Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Cells and supports the standard of recognizing the structure and function of cells. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Tell students that all living things are made up of cells. Ask:

  • What are some things you know about cells? 
  • What do you wonder about cells?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Cells topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Mythes” “Q & A,” or “In Practice” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about cells while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Make a movie explaining the features that help us tell different cells apart. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying the components of a cell and their different jobs. (Essential Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
  • Creative Coding: Code a game where players sort features of cells into whether they apply to all cells, or only some cells. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze the image of cells taken by an electron microscope and answer the accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate content presented in diverse media)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Cells Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Cells Quiz.  

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of cells with these topics: Cell Specialization and Cell Structures

Additional Support Resources:

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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