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Cells are the smallest unit of life, and each cell is a system nested within a system. In Grade 8, students will continue to develop their knowledge of organisms by focusing on the structure and function of cells in plants and animals. Our knowledge of cells has increased enormously since the middle of the twentieth century, and students will examine the implications of this knowledge for individuals, society, and the environment.
At the end of this course, children will be able to:
- Follow established safety procedures for handling apparatus and materials (e.g., wash hands after preparing materials for slides) and use microscopes correctly and safely (e.g., carry the microscope with both hands, place it near the center of the desk, ensure that the sun cannot be directly focused through the instrument when sunlight is used for illumination, keep both eyes open when viewing to avoid eye strain)
- Demonstrate an understanding of the postulates of the cell theory (e.g., the cell is the basic unit of life; all cells come from pre-existing cells; all living things are made up of one or more cells)
- Identify structures and organelles in cells, including the nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, chloroplasts, vacuole, mitochondria, and cytoplasm, and explain the basic functions of each (e.g., the nucleus holds all the information needed to make every cell in the body)
- Compare the structure and function of plant and animal cells