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Compiled By: Mrs. G

Fun hands-on activities to use when teaching about plant and animal cells.

Cells for 7th grade
Posted by: Dana

I teach 7th grade Biology and we have a huge unit on cells. We do a lot of activities such as making 3-D models, posters of plant and animal cells, but my favorite activity is that we make cell brochures. They have to create a brochure that would sell a trip through a cell. They have to include all the parts of the cell that they would visit on their trip and what that part would be doing. These are creative and fun, I require them to be colorful and the more creative the better. Let me know if you want more info.

teaching about cells
Posted by: Jennifer


I have a lab that I do with my 7th graders when I teach cells and cell parts.... We create a cell pizza. All the ingrediants I put on the pizza represent part of the cell. For example the cell membrane is the pizza crust, the pizza sauce is the cytoplasm.... you can include any topping you may want as long as the kids understand what part of the cell it represents. My kids love making it almost as much as they enjoy eating it.

Posted by: janet

This yr. in 4th we made cookie cells. Student given cookie then
frosting = cytoplasm
gum ball = nucleus
licorice whips = er
good and plenty = mitochondria.
before they could eat they had to tell what kind of cell and what each part was used for
kids loved it!

animal and plant cells
Posted by: mary

One thing I do in my sixth grade science class is make slides of lettuce leaves (use the membrane) and have each student make a slide of their cheek cell from inside thier mouths. Then you can see the difference in the cells. They love it because the cell came from thier own body. Good luck.

animal and plant cells
Posted by: Marianne Tamosaitis

I have had 7th grade students make a model of each cell using ordinary household items to represent the organelles within that particular cell. The students are then required to make a poster board with a key telling what item was used for the different organelles and what the fuction of that organelle is. A presentation of their cell is given to the class. I have also made an interactive bulletin board. In the center is a picture of both a plant and animal cell, using vlecro, the names of the different organells and thier functions are on cards that the students have to be match to the cell and the organelle. The kids love it when I display their works of art around the room.

Posted by: Cells...

I have a lesson that I did with my 4th graders. You take an egg and break it open on an overhead. The egg is like a cell. You can also do this with cutting a carrot in half and having the students look at the layers of the cell (circles in the carrot). Let me know if you need more help!

cell models
Posted by: judy bryant

During our study of cells, we look at several different kinds: skin, blood, bone, muscle, nerve. We draw diagrams and complete charts comparing and contrasting the various cells. Each student then chooses any type of cell he is particularly interested in and creates a 3-dimensional model of that cell. They must include labels of the major parts of the cell and may use any materials they wish. I am always amazed by the creativity, complexity, and thoroughness of the finished products. My students are quite proud of their results!

cell baggies (with a twist)
Posted by: Snierman

You make jello (yellow is best) and 2/3 fill up the baggies. Keep them in the fridge overnight. Take them to school and have peanut, green grapes and red grapes for each bag. Explain the parts of a cell and add something to the bag with each description. The baggie is the cell wall, peanut is the nucleus, the red grapes are the mitochondria, and if you want to show the difference between a plant cell and other cell, put green grapes for chloroplasts. After you have done it, let them do them their own. When you seal the ziplock baggies, squeeze out the air so they lay flat with no air pockets.

If you leave them out for a week or so, they provide a great example of how/why their bodies make gas! If you squeeze all the air out, they will be able to see that after time, the food products in the baggies break down and form gas. It was an accident that I discovered this but my fourh graders LOVED the little side lesson. (I am known for being the "gross" teacher.... Fun stuff, and kids really remember it!)

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Cell in a bag
Posted by: Pookie61

I gave each student a brown paper lunch bag and they needed to find something that represented the job of each part of the cell ie. battery to represent the energy produced by the mitochondria. The kids then presented their cell in a bag to the class. They loved it and were really very creative in their choices.

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The Incredible Edible Cell
Posted by: teachachild1

Try the Incredible Edible Cell. Have your students study plant cells (an onion cell is a great cell to observe) and animal cells. Then, tell them to build a 3-D cell (not drawn) showing the lysosomes, mitochondra, cell membrane, cell wall (if a plant cell), etc. But the trick is, it has to be totally edible. It forces students to construct a cell, which for tests and quizzes, it gives them the idea of where organelles are located. It also forces them to have a little fun. You can even make them eat it after. Google it for more info.

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Model of a cell
Posted by: NonosMom

I made a model of a cell when I was in college that was really easy. It gives the kids the chance to identify the individual parts of a cell and have a concrete model that they can go back to. I wish I had a picture of it, but it was cheap and easy to make.

I used gel candle wax and a huge round glass bowl. Then, I shaped the pieces of a cell and placed them in the wax when it was almost set. I used pipe cleaners and pom pom balls mostly. It turned out really neat and now I have it in my room for my kids to go back to. We are having to teach health this year for three weeks. We have to cover all the body systems.

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Cell drawing
Posted by: Mrs. G

If you have access to microscopes have your students look at cells under it. Then have them draw what they see. Make sure some kids look at plant cells and some look at animal cells. Display the drawing and discuss the differences. They should see that plant cells have a rectangular shape and animal cells are circular.