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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 10, Classifying Life

Butterfly on my son's finger
What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Students' Study Links
Quizlet M10
• Printable reference chart - The Five Kingdoms and their Cells: all cells are either eukaryotic or prokaryotic.

Parents/Educators or Students
Mold Terrarium
Turgor Pressure Lab
See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)
• Plant and animal cell songs ♪ ♫

Note:  You will sometimes see the words prokaryote and eukaryote, but you may also see prokaryotic or eukaryotic.  That is because one is used as a noun, and one is used as an adjective.
Like France and French.  Or America and American.
They are eukaryotes. (n.)  They are eukaryotic.  (adj.)
They are prokaryotes (n.)  They are prokaryotic.  (adj.)

Note:  All cells have a cell membrane (sometimes called a plasma membrane).  Think of a small balloon filled with jelly.  The membrane is the thin covering that keeps the cell together.  This cell membrane is what regulates what is allowed to be absorbed into the cell, and what goes out of the cell.
--Inside eukaryotic cells are many organelles (little organs), and these are also membrane-bound like the cell.  The DNA in eukaryotic cells is enclosed in a membrane-bound organelle called the nucleus.
--Inside prokaryotic cells is DNA, but there are no organelles, therefore no nucleus.  So the DNA can be seen all throughout the cell.
►►►But with few exceptions, the two kingdoms that also have a cell wall are primarily kingdom Fungi and kingdom Plantae.  These need the added stiffness of a cell wall on the outside of the membrane to keep the plant or mushroom standing upright.  The material for the cell walls of these two kingdoms is quite different from one another, as you could probably guess.

(1) p. 243-247, The Five-Kingdom System
All living things are made up of cells.
Some have many, many cells, and some have only one cell.  These are referred to as multi-cellular or single-cellular organisms.
The three basic kinds of cells are animal cells, plant cells, and bacteria cells.  All cells do not fit neatly into these categories as some are animal-like or plant-like.
No matter how many cells an organism has, or which of the three basic cells an organism has, all cells are either prokaryotic cells or eukaryotic cells.
Eukaryotic cells have organelles (or tiny organs) like a nucleus, vacuoles, and other organelles.  The nucleus holds the DNA of eukaryotic cells.
Four of the five kingdoms have eukaryotic cells. (kingdoms Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia)
Prokaryotic cells contain no organelles.  The DNA does not have a nucleus to stay in.  Under a microscope, the DNA strands are visible throughout the cell.
Only one of the five kingdoms has prokaryotic cells, and that is kingdom Monera (bacteria).
SEE the difference

In this video, he says that many scientists believe that eukaryotic cells evolved from prokaryotic cells, and I'm sure they do believe that.  However, they are wrong.  God created everything, and he did not need to use evolution.

►Monerans (kingdom Monera) is bacteria.  All bacteria have one cell.
►Protists (kingdom Protista) consists of algae and protozoa.  Protozoans all have one cell, and most algae have one cell.
Part 1

►Monerans have no organelles so their cells are prokaryotic.  The DNA is visible throughout the cell instead of being enclosed in a nucleus.  This is the only kingdom with prokaryotic cells.
She says blue-green algae is a Moneran.  According to Apologia's Biology book, blue-green algae is cyanobacteria, and is part of kingdom Monera. (p. 19, 2nd Edition)  
►Protists are mostly single-celled (the protozoa and most algae).  Whether single- or multi-cellular, all have organelles, so they are eukaryotic.  This kingdom has 2 subdivisions:  algae (with plant-like cells) and protozoa (with animal-like cells).
Part 2 Single-celled kingdoms Monera and Protista (Protists are mostly single-celled)

Kingdom Fungi examples: mushrooms and mold (multi-celled), and yeast (single-celled).  Whether single- or multi-cellular, all Fungi have organelles, so their cells are eukaryotic cells.
Fungi cannot make food.  They feed on dead organisms and are called decomposers.
The eukaryotic cells of fungi are unique.  You can read about them on the printable reference chart link at the top of this post.
Kingdom Plantae - The majority of plants are multi-cellular.  Their cells have organelles, so they are eukaryotic.
This is the only kingdom with true plant cells.  Some algae may appear to be like a plant, but are not.
Kingdom Animalia - Animals are multi-cellular.  Their cells have organelles, so they are eukaryotes.
Part 3 Mostly multi-celled kingdoms Fungi, Plantae; and multi-celled Anamalia


(2) p. 247-252, Kingdom Monera (bacteria)
The organisms that make up kingdom Monera are prokaryotes (have no organelles).  They have a single cell.  The cells in this kingdom are bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).
See images.  Note that the DNA is visible throughout the cell, and there are no organelles.
Most, but not all, the members of kingdom Monera are pathogens (cause disease).

