Lesson: Science

Title: The Cell Theory

Name: Ms. Laura Smith

Date: Wednesday (9/1/10)                      

Grade Level: Sixth




§        The students will learn the history of the cell and denote critical individuals involved in the major discoveries related to it.



§        The students will complete a three-column chart to help them remember what each scientist accomplished and how the Cell Theory was developed.

§        The students will examine the timeline on page 33 of the text and create their own “History of a Cell” timeline using the conversion “1 inch = half a century”

§        The students will create mnemonic devices to remember the names of each major individual related to the history of the cell.

§        The students will discuss how scientists investigate the cell and identify the processes that allow them to study cells further and have their findings become accredited. 


Indiana Academic Standards- Science

§        6.1.2 Give examples of different way scientists investigate natural phenomena and identify processes all scientists use, such as collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations, in order to make sense of the evidence.


Integration- Language Arts

§        6.2.4 Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, notes, diagrams, summaries, or reports


Integration- Mathematics

§        6.5.1 Select and apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure length, area, volume, weight, time, temperature, and the size of angles.



§        Time: (See time estimates in margin)

§        Materials:

1.     Science Text

2.     “THIS JUST IN!” newsletter (half sheet)- 22 copies

3.     “Cell Theory” PowerPoint

4.     PowerPoint slides for remediation- 5 copies

5.     Graphic organizer- 44 copies

6.     12” Construction paper- 22 copies

7.     Colorers

§        Space: The students will work at their desks during the lesson.  While working on the timeline, the students will be permitted to move around the room to a comfortable location but will not distract other students.

§        Behavior: The students will work independently during today’s lesson and will be expected to pay attention and complete assignments in a timely fashion.  If behavior becomes an issue, the class will lose minutes of Preferred Activity Time (P.A.T.)


Text Box: 4
Anticipatory Set

Give each student a newsletter from the year that the cell was first discovered- 1655, and title it “THIS JUST IN!”  Have the students read the newsletter explaining how Robert Hooke discovered the cell and what his ideas were about it. 


Text Box: 1 min.Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to learn the history of the cell and understand the Cell Theory, which is comprised of three simple statements about the importance of cells.  By learning this, it will be easier to study cells because we will recognize how important they are.


Text Box: 55


§        Show the PowerPoint on Cell Theory and have the students fill out a three-column graphic organizer.

§        While showing the PowerPoint and discussing it, walk around the room and observe the students as they fill out their graphic organizers, correcting or explaining when necessary. 

§        As an extension to the text, discuss spontaneous generation and why scientists were led to believe in it for awhile.  Furthermore, discuss why it is no longer accepted as a theory for how life and cells emerge.


Guided Practice

§        Once the students have completed their organizer, have them examine the timeline on page 33 of the text.

o       Describe the timeline and ask questions related to it such as,

1.     When was the nucleus discovered, and by whom?

2.     How many years separated Leeuwenhoek’s observations from Robert Brown’s discovery of the nucleus?

3.     When were microscopes similar to the ones we use today invented?

o       Show the students how to create a timeline using the width of a ruler and marking off inch-long segments.

o       Have the students create their own timeline showing the history of the cell using the conversion “1 inch = half a century”

o       Have the students draw a simple picture or write a simple mnemonic device to remember the names of individuals related to significant discoveries on their timelines.

o       Have the students color their timeline.



Have the students share what they learned about the cell that they did not know before.  Review the ideas from the PowerPoint by asking questions such as,

1.     What led to the discovery of the cell? How do you think each scientist was able to get their ideas heard and accepted?

2.     Why do you think there was such a big gap in cell-discovery during the 1700’s?

3.     What are the three components of the cell theory?  Who proposed each component and why are they important to understand?

4.     What mnemonic devices did you think of to help you remember the names of each scientist and their discoveries related to the cell?


Independent Practice

The students will complete their cell timeline and mnemonic devices.


(Total Time = 60 minutes)



§        Remediation

The students who struggle with reading or who have an I.E.P will be given copies of the PowerPoint slides to help complete the graphic organizer as well as study for the unit test.


§        Enrichment

The students who excel at making the timeline will be asked to research cell discoveries since 1953, add them to their timeline and share them with the class.



For the lesson presentation, a PowerPoint show will replace reading the text and will provide students with a stimulating visual and succinct outline of the significant discoveries related to the development of the Cell Theory.



Student Assessment

§        Formative: I will observe student’s participation during the lesson and monitor their responses during closure to evaluate how well they understood the material.

§        Summative:  I will collect each student’s timeline and grade it for completeness and inclusion of the 10 major events in the history of the cell (10 pts.). 



§        “This Just In” newsletter information


§        “The Cell Theory” PowerPoint