Animal Cell Lesson Plan

I find young children, especially boys (or at least my little boys) need to touch things and explore things hands on to really enjoy the process of learning.  I can teach my children about the cell with beautiful diagrams and books, but until they are a part of the process of learning they don't fully engage.  My children loved building the model of a cell.  We, unfortunately were not patient enough to wait for our model magic to dry, so our cell cross sections ended up blending together.  The kids LOVED this project! 
Here is a picture of a beautiful cross section cell made from model magic.  The maker of this cell waited until it dried before cutting it and the results are wonderful.  Detailed instructions can be found on this website:  I chose to modify the activity a bit for the younger children and focussed on what was different in an animal cell versus a plant cell.
Here is a link to a free printable of the animal cell for reference:
Here are some other great ideas of animal cell projects you might want to try:
This is an animal cell made with candy and jello.  The website has great ideas and detailed instructions for this project.
If you are considering doing this as a group you might want to try it in individual clear plastic cups.  I have a friend that did this at her co-op with her class and it worked great.  She just made the jello in the cups before class and had the kids pop in the candy in class.

Or, how about an animal cell pizza?  I love this idea!!  Check out this website for details and few other great ideas.
Maybe a cake for desert?  Don't you just love all these creative ideas!  I hope when we revisit this lesson I will be motivated to do even more.  I hope you enjoy these ideas!

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