Bacterial Growth (multiplies a LOT in just one day!)

Cell Phone Bacteria

Salmonella invading a cell (Be sure to thoroughly cook poultry and eggs!)

White Blood Cell Chases Bacteria (Yay!)


(3) p. 252-254, Kingdom Protista (algae and protozoa)
Kingdom Protista is divided into two subkingdoms:  subkingdom protozoa and subkingdom algae.
Most members of kingdom Protista are single-celled.
Some members of this kingdom are pathogenic (cause disease).
All the members of this kingdom are eukaryotes.

Protozoa are mostly single-celled and move around like little animals.  They eat other organsims.  Their cells are animal-like.
Here are some members of subkingdom protozoa:

Amoeba Dinner!
Watch this amoeba eat.  It uses its pseudopod motion to move and engulf its prey.  To begin with everything moves slowly.  Then the prey realizes it is caught!

The euglena moves by whirling its flagella, drawing its cytoplasm into the center of the cell, then re-extending itself forward.

A paramecium moves by beating the tiny "hairs" on its edge.  These are called cilia.
Paramecia have an oral groove where they take in food.  You can see the oral groove around 40 seconds when it starts turning over several times.  The paramecium appears twisted unevenly so that there is a "ridge" midway along its body.  This is actually the oral groove.
The little "blobs" throughout are food vacuoles.  After a paramecium takes in food through the oral groove, it pinches off a little section with the food inside it.  This is now a food vacuole, and it will move to other parts of the paramecium, taking food to the whole organism.

                                                           ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

I'm sure you have heard of algae before, but did you know that most algae are single-celled and must be seen with a microscope?
Some algae are quite a bit larger and look like plants.
They are not plants.
They do not have the specialized structures that plants have (roots, stem, leaves).  (See info on printable chart link at the top of this post.)  But they do have chloroplasts that are throughout the entire plant, and can make their own food by photosynthesis.
So their cells are plant-like.
Through the process of photosynthesis, algae produce way more oxygen for us than plants do!  About 75% of all the oxygen produced is from algae, and 25% is from plants.

Here are some members of subkingdom algae:

Green Algae (algae) and Volvox (protozoa)
I don't think Volvox "communicate" with each other.  I believe it is a God-given instinct that they just do what they are supposed to do.

Algae have chloroplasts, but protozoa do not.

When you see a green swimming pool, this is because the algae have reproduced quickly, causing an "algal bloom" and the water appears the color of the algae that is in the sides and bottom of the pool.
Bright green algal blooms are a result of cyanobacteria -- blue-green algae.
There is also an algae that blooms red, and this occurrence is called a "red tide."  A red tide is harmful.
In high concentrations, it paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so that they can't breathe.  Dead fish wash up on shore.  Only certain sea-life are immune to red tides, but they have absorbed the toxins, and it can be deadly to eat them from an area that has had a red tide.
Seafood restaurants do not serve these dishes when a red tide occurs in the area from where they get their food.
If you are near a beach where a red tide has occurred, you may experience stinging eyes and difficulty breathing.

Note:  Both kingdoms Monera and Protista are single-celled, or mostly single-celled.


Now we are getting into the kingdoms that have multi-celled organisms, or mostly multi-celled.

From our Biology class last year.
(4)  p. 255-258, Kingdom Fungi
Mushrooms, mold, yeast...  These are the more well-known organisms of this kingdom.

The cells of kingdom Fungi have organelles, so they are eukaryotes.
Most of these organisms are multi-cellular, such as mushrooms and mold.
Some, like yeast, are unicellular, or single-celled.
The cell walls of kingdom Fungi contain chitin (kite-in), which is like the exo-skeleton of insects.  (Plant cell walls are made of cellulose.)
Mushrooms are not plants.  They are fungi.

