Wednesday, November 21, 2012


We are wrapping up a unit on the human body and I wanted to end with a super fun, hands on activity that my partner teacher told me about.  To learn the parts of an animal cell I had the kids first make one out of paper and later in the day they made a three dimensional cell using jello, baggies, celery and black olives. The kids responded very well to all cell activities, I will definitely be doing this again!
  We started by first discussing each of the parts- what they look like and what their job is. 
I used both pictures (above) and words (below) in our discussion and had the kids read along with me. This lent itself great to a discussion on labeling (its hard to see by my cell -the yellow blob- is numbered and the cell parts are also numbered accordingly.)  At this point I had the kids do a vocabulary matching paper. It matched vocabulary to devfinition. They were allowed to use the poster and any other resource they needed and I told them they would be doing the same paper later in the day as an assessment.

It didn't take long before the kids were ready to dive into their own cell creation.  We started off by drawing the cytoplasm on white-ish paper and cutting it out. 

 They then glued their cytoplasm on the cell wall and traced around that paper to make sure the membrane was visible and larger than the cytoplasm.

One they had their membrane drawn on the paper, they cut it out and glued the cytoplasm and membrane together.

The next step was to add the mitochondria, 

and then finally the nucleus. 

 After lunch, I showed them the jello, baggies, celery and black olives and had them guess what each one represented. They then came up to the table and grabbed a membrane (baggie), filled it with cytoplasm (jello), tossed in 4 or 5 mitochondria (celery) and one nucleus (black olive.)

They were so pleased with their creations. I took pictures of them holding their cells for their portfolios and their smiles were so sweet. We definitely ended the day on a wonderful note. It was a good reminder to me to do more hands on, kinesthetic learning.

Now came the final assessment time! They had been discussing the cell parts all day and what their responsibilities are so it came as no surprise that they all did very well on their final vocabulary match up.
It was a wonderful end to a wonderful (brief) week. 
Happy Thanksgiving!!! 


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