In this lesson Meredith Williams, Boxlight MimioMaster, shares how she used the MyStemKits Cells: Plant Kit and Cells: Animal Kit to help her students review key concepts.
Comparing Plant and Animal Cells
- MyStemKits Cells: Animal Kit
- MyStemKits Cells: Plant Kit
- cards: one set showing organelle, one set showing function
Grade level: 8
Objectives: Students will -
- Compare the similarities between animal cell and plant cell organelles
- Identify the different organelle functions of both animal and plant cells
Time frame: one class session
Supplies per group of 3 - 4 students
- Set of cells and functions cards
- Set of 3D printed animal cells, plant cells
*For a description of these cell kits, watch the video:
This Comparing Animal and Plant Cells is aligned to:
- SC.6.L.14.4 Compare and contrast the structure and function of major organelles of plant and animal cells, including cell wall, cell membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles.
- Also see Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) MS-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Students were arranged in small groups. Groups had to visit two stations and complete an activity at each. Station 1 was a card sort in which students worked together to match the organelle to the specific function. Station 2 was focused on building and comparing plant and animal cells using the 3D printed materials. Along with accomplishing each station task, students needed to use the information acquired at the station to complete their lab sheets.
Results and Feedback
By completing both the card sort and cells identification activity using the 3D printed materials, students were able to visualize the organelle and see how they interact to keep the cell alive, similar to what our organs do within our bodies.
The 3D printed materials were a huge hit with all the students! They were eager to build the cells, working together to complete the task. As I walked the room, I heard many students say, “This is so cool!,” “Wait...this is what’s inside of us? Wow!” It was amazing!
Generally, it can be difficult for students to understand cells because it’s not an object anyone can easily see. To fully understand that cells are the foundation of life, this tiny object is a challenging concept. The MyStemKits cell kits give students an interactive, hands-on experience that helps to reinforce these concepts. While students could view cells under a microscope, having objects to pick up, look at closely, and analyze enhances the experience.
Overall, this lesson was a success for everyone involved.
About the Author: Meredith Williams, an 8th grade science teacher at Freedom Middle School (Orlando, FL), specializes in integrating MimioSTEM solutions in her science instruction. To encourage her students to think critically and creatively about problems through science exploration, Williams incorporates a variety of 3D-printed manipulatives, so her students have something hands-on to observe, analyze, and form ideas around. Williams also regularly implements and provides feedback on MyStemKits lessons and activities, which she uses in conjunction with her 3D printer.
For a free trial of the award-winning MyStemKits lesson platform, go to mimio.boxlight.com/mystemkits.