Regarding cells, per an email from Apologia:
"Kingdom fungi is a kingdom all to itself characterized by long strings of cells end to end, often without even having cell walls between the different nuclei, but even if they do they have free exchange of cytoplasm.  In short they are not plant cells, they are their own type cell."
I will try to explain.
Think of long tunnels branching off in many directions, with even more tunnels branching from them.  Each tunnel has dividers that nearly close off sections in the tunnel, and you can barely get through.
This is like the cell walls in mycelia (look like roots, but aren't).  Even with these cell walls, the cytoplasm can still move from one cell to another through these "pore" openings.  Some fungi have no cell walls, or no dividers in the hallways.
See image  (source)  (The spots are not whole cells, but nuclei.  The "dividers" are the cell walls.)
Also there is a drawing in the 2nd edition Apologia Biology on p. 99.
Go back and re-read the email paragraph.  It should make more sense now.

Fungi are decomposers (eat dead things) and since they do not make their own food, they are also called consumers.  (Plants do make their own food and are producers.)
Fungi do not eat with a mouth, rather they produce a digestive acid that breaks down the dead organism and "digests" it externally first so that the mycelia of the fungi can absorb it.
Mycelia is the plural of mycelium.

More Fungi

Budding of Yeast
Yeast is unicellular, and does not form mycelia.  But it still digests outside of the cell, then "eats" through absorption, just like mushrooms and mold.

Bread Mold also has mycelia (called hyphae in this video) and also digests outside the cells before absorbing its food.

I have a feeling boys will like this one.
Decomposition of a rabbit.  =\


(4) p. 259-262, Kingdom Plantae
The cells of kingdom Plantae have organelles, so their cells are eukaryotes.
The cells of this kingdom are plant cells.
See image (source)
Most all of these organisms are multi-cellular.
The cell walls of kingdom Plantae contain cellulose.

All cells have a cell membrane.  But outside a plant's cell membrane, there is also a cell wall.  
►see image (source)
The cell wall of plants is made of cellulose.  (The cell wall of fungi is made of chitin, which is tougher.)
There are three structures in a plant cell that pertain specifically to plant cells.  Even plant-like cells won't have all three.
  1. cell wall (for stiffness of the stem; also keeps cell from bursting if the central vacuole continued to fill)
  2. large central vacuole (for turgor pressure)
  3. chloroplasts (for photosynthesis)
Do you remember which one of these three that algae has?

Cell Walls

Turgor Pressure
Watch this video to see how the large central vacuole and the cell wall work together to create turgor pressure.
As the water vacuole fills, it presses against the cell wall, making the plant become more rigid.  This rigidness is known as turgor pressure.
(459 shots, made every 30 seconds for 3h 45m. He added about 1½ cups of water.)

Vegetative Reproduction
Plants usually reproduce by forming seeds.
Vegetative reproduction is when a stem grows new roots to develop into a mature plant.
The cut piece of plant is sometimes simply referred to as a "cutting."  My Mom used to grow a cutting for me now and then.  =)

►Another important thing to remember is that plants have specialized structures while algae do not.  In other words, plants have structures that each perform a special task.
(1) Roots take in water and minerals, (2) the stem transports these to the leaves, and (3) the leaves carry out photosynthesis.


(5) p. 262-263, Kingdom Animalia

The cells of kingdom Animalia have organelles, so their cells are eukaryotes.
The cells of this kingdom are animal cells.  (see image)
Most all of these organisms are multi-cellular.

There aren't any informative videos that I could find of kingdom Animalia, so here is a video simply for your enjoyment.  Love the flamingos at 3 minutes, haha.  =)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Misplaced/Dangling Modifiers

Occasionally, you may read something that is worded in such a way that you are left wondering what the writer meant.  In published works, this is rare, but there have been a couple of times I wanted to contact an author and ask their meaning!
I can usually figure it out by rereading several times, but I lose confidence in the author if it happens several times in the same book.

When learning about writing, misplaced modifiers are one thing to watch out for.   Sometimes they are so funny!

Example:  "Hanging on a nail in his closet, my husband found his tie."
Was my husband really hanging on a nail in his closet when he found his tie?
Correction:  "My  husband  found his tie hanging on a nail in his closet."
OR "Hanging on a nail in his closet, my  husband's tie was found."
The phrase "hanging on a nail in his closet" modifies the noun "tie."
The second way of correction doesn't seem to flow as smoothly as the first, and it changes the subject of the sentence (which is fine).  Sometimes you may need to try several sentence structures before finding the one that conveys the meaning you wish.

