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copyright 1999 Carlota Sweeney

Cell Play


written for Middle School Students

(Boy with large hand lens enters. Goes around looking through the lens. Goes over to a member of the audience. )

Boy:

Man! Look at that! Giant hair! Wow! Really giant nose -- nose holes look like twin caves!

( Puts hand lens over cell parts who are sitting on the floor.)

Oh, wow! I see a cell.

(All cell parts get up slowly and walk around.)

 It's moving! It's alive!

(Boy goes to side and sits. )

Nucleus:

You cell parts need to straighten up! Look at you -- sloppy, sloppy, sloppy! Mitochondria, do you think that you could wear a uniform once in a while -- I mean, really! You guys are a mess!

Golgi Body:

Hey, Nukie, who died and made you king around here?

Ribosome:

Yeah, who do you think you are, anyway?

Nucleus:

Well, for your information, I am the control center of this cell. Without me, you wouldn't know what to do. I take care of you all, of our growth, our repair, andour reproduction. Plus that -- I have a nuclear membrane.

Ribosome:

Oh, your majesty (bows down)Excuuuuuuuuse me for living. I just want to point out that, without me, you would get no food! Ha! Because when this creature we're in eats, I take the protein and change it so you can use it. I and a factory -- a protein changing factory.

Endoplasmic reticulum:

(all together) We're the endoplasmic reticulum.

Lysosome:

I just want to point out, ribo, that before you get that protein, I have to digest the food it comes from. You could say that I am like the cell stomach. So think about it, Ribo!

E.R.:

(all together)We're the endoplasmic reticulum.

Nucleus:

Okay, Okay. Big Deal. Factory, Stomach. No comparison to me -- the brain of this outfit.

Golgi:

Hey! Check this out (shows muscle on one arm)Got that? Now check this out. (shows muscle on other arm)Pretty impressive, huh?

Lyso:

Just what do you do, Mr. Iron Man?

Golgi:

I am a storage house. Where do you think the extra protein goes? I package and store it -- ready for you to use at any time.

Mitochondria:

Do you gift wrap?

E.R.

(all together)We're the endoplasmic reticulum.

Mitochondria:

Well, all of you are just so wonderful. I am really impresses. You're great. Super. But Iam the power behind this cell.

Everyone:

What are you talking about?

Mitochondria:

because I'm the one that produces the energy. And, a typical cell has from 300 to 800 of me.

Golgi:

800 of you!!!!! Oh no.

Mitochondria:

Muscle cells have the most because they use the most energy. AND,let me add, I am the only organelle here with my own DNA. Plus that,I'm the only one who can reproduce myself by myself. So now who's the greatest?

E.R.:

(all together)We're the endoplasmic curriculum.

Nucleus:

Well, Mito, that is pretty remarkable. But, speaking of DNA, did you know that I, me, el jefe grande, contain the nucleoli and chromosomes. And my chromosomes contain DNA which tells the person or animal or plant what it will be like. Without my DNA, everyone would look and act exactly the same! So, put that in your hat and chew it!

Mitochondria:

I don't wear hats.

Ribosome:

We don't even have heads!

E.R.:

(all together)We're the endoplasmic reticulum.

All:

What is the endoplasmic reticulum?

E.R.:

We don't want to be pushy...

All:

of course not.

E.R. 1:

We are the transportation system between the cell membrane and the nuclear membrane. We come in two types: smooth, like us, or rough. The rough endoplasmic reticulum has ribosomes attached to it.

Ribosomes:

Hey, thanks for letting us park.

Nucleus:

Okay, Okay. I get the point. We are all important. Sure, I am the one in control, but without you I would have nothing to control.

Lysosomes:

And don't forget the cell wall and the cytoplasm we swim in. They are important too.

E.R. 1:

Yeah, the cell wall lets nutrients and oxygen in and lets wastes go out. Sometimes we are attached to the cell wall.

Golgi:

And the cytoplasm all around us is mostly water and proteins.

Nucleus:

And, you know what else? We are not alone.

Mitochondria:

What??? I'm not unique?

Nucleus:

No, there are billions of cells in a plant or animal. These cells have different shapes and are different sizes and have different jobs.

All:

Awesome!

Nucleus:

Okay, everybody. Let's get to work and help this creature live!

All:

(sing)Hi ho, Hi ho
It' off to work we go
We're organelles
We're inside cells
Hi ho, hi ho
(sit down)

Boy:

Wow! I just never realized how complicated a cell is. And I neverknew that a cell could talk!
 
 

 

These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 3/2002 . Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.