Make a Cell Model

 Create a model of a plant or animal cell.


1. The cell must be a three-dimensional model between 10 and 30 centimetres in diameter. (Prior approval necessary for full marks if your model is not within these parameters.)

2. It may be made of craft materials – such as Styrofoam, play-doh, papier mache – or food.

3. It may include beads, buttons, pipe cleaners, straws, string or other small items to illustrate the organelles.

4. There should be no visible tape or pins. Clear glue is often the sturdiest adhesive.

5. All the organelles must be numbered on the cell.

6. On a separate key, 
a. make a list of the numbers on your cell,
b. add the names of the organelles next to the correct numbers,
c. add an explanation of each organelle’s function, and
d. include a bibliography of your sources of information.

7. Your full name and division must be clearly yet discreetly displayed on both the cell and the key.



  1. cell membrane
  2. cell wall
  3. chloroplast
  4. cytoplasm
  5. endoplasmic reticulum
  6. Golgi body
  7. mitochondria
  8. nucleus
  9. ribosomes
  10. vacuole


  1. cell membrane
  2. cytoplasm
  3. endoplasmic reticulum
  4. Golgi body
  5. lysosomes
  6. mitochondria
  7. nucleus
  8. ribosomes
  9. vacuole


A. Appearance:

  • 5:  shows great artistic design and skill,  and evidence of great effort
  • 4: well-organized, coloured and neatly labelled with numbers, shows artistic design and skill, and evidence of good effort
  • 3: well-organized, coloured and labelled with numbers, shows evidence of some effort and artistic design
  • 2.5: complete but appears hastily completed with little artistic skill

B. Creativity:

  • 5: uses unusual yet suitable materials in a creative manner
  • 4: uses suitable materials in a creative manner
  • 3: uses suitable materials to create a model that appears similar to many others seen online or shown in class
  • 2.5: uses unsuitable materials to copy a diagram from the textbook

C. Details:

  • 5: all organelles and cell parts are accurately represented in size and shape as seen in photos of cells
  • 4: most organelles and cell parts are accurately represented and easily recognizable
  • 3: more detail is need to be able to recognize each organelle and cell part
  • 2.5: parts of the model are merely blotches of colour

D. Key:

  • 5: all the organelles are correctly named and described in detail; at least 4 sources are correctly cited and alphabetized
  • 4: all the the organelles are correctly named and described; at least 3 sources are correctly cited and alphabetized
  • 3: all the organelles are correctly named and most are described; at least 1 source is correctly cited
  • 2.5: not all the organelles are correctly named and most are not described; no sources are correctly cited


Learn about cells by reading these books:

Johnson, Rebecca L. Daring Cell Defenders. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2008. “Bacteria and viruses are all around you. If they get inside your body, they can make you very sick. Fortunately, your body is built to keep illness-causing invaders out. If some do get in, special cells inside your body come to the rescue.” — back cover

Johnson, Rebecca L. Powerful Plants. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2008.  “You probably know that all living things need food to survive, including plants. So where do plants get their food? They make it themselves! This book takes you inside plant cells and shows you up-close photos of all the differentt cell parts.” — back cover

Johnson, Rebecca L. Ultra-organized Cell Systems. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2008.  “Do you realize there are about 100 trillion cells in your body? That’s a lot of cells to manage! It’s a good thing they are organized into systems that all work together. This book takes you on a journey inside your body to see many types of cells, and more–magnified hundreds or thousands of times larger than their actual size.” — back cover

Keyser, Amber. The Basics of Cell Life with Max Axiom. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2010.  A graphic novel about the basics of plant and animal cells.

Click here to see photographs of completed cell models.

Examples of Keys and Bibliographies by Students

Parts of a Plant Cell by Brenna and Stephanie
1.Cell Membrane- A thin layer that surrounds the cell (seaweed).
2.Cytoplasm- Jelly like liquid that help hold the organelles together. It is also the location where nutrients are absorbed (Jell-O Icing).
3.Chloroplasts- A cell structure in which photosynthesis takes place (green gummy worms).
4.Endoplasmic Reticulum- has two different sections; the Rough endoplasmic, which makes things for the cell to use, or to ship to other cells, and the Smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which takes bad things out of the body (blue and pink gummy worms).
5.Golgi Body- Receives proteins and other materials and distribute them to other parts of the cell (licorice).
6.Mitochondria- Provide energy that the cell need to move, reproduce, etc. (nuts).
7.Nucleus- The control center of the cell (Lindor Chocolate).
8.Ribosomes- Contain proteins, and they are able to assemble the proteins of the cell (nerds).
9.Vacuole- Vacuoles store food or nutrients a cell might need to survive (M&M’s).
10.Cell Wall- The layer that surrounds the cell membrane around the cell (bread).
Biology4kids: Cell Structures: Vacuoles:
Cell Structures: Mitochondria:
Plant Cells:
What is The Function of The Cytoplasm?:
What is The Function of The Golgi Body?:

Parts of an Animal Cell by Stephanie and Brenna
1. Cell membrane – is a semipermeable thin layer of protein and fat that surrounds the cell (rice crispie)
2. Cytoplasm – is the gel like substance/fluid inside the cell made up of water and protein material (chocolate icing)
3. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) – transports materials throughout the cell (coke balls)
4. Golgi body – also called complex or apparatus, is a sac-like body that packages proteins and carbohydrates into membrane-covered sacs for export from the cell (licorice)
5. Lysosomes – break down materials in the cell – also known as death sac (green and yellow gummy worm)
6. Mitochondria – is the powerhouse of the cell and releases energy for cell functions (pink and orange gummy worm)
7. Nucleus – is the brain or the control center of the cell and is the most important part of the cell  (chocolate egg)
8. Ribosomes – produce proteins (nerds)
9. Vacuole – is the clear fluid sac that act as storage areas for food, minerals, and waste (M&Ms)
Animal Cell Anatomy:
Animal Cell Parts:
Cell Parts and Their Functions:
Functions of The Parts of The Animal Cell:
Parts of An Animal Cell for Kids:





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