Example:  "The boys ate sandwiches that Mom had made in the tent."
Did Mom make the sandwiches in the tent?  She could have, but is this what the writer intended to say?
Correction:  "In the tent, the boys ate sandwiches that Mom had made."
If Mom did make the sandwiches in the tent, the first sentence would be correct, but may leave the reader unsure, especially if they know about misplaced modifiers.
This example, "In the tent, Mom had made the sandwiches that the boys ate," still sounds like the Mom was in the tent.
I also wouldn't say, "Mom had made the sandwiches in the tent that the boys ate."
How funny!  Those are some hungry boys!  =)

Example:  "Jumping up and down with excitement, the gift was given to me."
Was the gift jumping up and down with excitement?
This sentence needs to be reworded a little, as well as needing additional words.
Correction:  "I jumped up and down with excitement as the gift was given to me."
Or:  "Jumping up and down with excitement, I accepted the gift."

►Learn more about misplaced and dangling modifiers and take online quizzes to see how you do at

►Here are some funny church bulletin bloopers:  =)
• Seven new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
• Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
• For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Student Interest Survey for Career Clusters

The Student Interest Survey for Career Clusters is a career guidance tool that allows students to respond to questions and identify the top three Career Clusters of interest based on their responses. 
This pencil/paper survey takes about fifteen minutes to complete and can be used in the classroom or for presentations with audiences who have an interest in career exploration. 
The survey is available in English and Spanish—and can be viewed and printed out.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Apologia General Science, Module 9, What is Life?

We made DNA!
What we did at Sahm-I-Am

Quizlet M9
Do these as you come to them in the chapter:
DNA game - match up nucleotides - Click on DNA Replication, then Unzip.
• Comparing Cell Size - really cool
From Cells to Systems - interactive, animated tutorial

Yummy DNA!
Edible cells we made for Biology

There are 4 criteria for life.
If something fails to meet even ONE of these, it is not alive.
  1. All life forms contain DNA.
  2. All life forms can take energy from their surroundings and convert it to usable energy for themselves.
  3. All life forms can sense and respond to changes.
  4. All life forms reproduce.

(1) p. 217-219, DNA and Life
Criterion #1 - All life forms contain DNA
DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid, Hear pronunciation. Click on the little speaker.
Click to see animated images of DNA structures.  This is just to familiarize yourself with what DNA strands can look like as they are rotated.
More images of DNA

Atoms and Molecules
Molecules are made of combinations of 2 or more atoms linked together.  The atoms of the molecules that make up skin consist of different kinds of atoms that make up the molecules of hair, nails, organs, etc.
If a substance has only one type of atom throughout, it actually has no molecules, but is a pure substance, such as iron, gold, or other elements.

Atoms make up molecules.  Molecules make up DNA.
The atoms are like the ingredients.  They can be used in many different recipes, and each type of molecule has its own recipe of atoms.


(2) p. 2210-224, The Structure of DNA

►See a drawing of DNA.  Note that A and T are linked together, and C and G are linked together.
These letters represent the names for the nucleuotides in DNA.  Adenine always links to Thymine, and Cytosine always links to Guanine.

DNA Barcoding -- Wow.

How to make Yummy DNA.
DNA game - match up nucleotides - Click on DNA Replication, then Unzip.


(3) p. 225-229a, Energy and Life
Criterion #2 - All life forms can take energy from their surroundings and convert it into usable energy for themselves.
Everything around you has energy in it.  When we eat, we are taking energy from food and transferring it to our bodies.
Plants do not "eat" but they do take energy from their surroundings and produce their own food.  They take this energy and convert it to usable energy that helps them live.  They do this by a process called photosynthesis.  Leaves produce food in the form of a simple sugar, called glucose.
Xylem carries water to the leaf, and phloem carries food to all parts of the plant.


(4) p. 229-231, Sensing and Responding to Change
Criterion #3 - All life forms can sense changes in their surroundings and respond to those changes.
You've seen animals react with instinct.  They build homes, protect their young, and when there is severe  weather, they know where to go.
Earthworms go deeper into the soil when there is bright sunlight, and come up for air if there is a heavy rain that could drown them.
When you are cold you can put on a coat.  When you are thirsty, you can get a glass of ice water.
Most flowers open when the sun rises.  Plants grow toward sunlight, and wilt when they have insufficient water.
These are all responses to change.


