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Animal Cell Anatomy

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

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    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?
  • Standards

    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.

  • Adaptations

    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.


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