Animal Cell Anatomy

Animal Cell Anatomy Lesson Plan

What is inside an animal cell? Illustrate the anatomy in sparkling detail.

  • 1.

    A cell is the basic unit of life. Have students Research the parts of an animal cell. How do animal cells differ from plant cells?

  • 2.

    Students draw a model of an animal cell using different colors of Metallic Crayons and Metallic Colored Pencils to draw each part. Label the cell parts in the model.

  • 3.

    Students compare the animal cell drawing with their classmates. How are the models similar? What are the differences? How can the drawing be altered to make it a model of a plant cell?


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
  • SCI: Support an argument that plants get the materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Plant and Animal Cells: Understanding the Differences Between Plant and Animal Cells by Judy Yablonski; Powerful Plant Cells (Microquests) by Rebecca L. Johnson; Ultra-Organized Cell Systems (Microquests) by Rebecca L. Johnson
  • Students write a 1-2 sentence definition for each of the significant parts of the animal cell.
  • Students investigate the make-up of a plant cell and create a drawing of it to assist with illustrating the differences between a plant cell and an animal cell. Include a 1-2 sentence definition for each significant part of the plant cell.
  • Students investigate photosynthesis. How do the plant cells use this process to survive?
  • Students examine both cell types. In small groups, students discuss how sunlight, air, and water assist with survival of organisms created from these types of cells.