The Cell: Basic Unit of Life
Duration of Activity:
3-5, 50-minute class periods
Description of Activity:
Students will access, analyze, and present information on plant and animal cells.
- Students will identify the parts of a plant and an animal cell.
- Students will describe the function of each cell part.
- Students will compare and contrast plant and animal cells.
- Students will create a multimedia presentation illustrating the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.
- Computers with access to the Internet
- Onion skin cells
- Human cheek cells
- Microscope slides
- Cover slips
- Craft Stick
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Paint
- Floppy disk, 1 per student
- Handout 1: The Cell—Wet Mount Directions
- Handout 2: The Cell—Scavenger Hunt (available online at http://www.quia.com/sh/5300.html)
- Handout 3: The Cell—Microsoft PowerPoint Directions
- Handout 4: The Cell—Rubric
Prerequisites (skills or background needed):
- Teacher will need a basic understanding of Microsoft Paint and Microsoft PowerPoint software programs.
- Students will need background information on plant and animal cells.
The teacher will
- demonstrate how to prepare a wet mount of onion skin cells and cheek cells. See: Handout 1: The Cell—Wet Mount Directions. The students will view the teacher’s demonstration of preparing a wet mount via the FlexCam.
- use the wet mount slides to show the differences and similarities between plant and animal cells.
- prepare a scavenger hunt to be conducted on the World Wide Web or use Handout 2: The Cell—Scavenger Hunt available at http://www.quia.com/sh/5300.html. The scavenger hunt will help the students understand the function of each cell part.
- familiarize the students with the basics of Microsoft PowerPoint using Handout 3: The Cell—Microsoft PowerPoint Directions.
The student will
- prepare a wet mount of onion skin cells and cheek cells.
- view prepared slides of onion skin cells and human cheek cells under a microscope.
- draw each of the representative cells and label parts using Microsoft Paint or other appropriate software.
- search for information on each cell part and its function by participating in an Internet scavenger hunt. Use Handout 2: The Cell-Scavenger Hunt or one created by the teacher.
- use the information learned in this unit to prepare and present a Microsoft
PowerPoint presentation on the similarities and differences of plant and animal cells.
- If additional computers are needed, reserve a network lab.
- Pair experienced technology students with those students who are less experienced.
- Language Arts
- Handout 4: The Cell—Rubric
- Compare and contrast structure and function in living systems. (L)
- Compare and contrast plant and animal cells through investigations.
National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):
- Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3,5)
- Design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and outside the classroom. (4,5,6)
21 Life Science (Level 11-21/22)
Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of life science. Apply life science knowledge to investigations and real-world contests.
Through text, diagrams, and drawings, provide explanations of life science concepts and principles.
Link and Feedback to Author(s):
Marc De Venney, New Hope Middle School, Columbus, MS