4. Seeing Cells - Logistics

45-75 min introduce the parts of a cell and their functions
Optional: 10-15 min discuss microscope parts and usage
5-10 min demonstrate proper procedures for making slides
45-90 min make slides, look at cells, create diagrams, and answer questions
10-15 min discussion and review

Teams of 2.


  • A copy of plant and animal cell coloring diagrams (see Sources for several ways to obtain cell coloring diagrams)
  • A copy of the Seeing Cells lab handout for each student
  • Transparency or photocopies of the Cell Images page for the final discussion
  • Overhead projector
  • Assortment of colorful transparency markers
  • Colored pencils
  • 1 compound light microsope for every 2 students
  • 3 glass or plastic slides for every 2 students
  • 3 glass or plastic cover slips for every 2 students
  • Iodine
  • Methylene blue (0.25% solution, available from aquarium stores for the treatment of fungal infections in fish or at science supply companies such as Carolina Biological catalog # 87-5911, $9 for 25 ml).
  • Tap water
  • Eye droppers
  • Half of a red onion chopped into 1 cm x 1 cm or smaller pieces
  • Several Elodea plants (available from aquarium stores)
  • Flat toothpicks
  • Optional: images of other kinds of cells (For best collection of images of cells, see the Cells Alive website and particularly the cells image gallery)