Life-Sized Cell … really!

The Felt Animal Cell pattern is now on my Etsy shop. YAY!

Etsy Shop: 

In Module 6 of Exploring Creation with Biology there are 45 vocabulary words.  Yes, you read that correctly 45.  After my students picked themselves up from the floor, I explained to them that most of the words are pieces parts of the plant or animal cell.   These words are easily understood when you take time to learn the about the cell.

  • Mitochondria – powerhouse of the cell. Energy!  This is where nutrients are turned into energy.
  • Waste vacuoles – Vacuoles (hole).  Waste – we all know what that is, right?  Waste Vacuoles – A vacuole that contains waste to be removed from the cell.
  • Cytoskeleton – We all know what a skeleton does. Stringy fibers that hold the cell’s shape.

See, easy-peasy.  Forget about the flash cards for this module.  Just study the cell and most of the vocabulary is easily understood.  Then the student can work harder on the vocabulary that isn’t so easily understood like Endoplasmic reticulum  and Lysosome.

To get the students actively involved in studying each part of the cell for this module, I had them doing three fun hands-on activities.

First was coloring.  Yes, coloring.  Who doesn’t love to color!?  Oh right, my son.  Well he is not in the class.   Several years ago I bought The Biology Coloring Book and The Zoology Coloring Book.  Both of these books are way beyond this class, but each have several pages that I love.  The cell is one of those pages.

The coloring pages are given out the first week.  This starts the kids learning the parts of the cell.

The second week, the kids build a Life-Sized Cell.  Out of felt. 😀  This is unannounced. I like surprises in my classroom.

Step one, give all students a baggie with organelles inside and name written on the baggie.  Students do not pick which organelle they get.  Why let a lazy student pick the easiest organelle?  Yes, I am mean that way.

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Step two, give them five minutes to look up the function of that organelle.

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Step three:  Call on students to place the organelle on the LIFE-SIZED cell and tell the class its function.  First call on the student who has the Plasma membrane, then the student who has the cytoplasm.  The rest can be in just about any order.

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At the end of this activity, the students have done several things to help their awesome brains.

  1. Shock their brains awake by having to actually open their textbooks and look something up.
  2. READ the function of the organelle. No student wants to embarrass themselves by not knowing what their organelle does.
  3. Speak out loud the function, while placing the organelle in the proper area of the cell.
  4. Listen to other students and learned from them. This is a nice change, because it gets boring to hear the teacher go on and on and on and….  You know what I mean.

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I kept telling the students this is a life-sized cell.  They kept arguing with me that it wasn’t.  They never did believe me.  I thought students believed everything their teacher said.   Hurumffff!

Pattern is now available at  Appliejuice Etsy shop.

So, this gives you two activities for studying the cell.  First, learn the organelles.  Second, learn the organelles and functions.  Third, come back tomorrow and see what we did.

Think this is a waste of time?  You’ll see…


8 responses to “Life-Sized Cell … really!

  1. Love your ideas. I don’t plan on ever teaching Biology again, but who knows? So I pinned this. 🙂 🙂

  2. I LOVE this!! I might order one…let me know the price when you do it! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas! I am also teaching this class to a group of students but we are running about one module behind you so I love seeing what you have done. I would love to buy your pattern for the “life sized” cell. Thanks for taking the time to do it!


  4. Thank you Erin and Shannon. I am working hard on the pattern and my tester/editor will probably get it tomorrow (I hope). I will let you know. I haven’t decided on the price yet. I will post when it is available for purchase. Blessings! And thank you for helping me pay off my children’s braces. 😀

  5. I LOVE the Giant Cell Game!! We use it every year and its always a big hit! If I can find a picture, I’ll post it! =)
    Thanks to many of your ideas, Michelle, my class is a big hit and a fun learning experience! Couldn’t do it without you!! =)

  6. I love it! i pinned it too, at my -org account.

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