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Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes

In this worksheet, students will discuss the difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes whilst also learning about how cells work.

'Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  Cells as a Basic Structural Unit

Difficulty level:  

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Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Cells make up all living things, from the tiniest bacteria (only one cell big) to an elephant (1000 trillion cells big). They do loads of different things in your body as well, from making you think to making your body move – your body has over 200 different types of cells each doing its own little job to keep you alive. Because there are so many different types of cells, we tend to put them into groups to help us organise them. The biggest groups of cells are called the Prokaryotes and the Eukaryotes. So, how do we know if a cell is a Prokaryote or a Eukaryote?  

 

Like this:

 

Prokaryotic cells:

  • DO NOT have a nucleus. Their DNA is just sort of floating around in a doughnut shape called a plasmid.
  • DO have a thick cell wall to protect them from damage.
  • Usually have a flagellum (tail) to help them to move around.

These are normally bacterial cells and other simple single-celled organisms. To find out more about these you take a look at our worksheet on communicable diseases.

 

Eukaryotic cells:

  • DO have a nucleus where they keep their DNA nice and safe.

There is a lot more variation in Eukaryotic cells, but they make up plants and animals. Plant cells and animal cells is another way we can divide up the cells (we'll look at this in more detail in a bit).

 

Eukaryotic cells have some common organelles (parts that make up the cells): nucleuscell membrane and cytoplasm. Let's take a look at what they each do:

The nucleus contains the DNA, so controls what happens in the cell; it makes sure that the cell is doing the job that it's meant to be. 

 

The cell membrane controls what goes in and out of the cell, like a security guard stopping the bad stuff (like bacteria and viruses) from coming in and kicking the bad stuff that gets made in the cell (like CO2) out.

 

The cytoplasm is the place where chemical reactions occur. They help the cell do its job by starting off some of the important chemical reactions we will take a look at in later worksheets, like respiration. 

 

Finally, there is another very important cell organelle, the mitochondra. The important process of respiration is finished there so that cells can produce the energy to perform all their roles.

 

 

Plant cells contain additional organelles because they just 'have to be different'. Just because they evolved 470 million years ago, and animals only evolved 230 million years ago.

 

These are the chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll, a green pigment that collects light energy so they can do photosynthesis (again, something that we will look at in much more detail later). 

 

Plant cells also have a cell wall around the cell membrane for additional strength and support, after all, they don't have bones, so they need to have string cells to stay upright. The cell wall is made of cellulose

 

Finally, they have the vacuole which is filled with a liquid called cell sap. This provides support from the inside and helps with the movement of water into and out of the cell. 

 

 

Right, understood all of that? Well - take a look at the images below and see if you can find where each of the organelles we mentioned above appears in. Then get your brains in gear to answer some questions on them. 

 

An image of an animal cell with labels.

 

 

An image of a plant cell with labels.

What does the nucleus do in a cell?

Controls all cell functions and contains the DNA

Controls what goes in and out of the cell

It is the place where all chemical reactions are performed

What is the tangle of DNA called in a Prokaryotic cell? 

Unicellular

Plasmid

Bacteria

Select the THREE organelles that are found in both animal and plant cells.

Nucleus

Chloroplast

Cell wall

Cell membrane

Vacuole

Cytoplasm

What organelle controls what goes in and out of the cell?

Nucleus

Cell membrane

Cell wall

Where is the site of respiration?

 

Mitochondrium

Nucleus

Respiratory gland

Which organelle is the site of photosynthesis in plant cells?

Mitochondrium

Chlorophyll

Chloroplast

The diagram below is an illustration of a bacterial cell. Describe what group of cells you would include this in and Explain why you would include it in that group. 

 

 

An image of a bacteria with it's DNA in plasmids

There are many different types of cells that make up living things. Match the type of cell to the definition of that cell. 

 

Column A

Column B

Prokaryotic cell
Have DNA in the form of a plasmid without a nucleu...
Eukaryotic cells
Have a thick cell wall, a vacuole and chloroplasts...
Plant Cells
Do not have chloroplasts or a thick cell wall.
Animal Cells
Have a nucleus with enclosed DNA.

A plant and an animal cell need organelles to perform their function effectively. Read the following explanations and then tick the correct box for the relevant organelle. 

 

  1. Uses the DNA to produce proteins in order to make new cells.
  2. Where reactions are started in the cell. 
  3. Contains the DNA and is the control centre of the cell. 
  4. Is where photosynthesis happens. 
  5. Contains cellulose in order to keep the cell rigid. 
  6. Is where efficient respiration takes place to produce energy. 
  7. Controls what can enter and leave the cell. 

 

What is the liquid inside the vacuole called?

 

Cell membrane

Cellulose

Cell sap

  • Question 1

What does the nucleus do in a cell?

