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This lesson provided by:
Author:Leigh Evans
System: Jasper City
School: West Jasper Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 33101

Make your Holidays Ornamentally Cellular


During the holidays, the students will use clear ornaments and other craft materials to create plant and animal cells. They will be able to identify the parts of the cell and identify its functions. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

Content Standard(s):
IL(K-12) 3. The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
SC(5) 7. Identify common parts of plant and animal cells, including the nucleus, cytoplasm, and cell membrane.
TC2(3-5) 2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
TC2(3-5) 12. Create a product using digital tools.
Local/National Standards:

5-PS3-1. Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. [Clarification Statement: Examples of models could include diagrams and flow charts.]

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will assemble the parts of a cell using materials that represent each of the cell's components. They will be able to follow directions and generalize from given information. Students will draw conclusions and compare and contrast the animal and plant cells parts.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Use of technology for submission of assessment

Ability to think creatively and apply concepts

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

2 Clear ornaments per student

Plastic wrap

Pipe cleaners

Multi-sized & multi-colored pompom balls

Scissors & pencil (each student)

Textbook with photos of plant and animal cells (or other option for student observation)

iPad (optional)

Technology Resources Needed:

iPad w/EduCreations app


Students should be aware of the basic parts of both the plant and the animal cell and their differences.

Students should have knowledge of the function of the cell parts.


(Student area needs to be free from debris. Have them lay their jackets on their desks to provide a soft space to work because the ornaments could roll on the floor and break).

1. Provide the students with 2 clear ornaments. They will gently remove the ornament hanger (will pop right off).

2. Lay out materials in a central location.

3. Display Essential Question: How can you use these materials to create a replica of an animal cell and a plant cell?

4. Teacher will facilitate the students' learning and imagination with probing questions.

  • What could the plastic wrap represent in the cell? (cytoplasm)
    • Students will tear off a piece of the plastic wrap and using their pencil, insert it into the cells.
  • How big is the vacuole in the plant cell vs. the animal cell? Which pom pom ball will best represent the vacuole in the plant cell? Why is it so large? What best represents this in the animal cell?
  • Using the pipe cleaner, cut in half and bend in a zig zag shape. Ask the students, "Can you see which cell part this resembles? This looks like an "M" - "M" for mitochondrion.
    • The cell membrane is the outside of the ornament.

5. Continue as the students add each of the items through the top opening of the ornament. Discuss each cell part and its function. 

6. Extend the questions with:

  • Which parts of the cells are NOT the same? What will the plant cell have, that the animal cell doesn't?
  • Add green pompom balls for the cholorplasts. Use green to remind the students of the cell's ability to make its own food through photosynthesis.

7. When the 5 parts of the animal cell are in the ornament and 6 parts of the plant cell, replace the top hanger on the ornament.

  • To add a cell wall, use the pipe cleaner to wrap around the outside of the ornament and attach to the top of the hanger.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
Assessment Strategies:

The EduCreations video will be saved to individual iPads for teacher assessment. Teacher will look for accuracy in labeling and describing functions of the cell.

*Remedial students will submit their Venn Diagrams for assessement


Using their iPads and the EduCreations (Screen Chomp or Show Me) app, the students should take a photo of each of their ornaments and upload into the program. Using the draw/type feature, they should label each part of their cells. They will then record their voice explaining each cell's function. On a second page, they will draw a Venn Diagram and compare/contrast the cells.


Students will be provided a copy of a Venn Diagram to aid in comparing and contrasting the cells.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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