Cell Membrane Captions

In this assignment, students examine images of transport across the cell membrane and identify key features such as the phospholipid bilayer, channel proteins,  and receptors.  They caption the image and label where appropriate.

Students also provide a title, such as “osmosis.” The caption describes the process being shown. Students need to be able to understand the graphic well enough to explain it to the class.

The handout has six images. Each group gets one graphic to label and then explain to the class. In larger classes, more than one group may have the same image. You could also supplement with additional, more challenging images. For example, glucose uptake by the cell is mediated by specific the GLUT4 protein.

I project the images onto the whiteboard and students can write in the words and captions for the rest of the class. I’ve had really good feedback from this activity. Way more engaging than students quietly filling it out on their own. Though that is also an option.

List of Images to Caption

  • Simple Diffusion
  • Osmosis
  • Facilitated Diffusion
  • Sodium Potassium Pump
  • Endocytosis and Exocytosis
  • Receptor-mediated endocytosis

Time Required:  20 -30 minutes
Grade Level: 9-12

HS-LS1-2 Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms