ALEX Lesson Plan


Is the Cell Membrane Semi-Permeable?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Chanda Davis
System: Huntsville City
School: Hampton Cove Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 26236


Is the Cell Membrane Semi-Permeable?


As part of the study of the cell, students will perform a three day hands-on inquiry to determine if the cell membrane of an egg is semi-permeable. Students will work individually or in groups as they explore the functions of the cell membrane. Students will create a lab report using the scientific method. The program Excel or any other comparable program will be used to assist students with developing graphs and charts in for the data section. The Internet will be used to assist student in exploring illnesses associated the malfunctioning of the cell membrane.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (7)
1. Describe characteristics common to living things, including growth and development, reproduction, cellular organization, use of energy, exchange of gases, and response to the environment.
  • Identifying homeostasis as the process by which an organism responds to its internal or external environment
  • Predicting how an organism's behavior impacts the environment
  • Identifying unicellular organisms, including bacteria and protists, by their methods of locomotion, reproduction, ingestion, excretion, and effects on other organisms
  • Identifying the structure of a virus
  • SC (7)
    2. Identify functions of organelles found in eukaryotic cells, including the nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, chloroplasts, and vacuoles.
    Example: mitochondria releasing energy for use in cellular respiration
  • Identifying components of the cell theory
  • Identifying cells as prokaryotic or eukaryotic
  • Listing the sequence of the mitotic cell cycle
  • TC2 (6-8)
    2. Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.
    Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations
    TC2 (6-8)
    5. Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.
    Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures
    spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets
    databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers
    presentation software—slideshow
    TC2 (6-8)
    14. Use digital tools to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
    Examples: ideas—predictions, trends
    products—animation, video
    processes—models, simulations
    SC2015 (7) Life Science
    3. Construct an explanation of the function (e.g., mitochondria releasing energy during cellular respiration) of specific cell structures (i.e., nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, ribosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts, and vacuoles) for maintaining a stable environment.

    Local/National Standards:

    National Education Technology Standards

    2. Communication and Collaboration

    Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Student:

    a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, expert, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

    b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

    3. Research and Information Fluency

    a. plan strategies to guide inquiry

    b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media

    c. evaluate and elect information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.

    d. process data and report results.

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will understand the process of how water travels from the outside of the egg through the cell membrane into the egg when submerged in distilled water .

    Students will understand the process of how water travels from the inside of the egg through the cell membrane when submerged in corn syrup.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    In doing research about the problems associated with the cell membrane, students will expand in their knowledge of using the Internet for research. In creating the video and lab report, students will acquire skills that broaden their level of using technology.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Each student will need:

    1. Egg

    2. 100 mL beaker

    3. Triple Beam Balance

    4. 50 mL distilled water

    5. 50 mL corn syrup


    Technology Resources Needed:

    Digital Camera for pictures for website, computer lab for student research, and web sites.


    This experimentation should be performed after the instruction about the cell membrane. The teacher may wish to use the following lesson for instruction:

    For an illustration of the process of diffusion, view:


    Teacher Prep: The teacher should become familiar with creating graphs and charts for the production of the lab report.

    It may be a good idea to use the media specialist to teach a lesson on conducting research. 

    Or you may visit the following website for a great lesson on conducting research online:

    Before the Lab- Before the experiment, the shell on the egg must be removed by:

    1. Place all of the eggs, based on the number of students or groups in a large container.

    2. Cover the eggs with vinegar.

    3. Let stand for two days.


    Inform students that they are required to write a lab report using the scientific method. If students need a review of how to write lesson plans, please visit:

    Experimental Procedures:

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    See attachments or use the data collection sheet and rubric to evaluate the lab report. The video recording of disease can be evaluated for effort/participation.



    Students should all complete assignment in the same time duration. If time permits for more advanced students, they should create a podcast for the website detailing the functions of the cell membrane and some of the diseases of associated with the cell membrane.


    For information on how to produce podcasts, visit:


    Grouping students should assist students with measuring, collecting data, and creating a lab report. A mentor student can assist remedial students in the completion of the assignment. All students should be encouraged to participate in the lab.

    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.