Life Science

Cells can't be boring!!

Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:59 PM

Cells is a concept which is very hard to understand because it has many facts to learn. The most important thing is to start with an activity that will engage the students to the topic. In this case it will be a good idea to make a cell structure as a group. Cooperative learning and hands-on activities is very effective for students to understand the concept and apply it for later on activities. Cell is a complex topic but if we make it fun and interesting for the students eyes, they will put their effort to learn this topic. Of course that we need to maintain in consideration that we nee to assist the students if thy might have any misunderstanding during the process.

Brenda Guerra
Brenda Guerra
1860 Activity Points

Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:53 PM

I think it looks like fun to learn

Linda Ngo
Linda Ngo
2735 Activity Points

Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:26 PM

Yes! Cell might seem like a "borring" concept to your students when you are teaching it to them. Here is a video that might get your student to hook into it.

https://youtu.be/l44oNfxmIns

Mirta Beiza
Mirta Beiza
1240 Activity Points

Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:51 PM

I agree with you Cooperative learning and hands-on activities are the most effective ones when it comes to learning something, especially something complicated for students such as cells.

Roxana Rivas
Roxana Rivas
1310 Activity Points

Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:26 PM

Students love looking at their cheek cells under a microscope. It is so easy to scrape them off with a toothpick and put them on a slide. It is also easy to look at onion cells under a microscope with just a tiny piece of the onion skin. This allows students to see the difference between plant and animal cells.

Robin Willig
Robin Willig
5580 Activity Points

Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:14 PM

Brenda,
A little used resource that has some great ideas to use for Cells is in the "Advanced Search" option that the Learning Center has.
1] Go to the Tab "Learning Resources & Opportunities" at the top of the screen.
2) Then select "Advanced Search" on the left hand side of the screen.
3) In "Keyword" type "Cells", scroll down to "NSTA Collections", then hit "Search".
4) Especially check out some of the National Defense Education Program resources (NDEP) - Scroll down...I really like "Printing New Skin". These NDEP resources are wonderful to start a unit with, different and unique.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42660 Activity Points

Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:51 PM

I think building a hands on cell is a great idea. Another hook you could use is having the students look at their own cells under the microscope. They could also look at plant cells. Then they can make a list of similarities and differences. This would allow them to explore on their own (inquiry.. yay!).

TraciAnn Harada
TraciAnn Harada
1530 Activity Points

Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:03 AM

I was just thinking about having my students do this the other day, as I was driving, that is when I do my best thinking! I believe that having them look at their own cells would really be the hook for them! It was for me when we did it, when I was in 5th grade!!

Chelsea Hunt
Chelsea Hunt
780 Activity Points

Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:33 AM

We also use the Cell City analogy. We have the students list places in the city that equate the parts of the cell. Then they draw and label their creation.

www.cellsalive.com is a great website to use when you teach cell! All my students seem to think that all animal cells are round and plant cells are rectangular. Great way to bust that misconception.

Shannon Hudson
Shannon Hudson
2385 Activity Points

Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:33 PM

Currently I am putting together a unit in my master's program centered around cells and how they come together to produce a much larger organism. Thank you for the website as it has great information for teachers and students regarding cells as a living organism on its own.

Caitlin Stewart
Caitlin Stewart
1595 Activity Points

Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:58 PM

The website below also has a cool game the students could use to explore the cell

Your text to link here...

TraciAnn Harada
TraciAnn Harada
1530 Activity Points

Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:42 PM

I love teaching students about cells and having them learn using a hands-on experience. Creating a cell structure in groups would be a great idea to hook students. Looking at cells under a microscope is also a good idea that I would keep in mind.

BRITTANY MIRASOL
BRITTANY MIRASOL
1375 Activity Points

Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:55 PM

I will be teaching SPED Bio 9th grade for the second year -- time to request resources:

Would like recommendations on basic slides to have for exploring/understanding cells -(in addition to preparing slide of your own cheek cells,of course!)

Also, any slides that can be used for exploring other other bio concepts.)

Thanks in advance.

