Archive for the ‘Cells & cell division’ Category


This Xmas holidays  came with lots of good stuff for this biology teacher from his 4º ESO  students. In general they have done an excellent Xmas homework to review the Cell, some of them are really brilliant, not only because of the content but also because of their originality.
Give a look…

Irene Hernández has prepared this complete video lesson about Types of cells.

“Dr. Alba Arranz” appears with this great interpretation of the Cell theory (subtitles included).

Adrian Hernández did this relaxing video to review the Levels of organization of life:

Juan Gracia is really good at prezi, that is the instrument he used to summarize the main concepts related to the Levels of organisation of life but I think it is even best his previous work about Internal Geology.

And these are only some samples of good works, you can check some more out by visiting our class-room blog: Biology & Geology 4 ESO (2011-12)

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A short animation to show Miller & urey´s experiment. 30 secs

And here the explanation (some 3 mins).

From Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: Abiogenesis: The Origin of Life. (about 6-7 mins)

In this video Julia Child cooks up a batch of primordial soup and explains how these simple ingredients produce amino acids – the building blocks of life (the video is from 1976 but I find it very educational indeed).


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Una animación de unos 8 minutos relatando las primeras teorías sobre el origen de la vida:Redi, Spallazani, Pasteur, Miller y Urey juntos en  estos dibujos animados.

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Here is the presentation dealing with the Cell, the microscope, the cell theory, types of cells and the organelles of the cell plus their functions.


Remember that you can play several games about the Cell at the Centre of the Cell web page.

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A common lab practice in 4ESO is the DNA Extraction, before doing it in the laboratory it could be good to check this virtual practice.

In this slide presentation the process of DNA extraction is explained to make you understand its  scientific basis:

If you prefer watching a video, you can check this bilingual explanation of the lab practice.

May be you are wondering why did we add soap or detergent? or why did we add pineapple juice or tenderizer?

You can get a pdf script and more information from this excellent link:

Image by Jokulhaupar

And here by, you have a quick script to do this lab practice (based on this other one)

Home made DNA Extraction- Easy  Protocol:

  • Smash your organic sample until you get a soupy mixture. What we are going to want to use is the homogeneous solution in the middle. You probably won’t need all of this but it’s good to have extra just in case.
  • Add one tablespoonful of dish washing detergent (or soap) and a pinch of salt (NaCl) to the above solution. Slowly stir this for five minutes.
  • Add some drops of pineapple juice (or a pinch meat tenderizer) to the above solution. Again, stir for five minutes.
  • Pour and filter enough of the solution into your container to a level of two inches or so. Pour slowly out of the blender so you get the middle layer of solution.
  • Drizzle (Tilt the container and pour SLOWLY down the inside of the glass) cold alcohol into the above container. If you do this correctly, a clear layer of alcohol will be floating on top of the denser split pea solution. Add enough alcohol so there is a three inch layer above the split pea solution.
  • Now, let the container sit and observe the alcohol layer.

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You can find superb animations online to clarify the differences between mitosis and meiosis, but I guess that student understand this topic better when they are playing the phases of cell division with handcrafts like the activity we did just using scissors, pencils and colour papers to represent on the table mitosis and meiosis.

During this activity they represented the processes of mitosis and meiosis reviewing the different phases and using the proper scientific names as chromosomes, chomatin and chormatid, and they learned the different types of chromosomes.

Picture from here.

Then they were invited to work something similar at home with everyday materials to represent the chromosomes and the cell, taking pics and preparing a presentation with them

These are the good presentation work made by Silvia and Nerea (with some corrections added):

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This is the presentation used as Cell Division Revision, based on the IGCSE questions taken from this web.

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