Cell Lesson Plans > Lesson Plan: Cell Structure and Function

Lesson Plan: Cell Structure and Function

1) As a bell work assignment, ask the students to come up with terms that describe a cell. Answers will vary however students should know that cells are small and that living organisms are made up of cells. After discussing their responses, it may be beneficial to ask them how they think a bacteria cell may be different from a plant cell and how a plant cell may differ from an animal cell.

2) Alternatively, this material could be introduced by using a K-W-L chart. Be sure to address any misconceptions that the students place in the "K" column. Have them keep this chart in their notebooks until completion of the unit. During the review for the test, the class can complete the "L" column. This will identify any areas that may need reteaching or any lingering misconceptions. Alternatively, the students can complete the "L" column independently as an alternartive form of assessment.

3) You may have them go to the link above entitled, "Cells-r-us." This may not be appropriate for advanced students.
Cell Tutorial
Instead of standing in front of the room and going over each organelle of the cell (which will bore the kids to death), have them find the information on their own. They can keep this information in their notebook or they may turn it in for a grade.

Provide the students with the following objectives:
1) Describe the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Which types of organisms are prokaryotes? Which types of organisms are eukaryotes?
2) Describe the function(s) of the organelles in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Include organelles found in plant cells that are not found in animal cells. You should provide the students with a list of organelles that you want them to be familiar with.

You may wish to have the students use their textbooks to find this information so that each student gets the same information OR they may use the internet. A helpful link is provided above. The links below are also quite useful.

1) www.brainpop.com/science/seeall/
2) www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objid=AP11403
3) www.cellsalive.com

After students have completed this exploration, discuss their findings with the class so that students have similar information. Different texts and websites may vary in their descriptions or definitions. Even though the meaning is the same, some students may have difficulty comprehending this. Be sure to provide written information. For example, a concept map and/or two-column notes may be helpful.
Cell Reinforcement Activities
Since there is a lot of information in this unit, the students will need repeated exposure to the information. Here is a list of reinforcement activities.

1) Bellwork assignment: Create a Venn diagram that compares prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Categories for comparison may include size, DNA structure, types of organisms, and organelles.

2) Internet: The link above provides two reinforcement activities. The first activity compares prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The second activity is a plant cell mix and match.

3) Quia: The following Quia sites focus on cell structure and function.
a. Matching: http://www.quia.com/cm/64649.html
b. Millionaire game: http://www.quia.com/rr/86966.html
c. Matching, memory, flashcards: http://www.quia.com/jg/549390.html
d. Analogies: http://www.quia.com/cm/66904.html
e. Fill-in-the-blank: http://www.quia.com/pop/83348.html

4) Cell analogies: Place students in groups of 3 or 4 students. Have them create a cell analogy. Depending on your students, you may have them come up with their own categories or you can provide guidance by giving them a specific category. For example, they can compare the cell to a school, a sports team, a prison, a factory, or a car.

5) Homework and/or worksheets: You may create your own assignments or use resources that accompany your textbook.

6) Videos:
a. Teacher's Video Company: Inside a Cell
b. United Streaming: Elements of Biology: The Cell: Structure and Function
eZedia Tutorial
PROJECTS: Technology Focus
You may wish to assess the students' knowledge by having students complete a project. Alternatively, a traditional test may be adminstered after completion of the project.

1) eZedia: If students have not used this software before, this unit provides an excellent opportunity for practice. It is really up to you how detailed the project should be. You may have them create a page for each organelle or they may group the organelles into appropriate categories. The link above provides a brief tutorial. Depending on your students, you may motivate them by choosing the three best projects and posting them on your website or making them assessable to students in your public folder.

2) Keynote: This is an alternative to the eZedia project however it is not recommended. Keynotes are better suited for content in which students are focusing on different topics that they will present to their peers.
Project: Modeling the Cell
PROJECT: Hands-on
Students create a poster of the cell. Once completed, they can trade posters with other students and use it to quiz themselves on the parts of the cell. There is quite a bit of teacher preparation that can go into this project. Click on the link above for instructions.
The above projects may be used for assessment or you may create your own traditional test or use the test bank provided with your textbook materials.
The Incredible, Edible Cell
1) Hands-on: Create a three-dimensional cell using clay.
2) Hands-on: Create a three-dimensional cell using Jello and other edible materials. (Follow link above for instructions.)
3) Reading/writing: The student pretends that he or she is a nucleus who must post job openings for the organelles of the cell.