Lesson: Science

Title: What Are the Functions of Organelles?

Name: Ms. Laura Smith         

Date: Thursday (9/2/10) – Friday (9/3/10)              

Grade Level: Sixth




§        The students will identify the main functions of various organelles in plant and animal cells as well as the differences between these two cells.



§        The students will build either a plant or animal cell cookie that contains ingredients to represent the various organelles.

§        The students will write a “recipe” for building cell cookies by drawing both cookies with all of the ingredients and a conversion chart for what each ingredient represents.

§        The students will write the three main things that make plant cells different from animal cells:

1.     They have a cell wall.

2.     They have 1 large vacuole instead of many vacuoles.

3.     They have chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll.

§        The students explain how plant cells get their food and how animal cells get their food by writing a descriptive paragraph.


Indiana Academic Standards- Science

§        6.4.6 Distinguish the main differences between plant and animal cells, such as the presence of chlorophyll and cell walls in plant cells and their absence in animal cells.

§        6.4.1 Explain that one of the most general distinctions among organisms is between green plants, which use sunlight to make their own food, and animals, which consume energy-rich foods.



§        Time: (See time estimates in margin)

§        Materials:

1.     Science book

2.     “Club Cell” Materials

a.      Welcome Sign

b.     Streamers

c.      Lanyards for different organelles within the cell

d.     Hand stamp

3.     Cell Cookie Materials

a.      Plant cookies (rectangular) and animal cookies (circular)

b.     Frosting (4 containers)

c.      Gumdrops (44)

d.     Red Hots (88)

e.      Sprinkles (blue and green)

f.        Licorice (88 small pieces)

g.     M & M’s (66 regular and 22 peanut)

h.     Mini-marshmallows (88)

i.        Plastic forks

j.        Ziplock baggies

4.     Vocabulary logs

5.     Guided Practice- 44 copies

6.     Independent Practice- 44 copies

§        Space: The students will be seated at their desks throughout the lesson until their organelle is discussed.  Then, they will get out of their seat and help pass out the ingredients to put on the cookies that represent their organelle.

§        Behavior: The students will earn minutes of “Preferred Activity Time” on Friday for positive behavior and will lose minutes for negative behavior.


Text Box: 10
Anticipatory Set

Turn the classroom into “Club Cell”

§        Have a sign on the door to the room with streamers for the students to walk through upon entering it.

§        Stamp each students hand as they come in, giving them permission to “enter the cell”

§        Have each student take a lanyard with the name of an organelle and explain that, during the lesson, they represent that organelle within “Club Cell”

§        Once every student is seated and has a lanyard, proceed with the lesson.

§        Give all behavior management instructions for how the lesson will run for the next two days.


Text Box: 1 min.Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to identify the different parts of a cell and how they work together to make the cell function properly.  This is important to know because all living things are made of cells and their complexity can tell us a lot about how they grow and create new life.  In this lesson we will also learn the three differences between plant and animal cells, which will enable us to understand why these organisms are in separate kingdoms.


Text Box: 1hr.

Lesson- Pages 34-35

Have students open their books to lesson 2.  Find the word “organelle” and have the students write it in their vocabulary logs.  Read the definition of organelle as a class and have them write this as well as a “memory picture.”  Point out the diagram of the animal cell as well as the diagram of the plant cell and comment on the fast amount of organelles within them. Explain that we are going to do an activity that will help us remember all of these different organelles that enable both cells to function.  Be sure to tell the students that the lesson will take two days, so their cookie will have to go into a ziplock baggie overnight and will be eaten on Friday.


Guided Practice

Bring up the PowerPoint with slides for each organelle.  As each organelle is mentioned, have the students wearing the lanyards of that organelle stand and help pass out the ingredients for “Cell Cookies.”  While putting the ingredients on their cookie, the students will also complete an organizer with categories for the ingredient, which organelle it represents, and what that organelle does.  (The students will include all organelles in their chart, not just the ones for their cookie.)

§        Cell Membrane: 3 students; pass out 1 cookie to each student

o       Half of the students will have plant cell cookies while the other half will have animal cell cookies.

o       Explain that the cookie represents the outer layer of a cell, or its membrane.  It is the part of a cell that allows food to enter and wastes to exit.  Like the walls of “Club Cell,” the membrane decides who comes in and who goes out.

§        Cell Wall: no students

o       Point out that the shape of the cookies is different because plant cells contain a cell wall that keeps them rigid and rectangular.  (Remind students that Robert Hooke discovered the cell by looking at cork, dead tree cells, and said that they looked rectangular.)  Explain that animal cell cookies are round because animals do not have a cell wall.