CORRECT ANSWER
Controls all cell functions and contains the DNA
EDDIE SAYS
The nucleus controls all of the functions that a cell performs, and it also contains the cell's DNA. A good way to remember this is to think about the DNA being the stuff that controls all living things and without it, we would N(ucleus)ot work!
  • Question 2

What is the tangle of DNA called in a Prokaryotic cell? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Plasmid
EDDIE SAYS
Procaryotic cells (the ones that are not plant and animal cells) are weird. They have a floating DNA called a plasmid that is not surrounded in a nucleus. I'm trying to think of a funny joke about plasmids, but I can't - they are just plasmids. And silly.
  • Question 3

Select the THREE organelles that are found in both animal and plant cells.

CORRECT ANSWER
Nucleus
Cell membrane
Cytoplasm
EDDIE SAYS
All Eucariotic cells have a Nucleus (the control centre of the cell), a Cell Membrane (the bouncer of cell that can control what goes in and out) and the Cytoplasm (where the reactions start). I guess you just have to make sure that you can remember this. It comes up in exams quite a lot. They also have Mitochondria (where the energy for the cell is stored), but we didn't put that in as one of the answers. What can we say, we're mavericks.
  • Question 4

What organelle controls what goes in and out of the cell?

CORRECT ANSWER
Cell membrane
EDDIE SAYS
So, if you are reading these instead of just skipping them this answer should have been quite easy. Just goes to show that you should read these! The Cell Membrane in like the bouncer of the cell - it controls what can go in and out of the cell.
  • Question 5

Where is the site of respiration?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Mitochondrium
EDDIE SAYS
Respiration is really important, and without it, the cells would not be able to get the energy to do its job. But in order to do respiration efficiently (aerobic respiration), a cell needs mitochondria. you will see in the 'specialised cells' activity that when a cell needs more energy (like a muscle cell) then it will have more mitochondria.
  • Question 6

Which organelle is the site of photosynthesis in plant cells?

CORRECT ANSWER
Chloroplast
EDDIE SAYS
We know that it must be one of the plant cells unless there is a new animal out there that is able to photosynthesis (if you've found one, get in contact with your local university). So that narrows our answers down immediately to Cell Wall, Vacuole and Chloroplasts. So that should give us the answer, right? Well, we've put in a red herring - chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the chemical that is inside the Chloroplasts, and they sound very similar. This is a common technique in exams unfortunately, so the way that I remember the difference is that a plant cell is Plastered in chloroplasts that are filled with chlorophyll.
  • Question 7

The diagram below is an illustration of a bacterial cell. Describe what group of cells you would include this in and Explain why you would include it in that group. 

 

 

An image of a bacteria with it's DNA in plasmids

CORRECT ANSWER
Prokaryotic
It's DNA is in the form of a Plasmid
EDDIE SAYS
Prokaryotic cells have Plasmid DNA. There are other things you can write here, such as Flagella, or even cell wall, but you MUST BE CAREFUL! It is rare, but a Eucariotic cell can have Flagella and we know that plant cells have cell walls - you know how much exams like to throw in stuff to put you off.
  • Question 8

There are many different types of cells that make up living things. Match the type of cell to the definition of that cell. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Prokaryotic cell
Have DNA in the form of a plasmid...
Eukaryotic cells
Have a nucleus with enclosed DNA.
Plant Cells
Have a thick cell wall, a vacuole...
Animal Cells
Do not have chloroplasts or a thi...
EDDIE SAYS
You need to be able to spot the differences between these types of cells. If you can remember these definitions, then you are well on your way to being able to answer these 'comparison' and 'types of cells' questions. So there are a few tricks to help you. The two with long names (Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic) actually have the simplest answers - look for the DNA. If you can't remember which is which, then just guess. For the plant and animal cells, it's all about looking for the chloroplasts. If it has them then it must be a plant cell. Find the chloroplasts, find the cell.
  • Question 9

A plant and an animal cell need organelles to perform their function effectively. Read the following explanations and then tick the correct box for the relevant organelle. 

 

  1. Uses the DNA to produce proteins in order to make new cells.
  2. Where reactions are started in the cell. 
  3. Contains the DNA and is the control centre of the cell. 
  4. Is where photosynthesis happens. 
  5. Contains cellulose in order to keep the cell rigid. 
  6. Is where efficient respiration takes place to produce energy. 
  7. Controls what can enter and leave the cell. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So, when you are given questions like this always answers the ones that you know for sure first. That might remove some of the answers you're not sure of and make stuff a bit easier for you. Put simply, you need to know all of these definitions, so if you didn't get 100% on this, go back and read the worksheet again and then try this again.
  • Question 10

What is the liquid inside the vacuole called?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Cell sap
EDDIE SAYS
The liquid inside the vacuole is called cell sap. It is the stuff that makes Mapel Syrup so delicious and it increases the amount of water movement that can happen in a cell. You'll learn more about this when looking at Osmosis.
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