MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Animal and Plant Cell Models, Research, 9 M X 9 M Construction, and Cell Tour given to Life Science Students.

Animal and Plant Cell Models, Research, 9 M X 9 M Construction, and Cell Tour given to Life Science Students.

Becky Salo
Sebeka High School
Sebeka. Mn 56477
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A biology class is divided into two groups: one an animal cell, and the other one, a plant cell. They are given a list of cell organelles to research and construct in their 9 M X 9 M model. Students must organize and assign duties, provide materials for this activity, and write a written report to hand in the day of the "Cell Tours" given to the Life Science Students for credit.

Learning Goals

Learning Goals:
1. Students will learn what structures and functions are in an animal or plant cell through research.
2. Students will construct a model of a cell that can be entered into by other students for a guided cell tour that explains the organelles functions and responsibility as a whole unit in a living thing.
3. Students will write a final report about their cell based on a list of requirements such as who did what, and how was the cell constructed, as well as what "speaking parts" each member had on the cell tour.

Key Concepts:
1. Students will understand and be able to give an oral presentation of the structure and function of an animal or plant cell.
2. Students will be able to work cooperatively and organize their skills and time to complete this project in a timely manner.

Key Terms:
1. Animal or plant cell organelles.
2. Phospholipid bilayer and selectivity.
3. Permeability vs. Semi-permeability

Context for Use

This activity is designed for 30 or less students in a Biology class, so as to make two groups of NO more than 15 students each. I give the groups an outline of the cell organelles, report requirements, and computer use opportunities to write it in class. I do not directly help them in any of the research, model construction, report writing, or organization of their "Cell Tours" but let them self direct their learning about the cell.
I do require the construction of the organelles be done in class, and not brought in from some other source.
Research–1 day model construct–3 days (48 min. periods)
Write report–1 say practice/give cell tour–1 day each
Biology students give Life Science students a guided cell tour while I give credit for speaking, asking and answering questions, etc.

Subject: Biology:Cell Biology:Cell Structure
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Grade Level: High School (9-12)

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity is introduced in the beginning of the chapter on cells. I pick two groups from a hat and assign one group an animal cell while the other is given a plant cell.
Students are given a list of cell organelles and a report outline to follow. Research opportunities, model building materials and construction must be done in class.
This is a hands-on inquiry-based lab that the students are entirely in control of. They are assessed on participation, construction of organelle, accurate function of organelle and its relevance to other organelles in the report, and speaking parts while giving the "Cell Tours" to other classes.
I get permission from other teachers in my building to allow the Life Science students to come during Biology classes for the "Cell Tours"
Biology students introduce their "cell" and discuss each parts structure and function in an organized manner. Some groups dress alike and give quite a performance, as well as how each part works together as a whole unit for its survival.
Materials must be okayed ahead of time, and can not exceed the 9 M by 9 M size. (I fit 4 cells in back of my room)

Teaching Notes and Tips

-PVC pipe, sheets, paper, and packing tape are good materials for the cell membrane, but it has to be two layers.
-Paper mache, non-food items, balls, etc are good for the organelles.
-Have note cards available for the Cell Tour so students don't forget what to say.

-Have 7th graders write questions to bring on the cell tour before they can go on one.
-Parents and other teachers have been on our cell tours as well, it's fun for the students.
-Don't tape on paint that will chip, test beforehand.

Room can get noisy when all four cells have tours going on inside them, try to only have students touring in two of them at a time, a distance away from each other. It's harder to organize the tour schedules, but will pay off in better results and time for questions.


Individual points are given as follows:
10 pts for participation each day (must be working)
10 pts for function of organelle accuracy
10 pts for model accuracy
10 pts for speaking on cell tour
Group points are given for the final report.


IV.Life Science A. Cells 1-3
(grades 9-12)

References and Resources