§        Cytoplasm: 4 students;  pass out 1 plastic knife to each student with a glob of frosting

o       The students will spread frosting on their cookies to represent cytoplasm. Explain that cytoplasm is the fluid substance containing the organelles.  It lies between the nucleus and the cell membrane. Like the floor of “Club Cell,” the cytoplasm is what all of the organelles float around in.

§        Nucleus: Me; pass out one gumdrop to each student

o       The students will place the gumdrop in the center of their cookie. Explain that the gumdrop represents the center of the cell and is like the cell’s “brain.”  As the nucleus of Club Cell, I will explain that I am the director of our club and am responsible for telling everything in the cell what activity to do. Discuss how the nucleus contains the cell’s operating instructions and information that will be passed along to new cells.

o       Have the students record this word in their vocabulary logs.

§        Mitochondrion: 2 students; pass out 2 Red Hots to each student

o       The students will place the Red Hots on their cookie to represent mitochondria.  Explain that this organelle converts the chemical energy of food into a form that the cell can use.  (Have the students think "The Mitochondrion is RED HOT from all of its energy! It needs to convert it!”)

o       Have the students record this word in their vocabulary logs.

§        Ribosome: 4 students; put 1 shake of sprinkles on each student’s cookie

o       Explain that there are many ribosomes in the cell and they are very small, like sprinkles.  They begin the process of making proteins within the cell.

o       Have the students record this word in their vocabulary logs.

§        Endoplasmic Reticulum: 3 students; stay connected in a chain as they “transport” 2 small pieces of licorice to each student

o       The students will place the licorice on their cookie in a folded manner to represent the endoplasmic reticulum.  Explain how it serves as the cell’s transportation system and allows different parts of the cell to get to other parts more efficiently. 

o       Have the students record this word in their vocabulary logs.

§        Vacuole: 1 student; pass out 3 regular M & M’s to each student with an animal cell cookie and 1 peanut M & M to each student with a plant cell cookie

o       The students place their M & M’s on the cookie to represent either several vacuoles in the cell or one large vacuole.  Explain that the vacuole stores water and nutrients inside and helps the cell digest food.  (Have the students think about how an M & M “stores” chocolate.)

o       NOTE: Explain that the difference in each cell’s vacuoles is one of the major differences between plant and animal cells.

§        Lysosome: 3 students; give 2 mini-marshmallows to each student

o       The students will place the marshmallows on their cookie to represent a powerful substance that can break down harmful molecules.  Explain that this organelle also recycles worn-out cell parts.

§        Chloroplast: 1 student; put 1 shake of green sprinkles on all of the plant cell cookies

o       Explain that there are chloroplasts within a plant cell and that they contain chlorophyll, the substance that enables a plant to make food when sunlight hits it.

o       NOTE: Explain that the plant’s chloroplasts are the second major difference between plant and animal cells.



Allow the students to eat and enjoy their cell cookies.  Play a review game with the students by calling out an ingredient and having the students with lanyards representing that ingredient stand up and explain what their function is.  Also, remind the students of the three things that make plant and animal cells different by asking students to compare and contrast what makes their cookies different and which organelles they represent. (Venn Diagram on the overhead listing alike organelles and organelles unique to a certain cell.)


Independent Practice

The students will write a “recipe” by drawing each type of cell with all of its ingredients and will write a conversion chart explaining what each ingredient represents.  The students will also answer the questions on the back of the independent practice that review the contents of the past two days.


(Total Time = 1 hour 30 minutes)



§        Remediation

-R.V., Z. B., Z. H., K. C., and D. D. will be given a chart for guided practice that is partially filled in, as well as copies of the PowerPoint used.  These students will also be given partially filled-in worksheets for independent practice that do not require as much writing and reading.


§        Enrichment

All students will be given the option of receiving positive minutes for the whole class if they make cell cookies over the weekend (including all of the ingredients) and get a parent’s signature that they explained all of the organelles that the ingredients represent.



A PowerPoint presentation will be used during the lesson for the students to follow.



Student Assessment

§        Formative: I will observe student’s participation during the two-day lesson and will collect their guided practice charts to informally assess their ability to record all of the information.

§        Summative: I will collect each student’s independent practice and grade it for completion and accuracy.

§        1 point- drawing the cookies and labeling the ingredients

§        9 points- writing a complete and correct conversion chart that shows the relationship between ingredients and organelles

§        10 points- answering the review questions correctly.