Cell Structures Lesson Plan: Comparing Plant and Animal Cells

Grade Levels: 6-8

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources to identify the structures found in a cell. Students also demonstrate knowledge of the structures and functions of the organelles in a cell, and the differences between plant and animal cells.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify the structures found in a cell
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the structures and functions of the organelles in a cell
  3. Know the differences between plant and animal cells


  • Access to BrainPOP
  • Paper (legal size: 8.5 x 14)
  • Colored pencils, markers, and/or crayons
  • Transparency or pictures of plant and animal cells for the students to view


cell; cell wall; chromosomes; cytoplasm; endoplasmic reticulum; golgi apparatus; lysosome; nucleolus; nucleus; mitochondria; ribosome; vacuole; cell membrane; chloroplast


Lay out materials for access by the students.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Find out what your students know about cells by taking the Pop Quiz
  2. Watch BrainPOP movies and explore interactive features for Active Transport, Cells, and Cell Structures.
  3. Explain to students that their brochures must fit a legal size of paper (8 1/2 x 14) that will become a two-sided three or four-panel brochure.
  4. Ask students to decide if they want to do a plant cell OR animal cell theme, and chose their organelles from the list above.
  5. Tell students, "Your information must be accurate and easy to read. Provide a small picture of each cell organelle next to each picture of the features in your attraction. (Ex: A picture of a box next to a picture of a golgi body to show the relationship of packing materials to be sent out.) The function of each feature should be described in one to three complete sentences. Include a small map of the resort with locations of the attractions."
  6. Explain that students must also provide a slogan that summarizes their resort, include a one-paragraph general description of their resort, and provide the address and directions to their resort, as well as Web address, email, and a phone number. Suggest that they may want to mention the nearest city.
  7. Tell the class, "Please provide your contact information, including your name and class period. You may hand draw, use the computer, or use cutouts from magazines or photocopies from books. Be as creative, artistic and humorous as you like! Remember that the brochure must be neat and easy to read. You want this to look professional. Your goal is to attract customers and make a profit!"

Extension Activity:

Be sure to check out our Science Games in GameUp! The Cell Command game allows students to learn about cell structures and functions by commanding a microscopic vessel and crew to help the human body perform critical cellular functions. In the Control of the Cell Cycle game, students experience how 300 million cells are replaced in the body every minute. They learn what makes this happen by taking on the job of a Cell Division Supervisor.

BrainPOP Movies:

Passive Transport
Active Transport (Activity Page Answer Key)
Cell Structures (Activity Page Answer Key)