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Microvilli, Cilia, Flagella

by Greg Crowther


Context

Microvilli, cilia, and flagella are cell parts that look similar to each other and thus are easily confused. This song presents an opportunity to consider their functional similarities and differences. Note that some biologists consider these parts to be organelles (or organella), whereas others use the term organelle only for membrane-bound subcompartments of a cell.


Lyrics

Microvilli, cilia, flagella:
Cellular protrusions; types of organella.
Microvilli, cilia, flagella:
Not in every gal, but found in every fella!

Sense surrounding fluid;
Move surrounding fluid;
Move cells through surrounding fluid;
Take things from surrounding fluid.

Sense surrounding fluid;
Move surrounding fluid;
Move cells through surrounding fluid;
Take things from surrounding fluid.

Microvilli, cilia, flagella:
Cellular protrusions; types of organella.
Microvilli, cilia, flagella:
Not in every gal, but found in every fella!


Other Files

sheet music (with melody play-back)


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) Three organelles and four functions are listed in this song. Which organelles perform which functions?

(2) What specific cytoskeleton proteins provide the structural support for these cytoplasmic projections?

(3) Explain the line, "Not in every gal, but found in every fella!"

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)