For the past couple of weeks the 5th grade has been studying plant and animal cells as part of their life science unit. Students have learned about the unified cell theory that states that all living things are made up of one or more cells. Moving past just the surface of this cell study, students then
learned about what makes up a plant and an animal cell. In comparing and contrasting the two different cells the students were then able to determine why these differences in cells exist and what application they have.
Students extended their lesson on cells with the use of project based learning. They were required to create a model of both a plant and animal cell. Not just any model though, a 3D model that provided some more “depth” of knowledge to the project. Take a look at the video and you can see the students creativity given a chance to shine. There were many different types of materials used to make the cells, some were even edible!
The students were then able to share their models and explain to some of the visitors, like the kindergartners and 1st graders, what the models represented. Their explanations included a rich, content specific vocabulary with words like vacuole, chloroplasts, mitochondria, nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, and cytoplasm. The students were beaming with pride to show off their work. This will be a project, and lesson, they will remember for a long time.