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Dealing Signals

Source Institutions

    University of Utah

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Dealing Signals

In this activity, use standard playing cards to introduce learners to cellular interactions such as cell to cell recognition and signal and receptor specificity. Learners will discuss trans-membrane proteins, how foreign invaders such as viruses disrupt healthy cells, and molecular receptors.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2-3 decks of standard playing cards


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Human Body


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Davies, Christian; Egan, Barbara; Hoelscher, Mary; Kuka, Chris; Malone, Molly; Starr, Harmony

Source Collection:

  • Teach.Genetics


  • All Rights Reserved, University of Utah, ©2008

Funding Source:

  • Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health


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