(5)  p. 231-235, Reproduction and Life
Criterion #4 -- All life forms reproduce.

Genesis 1:20-28, KJV
Creation of fish, fowl, beasts and cattle
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Creation man in the image of God
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


(6) p. 235b-238, The Cell - Life's Smallest Unit
Cells make copies of themselves. Inside of every cell is DNA.

Blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, muscle cells... lots of types of cells!
Some things to know about cells:
  1. Cells are very small -- there are about a hundred trillion in your body!
  2. It doesn't take a lot of cells to make a living organism.  Some organisms have only a single cell!
  3. Cells themselves can reproduce.  Your body is constantly replacing dead cells in your body.
  4. One of the organelles in the cell is the nucleus.  This is where the DNA is!
  5. There are three basic kinds of cells:
    animal cells - these have a nucleus that holds the DNA.
    plant cells - these also have a nucleus, but unlike an animal cell, plant cells  have a large water vacuole in the center that, when full, keeps the plant stem upright.
    bacteria - these cells have no nucleus.  There is still DNA, but there is no nucleus.  The DNA strands are throughout the cell.

About Plant Cells:
  • Plant cells have a large vacuole in the center that fills with water/sap to keep the stem and leaves of the plant rigid.  If you forget to water a plant, the plant will wilt because the vacuoles are not filled.
  • Plant cells also have a cell wall that helps the cell be more rigid than an animal cell.
  • The chloroplasts are in the cells of plants, and contain chlorophyll that gives the plant it's green color.
  • Photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplasts, making glucose, a simple sugar that is food for the plant.
  • Both plant and animal cells have a nucleus.
►Plant cells have organelles (or tiny organs) that are "floating" in a jelly-like substance called cytoplasm.  All organelles have a particular job.  When you get to biology, you will learn the names of all the organelles and their jobs.
►See drawings of plant cells here.  Note how differently they are drawn, but always look for the vacuole to make sure it is a plant cell.  Some are 3D, and some are more simple than others.

About Animal Cells:
  • Animal cells are the kinds of cells in all animals and in humans.
  • All animal cells have a nucleus which is one of the organelles of a cell.  The nucleus controls what happens inside the cell.
  • The nucleus contains the DNA for that particular type of cell.  (Atoms make up molecules.  Molecules make up DNA, which is the genetic information for that cell.)
  • The cell membrane holds the cell together and controls which substances can get in and out.
►See drawings of animal cells here.  Note how differently they are drawn.  Some are more detailed than others, but all have a nucleus.

From cells, to tissues, to organs, to systems:
  1. Blood cells, skin cells, brain cells, muscle cells... lots of types of cells!  There are hundreds of trillions of cells that make up your entire body, and there are all kinds.
  2. Cells make up tissues.  A group of the same type of cell is called tissue.   Muscles cells form muscle tissue.
  3. Tissues make up organs.  An important organ is your heart, and is made up of muscle and other tissues.  The brain and lungs are other important organs made up of tissues.
  4. Groups of organs make up systems (like the digestive system, skeletal system, respiratory system, etc).
Interactive, animated tutorial: From Cells to Systems  Turn on the subtitles if needed.
For General Science, this is better than any video I have found.
My class, let me know if you were able to get all 6 questions right at the end.  You can re-do the tutorial as many times as you like.

Really cool:  Comparing Cell Size - Use the slider below the picture to slowly zoom in.
Compare the size of a grain of rice to a blood cell!  Also see an atom and a water molecule at the end.
On the way, notice the amoeba, smaller than a grain of salt.
And the paramecium, (pear-uh-ME-see-um) about the size of an extremely tiny sliver of the corner of an amoeba.  When you zoom all the way back out, the paramecium disappears from view, but you can still barely see the amoeba.
(You will learn about the amoeba and paramecium soon.)
Also see adenine - one of the nucleotides that make up DNA.

One of the edible cells we made in Biology - Animal Cell:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Due to Illness...

I have shingles and will be a little late in getting General Science Module 9 fully posted.
I hope to work on it a little at a time as I am able, and will post what I have as I go.  You will need to check the blog each day, and I apologize for that.
Would appreciate your prayers.