced students can learn more about specific topics in cell biology with the searchable college textbook at the link below.

Chapter Outline

Chapter Summary

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