Molecules of Life Collection© Teacher Resources

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The Molecules of Life Collection© is a molecular model set featuring plaster models of the 4 main categories of large molecules found in all living things (biomolecules): carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.

Use the Molecules of Life Placemat and the accompanying models to explore the following concepts:

  • Each of the structures featured is essential to sustain life.
  • Large biological polymers are composed of smaller building block monomers.
  • The biomolecules featured on the placemat and accompanying models are magnified 20 million times.
  • The size of atoms remains constant in all molecules. For example, oxygen (shown in red) remains the same size whether it is in a nucleotide, amino acid, starch, phospholipid or water.

Each polymer model has 1 monomer highlighted in green to help your students see the repeating pattern. For example, the DNA model has 1 nucleotide colored green and cellulose model has 1 glucose molecule colored green.

Molecules of Life Collection© Contents

Find information about the contents of your Molecules of Life Collection©.

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Molecules of Life Collection© Model Worksheet and Key

Despite the complexity of life on Earth, the most important large molecules found in all living things can be classified into only four main categories: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Students will explore the structure of these biomolecules as well as water, since they interact in an aqueous environment.

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Molecules of Life Collection© Teacher Notes

Thank you for using our tools to help your students visualize the molecular world! The lessons and activities that accompany the Molecules of Life© are intended to help you consider different ways you may use these materials. We encourage you to modify them to meet the learning objectives and needs of your specific students.

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Molecules of Life Collection© Summary Table and Key

Have your students record their observations on the Summary Table while exploring the Molecules of Life Collection© models and individual workstation mats.

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Molecules of Life Collection© Student Workstation Mats

Download and print these 8.5x11 student workstation mats and arrange them at stations around your classroom, along with their corresponding plaster models. Have your students rotate through the stations to explore the models and record their observations.

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Molecules of Life Collection© Next Generation Science Standards

Connections to: A Framework for K-12 Science Education Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

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