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.


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?


  • 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: APPLY and ASSESS 

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


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 that answers this question: What features help us to tell different cells apart?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying the components of a cell and their different jobs. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a game where players sort features of cells into whether they apply to all cells, or only some cells.
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze the image of cells taken by an electron microscope and answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore

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

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments