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Community Cell

Subjects: Arts & Humanities: Visual Arts; Science: Life Sciences
Grades: 6-8

Brief Description

This activity is designed to introduce students to the parts and functions of the cell. This kinesthetic lesson will engage all types of learners.


Students learn about the parts and functions of an animal cell.


biology, cells, cell structure, organelles

Materials Needed

For the class: dark felt cut into a circle measuring 16 to 18 inches, spray adhesive
Per student group:

  • pieces of felt in a variety of colors cut into 1-to 2-inch squares
  • scissors
  • tag board
  • glitter
  • markers
  • student-researched materials on cells
  • neon-colored sticky notes
  • plastic or paper bag

Lesson Plan

Before the lesson: Students use library, media, or Web sources to research information about cells. Some suggested Web sites:

  1. Discuss the meanings of the words organelle and cell. Students can share information gathered from research sources and/or from the suggested Web sites above.
  2. Organixe students into cooperative groups of three or four.
  3. Place the large dark felt circle on a chalkboard or wall. Say "This circle represents the smallest unit of life. It has many functions, and together we are going to build a model of the human cell."
  4. Distribute task cards to each group. The task cards are neon-colored sticky notes with the name of a specific organelle written on each one.
  5. Distribute a small bag of supplies to each group: glitter, scissors, square felt, markers, tag board.
  6. Say "Working with your group, create a model of your assigned organelle. Look through your research materials to find a picture of the organelle. Using only the materials found in your bag, your group must construct a model of your organelle. On your tag board, clearly write the function and the name of your assigned organelle."
  7. Let one group at a time come to the board or wall. Using the spray adhesive, have each group place its organelle within the large circular cell. One member from each group recites the name of the organelle and its function(s). Students sitting at their desks use separate paper to draw and label each organelle as it is presented to the class.


Observe cooperative group behavior. Grade students for class participation, presentation of organelles, and copies of cell model.

Submitted By

Kimberly Emanuel, Union Grove Middle School, McDonough, Georgia

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