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The Cell: Basic Unit of Life

Subject Area: Science

Grade Level(s): 7

Duration of Activity: 3-5, 50-minute class periods

Description of Activity:

Students will access, analyze, and present information on plant and animal cells.

Objectives:

  • 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.

Materials/Equipment:

  • Computers
  • Computers with access to the Internet
  • Onion skin cells
  • Human cheek cells
  • Microscope slides
  • Cover slips
  • Eyedropper
  • Craft Stick
  • Tweezers
  • Water
  • FlexCam
  • Microscope(s)
  • 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.

Procedure

Teacher Component: The teacher will

  1. 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.
  2. use the wet mount slides to show the differences and similarities between plant and animal cells.
  3. 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.
  4. familiarize the students with the basics of Microsoft PowerPoint using Handout 3: The Cell—Microsoft PowerPoint Directions.

Student Activities: The student will

  1. prepare a wet mount of onion skin cells and cheek cells.
  2. view prepared slides of onion skin cells and human cheek cells under a microscope.
  3. draw each of the representative cells and label parts using Microsoft Paint or other appropriate software.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Accommodations:

  • If additional computers are needed, reserve a network lab.
  • Pair experienced technology students with those students who are less experienced.

Extension Activities:

Integration:

  • Language Arts
  • Technology
  • Art

Assessments:

  1. Handout 4: The Cell—Rubric

URLs:

Curriculum Frameworks

Mississippi:

Seventh Grade

  1. Compare and contrast structure and function in living systems. (L)
    1. Compare and contrast plant and animal cells through investigations.

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3,5)
  2. 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)

TerraNova:

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
marcdevenney@hotmail.com

Handout 1: The Cell—Wet Mount Directions Word Acrobat
Handout 2: The Cell—Scavenger Hunt Word Acrobat
Handout 3: Beginning PowerPoint skills Word Acrobat
Handout 4: The Cell: Rubric Word Acrobat
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