To solidify students’ conceptualization of cells, students build a model of a cell in a ziplock bag using polyvinyl alcohol slime as cytoplasm. So far, students’ experience with cells has been 2 dimensional – diagrams and microscopic slides. The 3 dimensional nature of cells comes to life as students use everyday objects to represent the many parts of a cell. In addition, students can use this activity to develop a sense of scale, calculating how big a human would be if the ziplock bag cell model were really the size of a cheek cell.
Can build a three dimensional scale model of a cell.
Can name and describe the function of certain plant and animal cell organelles.
Can draw and label a picture of plant and animal cells.
Can recognize that all living things are made of cells.
Can use proportions and ratios to calculate the size of a person made of ziplock bag sized cells.
Can begin to use the metric system of measurement.
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)
Cytoplasm or cytosol