Micro-Structures of Animals - What's In A Cell?

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Students will understand what a cell is and what its structures and functions are.

Big Idea

This lesson is designed to give students a basic understanding of the cell, its structure, and function.

RAP - Review and Preview

3 minutes

I call students to the gathering area. I remind them that we have been looking at macro-structures of animals for the past few lessons. Today we are going to turn to the micro-structures that make up animals. I ask students what they think this micro-structure might be. Most students make the connection to cells immediately.

I tell them that I am going to front-load them with a whole bunch of information about cells and animal cell structures so that we can move on to some more hands-on learning. It will be important to know all the names before we do these activities. I tell them that they will not have to memorize the cell structures, but will use their diagram as a reference throughout the next few lessons.

Guided Instruction

35 minutes

I have students return to their desks and hand out a copy of an animal cell diagram and a 10-flap flap book template. We will fill in the labels as I teach about them.  We will also make a cell structure flap book as we go through the different structures and their functions. I will have students color each structure in the cell a different color and write the name of each cell structure on their flap book in the corresponding color. I show students an exemplar so they know what is expected of them as we work through this information-heavy lesson.

I go through the Cell PowerPoint. We look at each structure, locate it on the diagram and talk about each structure. Students color each part of the cell in a different color and label the flap book flap with the same color. I give time for students to write notes as I give them the function of each structure.

Wrap Up

3 minutes

I reiterate that animal cells are one type of cell. Plant cells have a substantially different structure, but we are not learning about them right now. I have students brainstorm different types of cells that we might find in an animal. We make a class chart together. 


2 minutes

Assessment of student understanding is done through evaluating thoroughness of notes and diagram labeling. Notes should include important details for each component and be neat and readable. Diagram labels must be neat, precise, and spelled correctly.