Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plant and Animal Cells

In 4th grade we have been word detectives looking into the origin of words to increase our understanding of Science words.  We have been researching using Online Etymology Dictionary and iCell.  iCell gives students, teachers, and anyone interested in biology a 3D view inside cells, inlcuding: animal, plant, and bacteria.


We have researched the following words and determined them to have the following meaning to us in 4th grade:

cell - a small room, from Latin - "cover"

nucleus - a small nut, from Latin -"kernel"


membrane- thin layer of skin - Latin -membrana


mitochondria- mito + chondria; <mito> is from Greek for thread + <chondria> is from Greek for little granule


organelle- a small organ, from Latin organella


chloroplast- chloro + plast; <chloro-> is a word forming element  originally Greek, then Latin and is used in Chemistry to represent the presence of Chlorine and <-plast> is also a word forming element implying "formed", "molded"

NOTE:  Spanish speaking students made a direct connection to the word "chloro" that their mothers use to clean.  Chloro is spanish is the brand name Clorox - bleach -- CHLORINE.


cytoplasm - cyto + plasm; <cyto>- cyt before a vowel from Greek then into Latin means a hollow basket and <-plasm> is another word forming element meaning growth, development or created.

photosynthesis -  A loan word from German, photo + synthesis; <photo> meaning light and <synthesis> is further broken down to syn +  tithenai from middle English  meaning to put together.

Together we researched, looked at and drew our own representations of a cell.  In class students will continue to focus on making a cell model and working with their new understanding of the technical words of science.