Biology Basics for High School Students

Molecules of Life

In all of your science classes, the concept of DNA has been stressed to you. While DNA is essential to you as it is the genetic code for life, there are many organisms that help. DNA carry out its functions. The organisms mentioned are macromolecules: Lipids, nucleotides, Proteins, and Carbohydrates.

  • Carbs are the sugars that provide energy. There are simple sugars that are called monosaccharides and complex ones that are called polysaccharides.
  • Lipids are fatty acids that are hydrophobic- water hating
  • Nucleotides– four chemical bases, sugar, and a phosphoric acid. DNA and RNA
  • RNA is the same but just a different base and ribose base
  • Proteins– are made of amino acids, they are polymers so they are built from monomers
  • Monomers are amino acids and the polymers are polypeptides. Proteins have specific structure to go along with the specific function. All of these are the building blocks of life
multiple molecules
methane molecule

Pronunciation Key and Vocabulary List

Monosaccharides– ( mon-uh-sak-uh-rahyd, -er-id) smallest form of carbs

Polysaccharides– (pol-ee-sak-uh-rahyd) polymer to monosaccharides

DNA– (Dee-N- A) genetic code to life

RNA– (R-N-A) messenger to carrying DNA

Polypeptides– (pol-ee-pep-tahyd) amino acids bonding together

Polymers– (pol-uh-me)r monosaccharides bonding together

Carbohydrates– Simple sugars


Strengthen your understanding about molecules and have fun with this handout. Follow the instructions and connect the dots to reveal the molecule it represents. Which image from this site does the handout molecule look like?