Learn about protists—single-celled organisms that carry out the basic functions of life.
Alignment to NC Essential Standards
- 7.L.1.1 — Compare the structures and life functions of single-cell organisms that carry out all the basic functions of life.
- Students will describe the basic structures and life functions of euglena, amoeba and paramecium—single-cell organisms known as protists.
- Single-cell organism
Students will view the PBS Learning Media video “Single Cell Organisms.”
- How does the actual size of the single-cell organisms you are looking at compare with that of a familiar object?
- What do these single-cell organisms have in common? How do they differ from one another?
- What characteristics do these single-cell organisms share with multicellular organisms such as insects, birds, squirrels and humans?
Perhaps the most devastating single-cell organism is Plasmodium falciparum, which is the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria.
Students will view the PBS Learning Media presentation History of a Lethal Disease to learn more about Plasmodium falciparum, and then discuss the following questions in class.
- Approximately how many children every year are infected with malaria?
- What are Plasmodium falciparum, and why are they so dangerous?
- Why does the fact that plasmodia has a short life cycle make it so difficult to treat malaria?
- What are “vector” animals and insects?
Students will choose one of the types of single-celled organisms described in the Protists video, and create a poster board that includes answers to the following questions:
- What are examples of this type of single-cell organism?
- Where does the organism live?
- How does the organism move?
- How does the organism eat?
- How does the organism excrete waste?
- What are some potential dangers of this type of organism?
- What is an Amoeba? — LiveScience.com
- Amoeba — Encyclopedia.com
- What is an Amoeba? — Highveld.com
- What is a Paramecium? — LiveScience.com
- Paramecium — 101Science.com
- What are the characteristics of a paramecium? — Reference.com
- Euglena: Characteristics, Classification & Structure — Study.com
- The Euglena — BiologyCorner.com