Edith Copeland
Edith Copeland
520 Activity Points

Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:30 PM

I agree, cells are a hard topic to teach but hands on activities can help students understand this topic easily. Students can create a cell out of material and label the each part. Of course, we can allow for some type of creativity as long as the concepts are right.

Christina Hernandez
Christina Hernandez
1880 Activity Points

Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:40 PM

I have actually been able to teach cells before and I agree when you say it is a lot of information and hard to understand, even for me. The easiest way I found to teach it was to create laminated cells for a group of children and guiding and working with them as we label it together. Students are able to see the different parts in color, and they are able to repeat it's name and where it is. They will then be able to see the end result when we are all done labeling and discussing. Always remember to include questioning and allow for student discussion.

Adilene Trevizo
Adilene Trevizo
1465 Activity Points

Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:53 PM

A fun way to make a plant cell diagram that students will enjoy is to make the cell using a Pizza as the base. In the attached file there is a description on how to make a plant cell out of pizza.

Attachments

Catherine Spitzer
Catherine Spitzer
2250 Activity Points

Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:29 AM

I always start cells with my ELLs with this great song and we watch it several times throughout the unit, the kids love it and it helps with several vocabulary words which is always a huge struggle, I have 16 out of 24 who are ells https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zafJKbMPA8
if it doesn't come up it is the cells rap on youtube, it is catchy and again my fifth graders love it, it says sixth grade on the video but any students who are struggling could benefit greatly from it. Good luck!

Tina Mathews
Tina Mathews
125 Activity Points

Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:10 AM

This is so fun! I love using songs to get kids engaged in the lesson. This really does help with vocabulary. The majority of the class I'm in at the moment is ELL's and this would be a great way to get them understanding also.

Erin Jasso
Erin Jasso
380 Activity Points

Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:20 PM

I teach it as well by having students swab their cheeks and having them compare to a plant cell under the microscope!

Carmen Cruz
Carmen Cruz
2125 Activity Points

Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:01 PM

I myself hated learning about cells. So this will be a very hard lesson for me to make engaging and fun. These were great ideas and tips that I may look into while teaching this lesson. Thank you so much!

Fozia Baig
fozia baig
800 Activity Points

Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:53 PM

Hi! Just back from #NSTA15 and I found the Cell Zone booth pretty cool. It had larger than life plastic models of a cell that you could adjust so that what you are seeing under the microscope is what your model on your lab bench looked like. Also, I love Amazing Cell menu at Learn.Genetics.

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/

Unfortunately there is a lot of flash so iPads are out. Their mini-labs and interactives rock.

Emily Keeter
Emily Keeter
2530 Activity Points

Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:28 PM

Thanks everyone for all of the good links and resources. I teach non-majors so any thing I can do to make cells more interesting is helpful. I find the more I am engaged the more they will follow suit.

Sarah Powell
Sarah Powell
580 Activity Points

Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:31 PM

Cells are fun! but there is a lot to learn and so many structures. I was recently at a science conference where i learned about an awesome app that brings print to life on an ipad! The app is called colAR MIx and you can go to their website and print out various images, one of which is a cell. The students may color the paper, and when you use the app to look at the piece of paper they colored, it becomes 3D on the screen. its pretty awesome. A fun activity to look at cells.

Krystal Clover
Krystal Clover
455 Activity Points

Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:34 AM

Cells is a more complex idea for students to grasp especially young minds who are still wrapping their mind around life science. Here's a useful website that I found that has engaging activities to help elementary students with the concept of cells http://www.kathimitchell.com/cells.html.

Erika Jackson
Erika Jackson
1690 Activity Points

Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:50 PM

Shaterika Beasley
Shaterika Beasley
1045 Activity Points

Sat May 02, 2015 5:24 PM

My fifth graders just did an experiment involving yeast, sugar, warm water, water bottles, and balloons. Essentially, the sugar and warm water allow the yeast to grow and release a gas which inflates the balloon on top of the water bottle. This began the conversation about cells and what is needed in order for cells to live. We will be moving into the different systems within the body this week. They loved the experiment and it brought about a great discussion!

Hannah Chacon
Hannah Chacon
495 Activity Points

Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:19 PM

Wow these are some great ideas!

