The Basics Of Microbiology

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BIOTRAC Science Saturday Activity:
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                                              The Basics of
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Year 6 Area – Infectious Diseases
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The cell is the basic unit of life. All living things are
made up of cells. Some organisms have one cell, while most
plants and animals are made up of many. Cells are often
referred to as tiny chemical factories because they are
responsible for the functioning and production of many
things. Each cell with in a body has a specific role and

DNA is found in every cell in the body. It is responsible
for determining the characteristics of cells. DNA is also
responsible for carrying genetic information from one
generation to the next.

Food for Thought
What does it mean that cells are the basic unit of life?
How many cells are in the human body? What are the two
main categories of cells? Why are cells likened to
factories? Name some of the parts of a cell. Name some of
the different types of cells in the human body. How do
cells know their role or function? Where in the cell is
DNA found? What does “DNA” stand for? What is the main
function of DNA? What are the components of DNA? Why is
it important to know all this stuff when taking about
infectious diseases?

Cell: the basic structural and functional unit of all

Organelle: smaller parts within a cell that are specialized
to perform special functions

DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid; a chemical found primarily in
the nucleus that carries the instructions for making all
the structures and materials necessary for the body to

Chromosomes: self replicating genetic structures, each
composed of a single, long molecule /string of DNA

Chromatin: the material that makes up chromosomes; it is
made up of DNA and proteins

Base Pairs: complimentary bases that interact to form the
rungs of the DNA helix
Genes: basic units of heredity that contain the
instructions for the production of proteins

Proteins: responsible for the structure of cells, as well
as directing their activities

Ribosomes: sites of protein synthesis; usually found on the
endoplasmic reticulum

Golgi apparatus: organelle where proteins/lipid made in the
ER are modified and sorted

Eukaryote: organism characterized by cells with a distinct
membrane bound nucleus; can be single- or multi-celled

Prokaryote: organisms whose genetic material
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The Cell
Describe the different parts of the cell.
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Construction paper
Poster board

  1. Students will get into pairs.
  2. Each pair will randomly select a part of the cell.
  3. Each pair will be responsible for teaching the class
     about their cell part.
  4. Each pair must research their part and tell the class:
        a. The function
        b. Why it is important to the cell
        c. Where is it found in the cell; is there a reason
           why it is located there
        d. What would happen if this part was absent or not
           functioning properly
  5. Each pair must also make a model of their cell part
  6. Get ready for Cell Pyramid!!!

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