Friday 28 September 2012

5 different ways of modelling animal cells

Early in the summer, one of my younger children announced that they wanted to know all about skeletons. I hadn't planned to study the human body with them in science, this year but since there was so much interest it seemed  a good time.  I previously worked as a physician so this is happy teaching for me.

So we have started and it seemed logical to start with the cell.

As the children are young (3 and 1/2 and almost 6) I wanted them to understand that physically we are made up of cells and what cells are so it seemed important to use models.

 We built a Duplo wall to show this that a structure can be made of smaller units. A Duplo wall is made up of Duplo and living things are made up of cells.

I drew a cell-not really a model but useful for explanations. One of the children wanted to draw their own although, in case you are wondering, this is my effort.

We made a pizza cell. Please note this is a model of an animal cell.
The tomato is the nucleus, the olives are mitochondria, the pepper centrioles, the onion represents the Golgi body, the cheese is supposed to be endoplasmic reticulum with pepper corns for ribosomes and the cucumber stands for lysosomes.

Previously, we have made cells using jelly to represent cytoplasm and with sweets to represent organelles. The advantage of this model is that it is three dimensional like a real cell.

We haven't made any other models recently but one of the other models was made by one of my older children, some years ago, for a school project. That was a chocolate model with dark chocolate as the cytoplasm and milk and white chocolate pipped on for organelles. Sadly, I don't think I have a picture.

Instructables has a fabric cell. I haven't tried to make this but it looks impressive.

I would love to know about other cell models.

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