Molecules of Life
About the Molecules of Life Lesson
An introduction to the four classes of macromolecules.
• Students will be able to name the four types of macromolecules.
• Students will identify the functions of each macromolecule.
• Students will compare and contrast simple sugars with complex carbohydrates.
• Students will compare and contrast saturated and unsaturated fats.
• Students will understand the hydrophobic nature of lipids.
• Students will be introduced to the variety that exists among proteins.
• Students will know the location of DNA within a cell.
The food you eat, the silk a spider uses to make a web, the muscles in your body ? all of these structures are made of macromolecules. Macromolecule is the term that biologists use for large molecules. There are four types of macromolecules that are important in biology: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy in our diet. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the energy in them is changed in our cells to a form that our bodies can use. Carbohydrates also form building materials like the chitin that covers the surface of insects and cellulose that makes up plant cell walls. Carbohydrates are the group that includes simple sugars and more complex molecules made up of lots of sugars bonded together. A carbohydrate made of two sugars is called a disaccharide. An example of this is sucrose, which is table sugar like you may put on your cereal or use to make cookies.