Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hands-on Cell Structure Activity

Hands-on Cell Structure Lesson

Here is a fun way to introduce cell structure to your children. It can also be used in a co-op situation, but then the instructor must have a variety of items available for use. Wear old clothes or an apron, and do it outside or in an easy-to-clean place!

After reading about cell structure on a site like Rader's Biology4Kids or in a book like Eyewitness Life, review the various parts of a cell, either plant or animal. Then, give each child a heavy-duty plastic bag with a zipper top.

Have the child search your junk drawer or desk drawer to find a small object to represent each organelle.Make a chart and write the function of each organelle, which types of cell it's in, and what your child used to represent each part. Be careful about using sharp objects! When you have assembled your cells, add a cup of corn syrup, cooking oil or clear dishwashing liquid to it to represent the cytoplasm.

Keep your potentially messy models for a few days to use as memory aids. Take photos when they get too messy to be carried around.
These make great pictures for those end-of-the-year portfolios, or to send to grandparents who wonder exactly what you do all day.
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