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Cells and Organelles


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Keywords: Cell, Cell Parts, Organelles, Function, Common Craft
Subject(s): Life Science
Grades 6 through 8
School: Pleasant Valley Middle School, Wichita, KS
Planned By: S
Original Author: Rebecca Strand, Wichita
Cells have different parts called organelles. In order to understand cells at a deeper level, students will need to know about these organells and their functions.
This is what you can print out for students so they have the information. Also print out a picture of a cell with labeled parts.
Part 1: Read through the following parts and look at a picture of a cell.
A cell is the smallest part of any living thing. There are many parts of a cell. Each part of a cell completes a certain function for the cell.
All cells include the following parts:

Cell Membrane - forms the outer boundary of the cell and allows only certain materials to move into or out of the cell
Cytoplasm - a gel-like material inside the cell; it contains water and nutrients for the cell
Nucleus - directs the activity of a cell; it contains chromosomes with the DNA
Nuclear Membrane - separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm
Endoplasmic Reticulum - moves materials around in the cell
Ribosomes - make protein for the cell
Golgi Bodies - are used for packaging and secreting of energy
Mitochondria - break down food and release energy to the cell
Lysosomes - are chemicals used to digest waste
Vacuoles - are storage areas for the cell

Some organelles are found only in Plant cells. These organelles are:

Cell Wall - provides structure to the plant cell
Chloroplasts - contain chlorophyll that is make food for the plant cell
Part 2: Design your cell in groups.
Now that you have read through the cell parts and looked at the picture, here is what we are going to do. In our teams of three to four, we are going to split up the cell organelles. Each of us will construct organelles out of materials that we bring from home, it could be anything from paper clips to yarn, to dry noodles, or beans. If you don't want students to bring anything from home, just have them design cell organelles on construction paper.

Part 3:Common craft video: Go to commoncraft.com to see an example before you have the kids do a video. Also create your own example so the students know what to expect.
Students will tape a background piece of white paper to a table. With a flip video camera on a tripod, set it up so the video shows the white background. Students will begin building their cell by sliding their cell organelles (that they created in part 2) into the view of the camera. Do this one organelle at a time, while each student takes a turn describing their cell part and what it does.
Part 4: Show short videos to the class. This reinforces the learning over and over again. Or, if you want, make it a video contest and the best video gets to be shown to the class.

Links: Link to Common Craft
Materials: Flip Video, Portable, Tripods