Robert Harvey
Robert Harvey
935 Activity Points

Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:14 AM

I think cells can be intimidating because there is so much to learn about them but they can't be boring. I like the idea of using a hands on activity to introduce the students to cells. They could make their own cells, each with the correct makeup, so they can visualize what cells look like. I think another cool option would be to look at slides under a microscope of other cells from plants and even the students cheek cells to compare what comprises each. Cells are a cool topic to introduce to the students because they make up every living thing!

Carly Deeter
Carly Deeter
1620 Activity Points

Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 AM

Hi Brenda,
Cells are most certainly not boring! Here are some videos demonstrations you might find useful. These videos come from a YouTube channel I have been developing called FunScienceDemos. The demonstrations cover a variety of topics and all adhere to the common core standards. They can easily be incorporated into your lesson and will make learning science engaging for your students! Check it out and subscribe to our channel as we regularly release new videos.
Cells Tissues and Organs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_eq4Ks0HTE
Life is Made of Cells!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMBh7PaJxNU
Best,
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D.,
Temple University

George Mehler
George Mehler
695 Activity Points

Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:31 PM

This is a very dry topic to teach. Thank god for all of the helpful and great suggestions!

Dejuanica Henry
Dejuanica Henry
1065 Activity Points

Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:00 PM

This is an awesome collection that was shared with me by a colleague. There are some really great resources in this collection that would be great to use in the classroom and that are incredibly informative.



http://learningcenter.nsta.org/mylibrary/collection.aspx?id=qZqTx5QqUR8_E

Sarah Embree
Sarah Embree
1340 Activity Points

Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:20 PM

Hi Brenda,

I recently covered the topic of cells in my AP and Honors/Standard class. I adapted an assignment that is readily available online called Organelle Wars. In general, students are assigned to a groups of 2-3 students and work together to "campaign" for an organelle that they choose or you assign to them. Their goals include creating campaign aids (poster, videos, PSAs), creating brochures, and smear campaigns against the other organelles. This is all done to answer one question, "what is the most important organelle?" Throughout the process students are allowed to use a school created twitter account to campaign for their organelle. In addition, students are required to attract as many "guests" to the campaign speeches and are free to hand out campaign tokens in order to increase votes; examples include stickers, cookies, etc. Students are very engaged and are very dedicated to winning the campaign. When working through this project with all of my classes I noticed the same amount of work dedication and quality in AP as I observed in my honors and standard classes. It's a great project and I believe can easily be adapted to fit the needs of your students. Here is a link for you to review if you are interested in revisiting this concept later or for future use. Good luck!
http://elearn.mpls.k12.mn.us/students/pluginfile.php/166365/...20Wars.pdf

Gary Wright
Gary Wright
40 Activity Points

Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:13 PM

I really love the sound of this Organelle Wars activity. I may have to use this in my own class!

Laura Evans
Laura Evans
340 Activity Points

Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:40 PM

All of these are great ideas. I love the idea of them making a model of the cell. What would be a good way to introduce the cell to students for the first time? What is a quick and easy activity that can be used to get their attention before the lesson?

Channing McBride
Channing McBride
340 Activity Points

Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:29 PM

Not sure if anyone mentioned this resource but, Amazing Cells on the Learn Genetics Utah website is an incredibly useful way to help reinforce student learning on cells.  It is also useful for Genetics topics.  http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/

Nichelle Williams
Nichelle Williams
2865 Activity Points

Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:00 PM

I, personally, like learning about cells. I think it's a really cool and interesting topic, especially if the lessons are hands-on and interactive. Once your students get into the lesson, they will be really into the topic.  

Jaida Bennett
Jaida Bennett
3660 Activity Points

Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:05 AM

Great idea!! Run with this, and integrate various cell types in order to demonstrate their differences.  I think even dissecting some plant cells along with small animal cells, such as a worm, would be intriguing to students.  Kinesthetically,  they would be able to have the full learning hands-on experience; putting abstract thoughts and information into a concrete perspective.  I think the trick to making this experience meaningful to students is how "scientifically invigorating" you enrich the presentation of the information; in dressing up, word choice, props and visual tools, and involvement of all students.

Alexsandra Batard
Alexsandra Batard
965 Activity Points

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