Cell : a cell is a basic unit of structure and function of life. In other words, cells make up living things and carry out activities that keep a living thing alive.
What makes a cell?
A cell is a living thing.
Cells are able to make more cells like themselves.
Interesting fact! New cells can only come from existing cells (cells that are already made).
Oh yea! Some HISTORY for you
I am sure you are all asking yourselves, “Who was the first person to look at cells.” Well thanks for asking! I will tell you.
In the 1660s there was a man named Robert Hooke. Robert lived in Britain and was a scientist. He was the first person to observe cells.
Robert took a piece bark from an old oak tree and looked at it through a microscope.
The bark looked like it was made up of many small rooms (kind of like a house with many bedrooms). He named the rooms, or structures, he saw under the microscope cells.
THIS IS HOW THE WORD CELLS CAME TO BE!! EXCITING STUFF ISN’T IT!!
The Animal Cell
Now the fun begins!!
Animals are made up of many different types of cells. The structures I am about to introduce to you are found in a typical cell.
Please note: Not all animal cells contain all the same structures.
Thank you for noting!
Animal Cell terms/Structures
Cell membrane : The cell membrane surrounds the cell.
Think of the membrane as a gatekeeper, it only allows some materials to pass through, but keeps others out.
Cytoplasm : This is a gel-like fluid, that takes up most of the space inside a cell.
Cytoplasm kind of looks like jell-o.
Nucleus : The nucleus is a structure usually located near the center of the cell.
The nucleus is a home to the cell’s chromosomes . What are chromosomes you ask?
Chromosomes : They are genetic structures that contain information to make new cells. Basically, the instructions for how to make new cells.
Nuclear membrane : This surrounds and protects the nucleus. The nucleus has its own protector.
Nucleolus : This structure is found inside the nucleus. It is responsible for making ribosomes. We will get to this term in a bit. Thanks for your patience!
Vacuoles : These are fluid-filled structures used to store different substances. In animal cells there are often many small vacuoles.
Mitochondria : “Powerhouses” of the cell. What do you think this means?
This is a very important structure. They help take the food the cell ate (for breakfast, lunch, or dinner), and turn the it into energy. The energy is needed to carry out activities.
Let me put this in words you can understand better. When we eat a turkey sandwich, we are putting energy into our bodies, in the form of food. Our bodies take that turkey sandwich and turn it into energy, so we can play at recess.
Do you understand?
Great! Let’s keep going.
Endoplasmic reticulum and ribosomes : Say it with me “En-do-plas-mic ri-tic-eww-lum.”
Now say it 5 times fast….no just kidding!
These 2 structures work together producing important products for the cell. Think of the endoplasmic reticulum as a mailman, delivering things throughout the cell.
Aren’t you excited, this is the last term for the animal cell!
Golgi bodies : These help package products in the cell and then give them out around the cell. Look at it like this, you wrap a present and then give it to your friend. Well, that is what golgi bodies do.
The Plant Cell
Here we go again!
Plants cells have all of the structures that animal cells do. But they also have some structures that the animal cell does not.
Plant cells have a cell wall and chloroplasts.
The three new structures for a plant cell
Cell Wall : This wall provides extra support for the cell and gives it a shape. In other words, if there was no cell wall then the cell would have no shape.
Chloroplasts : These make food for the plant. They are green.
Chorophyll : This is very important in making the food for the plant. This structure takes in sunlight and makes sugar for the plant to eat and become green.
Thank you for your cooperation and attention!!
Hope you learned some new, exciting things.
Please sit quietly while I get ready for more fun!