Biomolecules in Cells

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12128

Most people can choose from a variety of foods, some good for you, some not so good. Food consists of stuff that cells need to keep you well. Learn the components' fancy names and why you need them!


Chemistry, Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Most animals, especially pets, seem to eat the same foods over and over. Why do we eat from different food groups? Is it just to keep us from getting bored?

What did you have for your latest meal?

Was it well-balanced or only one food group? In this lesson, you will learn why it is important to eat different kinds of foods and nutrients. These nutrients make up biomolecules that are used in our body’s cells.

If you missed or want a refresher on previous lessons in this Cellular Chemistry series, check them out in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons.

Before you dive into the four biomolecules, you need to understand a little about carbon. Carbon is an element on the periodic table, with six protons, six electrons, and six neutrons.

  • Do you remember from the previous lesson what each particle carries as a charge?

Carbon is able to bond with many other elements to create both compounds and molecules. Compounds and molecules with both carbon and hydrogen are called "organic," and all four of the biomolecules you will learn about today are organic. These organic molecules make life on Earth possible, and support growth and development in living things.

There are four major biomolecules you will learn about.

  1. Download and print the Biomolecules Graphic Organizer found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.
  2. Complete the organizer by using the resources below.

Each group of biomolecules is made up of a different monomer, or building block. These monomers bond together to create polymers, or long chains of repeating molecules. You will start by identifying the monomer for each biomolecule.

Watch Biological Molecules - You Are What You Eat: Crash Course Biology #3 and complete the graphic organizer as you go:


Take a moment to review what you've learned!

  • Carbohydrates, or sugars, have three groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Examples of each group include glucose, sucrose, and starch.
  • Lipids are also known as fats, and include foods like peanut butter and oil.
  • Nucleic acids are probably not the most interesting biomolecule, but they sure are important! Without nucleic acids, we would not be able to replicate cells, pass on genetic information, or give instructions to body parts.
  • Proteins make up meats and beans. They provide our cells with structure and support. There is a very special class of proteins, called "enzymes."

As you watch this short Amoeba Sisters video on enzymes, Enzymes (Updated), complete these prompts on the back of your graphic organizer:

  1. What are enzymes?
  2. Why are they so important for cellular function?
  3. What are two examples of enzyme functions?
  4. Sketch an enzyme with an active site and a substrate ready to bond.
  5. What does the lock and key model mean?
  6. What do enzyme names end in?


If you feel like you missed something important, check out this video by the Amoeba Sisters that reviews all four Biomolecules (Updated):


When your parents or guardians try to get you to eat healthy, it really does matter! We need to get all four biomolecule sub-units in our day-to-day meals in order for our cells to function correctly.

  • Which biomolecule do you think is most important in your diet?
  • Why did you pick that biomolecule?
  • Which biomolecule do you think is most important in cell function?

All biomolecules are important components of a well-balanced diet, and they are all needed to ensure the cell can function properly.

In the Got It? section, you will go more in-depth and practice identifying biomolecules based on structure and function.

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