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Lesson Plan

Create an Animal Cell by ECSDM

Course, Subject

Biology/Living Environment, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 6th Grade


Two 40-minute class periods


Students will use prior knowledge of animal cells to create a cell. This activity will provide students with a hands on activity to help them visualize what a cell looks like. The cell will consist of various teacher given materials that demonstrate and reinforce their knowledge of structures that are within a cell.


  • Students will compare and contrast the structures of a plant and animal cell.
  • Students will identify various parts of the plant and animal cell.
  • Students will create a model of the animal cell.
  • Materials

    • Plant and animal cell Venn diagram
    • Paper plates ~ Cytoplasm
    • Easter eggs, plastic ~ Nucleus
    • Peppercorns ~ Ribosomes
    • Colored Beads ~ Lysosomes
    • Pipe cleaners ~ Endoplasmic Reticulum
    • Sponge pieces ~ Vacoules
    • Plastic clear wrap ~ Cell membrane
    • Kidney Beans ~ Mitochondria
    • Glue or tape
    • Labels ~ Labels are to be created by the student or teacher depending on time
    • Create an Animal Cell.notebook
    • step 4 materials.doc


    Day 1:

    1. When students first come in they will complete the plant and animal cell Venn diagram worksheet as their Do Now. This worksheet is provided in the materials section (Create an animal cell)
    2. After students are given adequate time, students will come to the SMART Board and fill in the Venn diagram with the correct answers.
    3. When the teacher is confident that there is student understanding of the various structures in a plant and animal cell, the teacher will discuss various materials that she has brought in.
    4. Go through each material and what structures of the animal cell it could be. Make sure students answers are correct and have them explain why each material has been chosen. Document each answers on the SMART Board or front board. Have student’s record answers on step 4 hand out given by teacher that they can keep in their notebooks. For example, the half of an Easter egg will be used for the nucleus in the center of the animal cell. This will be used because the nucleus is a large oval shaped structure located in the middle of the cell. It is the boss or the brain of the cell.
    5. After students have accounted for all eight materials, have volunteers distribute materials to classmates. Students will work independently gluing and labeling each structure. Have the example on the SMART Board for students to view.
    6. Cells will be set aside for next day for completion.

    Day 2:

    Students will complete cell project on day 2. Each student will finish off the cell with the clear plastic wrap and labeling it with the cell membrane. Make sure students name is located somewhere on the cell for a final grade.


    • Each student will be assessed on the animal cell that they have individually created. Each student will have each structure properly labeled for understanding. Also, students' participation at the SMART Board while filling in the Venn diagram of the plant and animal cell.

    Additional Notes

    • I would suggest having student volunteers sort materials being used into separate Ziploc bags prior to doing this project.
    • This project can be modified for earlier or higher grades other than 6th grade.

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