Lesson 1.1 Overview of chapter

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Introduction to the lesson

The purpose of this lesson is to orientate you in your studies of chapter 1 on cell structure. In the next lessons, you will work through the chapter in detail, answering questions and coming to grips with the material. In this lesson you will just skim through the chapter briefly to see how each of the parts of the chapter fit together to explain cell structure. Don't worry if you don't understand something in this lesson. You will have time to work through it in the following lessons.

Preparing for the chapter

  • What do you think the basic unit of all living organisms is?
  • What do you think the basic components of a cell are?
  • What do you think is the function of a cell?
  • Is there a difference between plant and animal cells or are all cells the same?
  • If there is a difference, what are the differences between plant and animal cells?
  • How do we know what a cell looks like?
  • What do you know about a microscope? Are there different types?
  • How big do you think a cell is?

First reading of the chapter

Begin by skim reading the chapter. This means that you:

  1. On your first pass through the chapter, read only the headings and sub-headings. This will give you a general idea of the chapter's subject matter.
  2. Now read the learning outcomes on page 1 of the Coursebook
  3. Next look at the diagrams, sketches, photographs and tables throughout the chapter
  4. Finally, read the questions throughout the text and at the end of the chapter

Second reading of the chapter

Now read the chapter (p.1-36). It is nor necessary to take notes as you will work through each section in detail in the following lessons.

Exercise 1

Read the section in the red box Before you start on p.2 and answer the questions in writing

Exercise 2

Read the introductory article Thinking outside the box on p.2.

  1. Define what is meant by the term endosymbiosis
  2. What is Lynn Margulis's best example of endosymbiosis?
  3. Why is her theory a challenge to the traditional theory of evolution put forward by Charles Darwin?
  4. What other reason or reasons could there be for the fact that chloroplast and mitochondria which are organelles found in cells have a similar structure to prokaryotes?
  5. Think through the questions for discussion at the end of the article
  6. How do you personally respond to this suggestion of Lynn Margulis?


As you end this lesson, ask yourself

  • What new things have I learned today?
  • What are topics that I already know and have mastered?
  • What are new topics for me?
  • What am I looking forward to learning more about in this chapter?

NOTE: This chapter covers section 1 Cell structure of the Cambridge International AS Biology (9700) syllabus 2022- 2024 (p.14-15).