Activity Overview

Have your students label a plant and animal cell using one of the landscape poster layouts (small or large). Students will create a cell diagram labeled with the different cell organelles and cell structures of plant and animal cells.

The cell diagrams are easily colorable, allowing students to differentiate the different parts of the plant and animal cell quickly. Keeping them on the same poster allows students to quickly understand the differences between each cells, such as the organelles plant cells have that animal ones do not.

To scaffold this activity for students who need a bit more support, print the labels provided and have your students match these to the organelles of the cells, or provide a cell pictures with labels to copy for even more support. Support can also be given to students using Storyboard That by removing the label arrows and making the storyboard the template for the activity. Students then will need to use arrow shapes to match the label with the organelle.

Organelles in Plant and Animal Cells

Cell Membrane Controls what moves in and out of the cell
Cell Wall Made of cellulose and strengthens the cell
Chloroplast Contains chlorophyll and location of photosynthesis
Cytoplasm Where the majority of the cell’s chemical reactions take place
Mitochondria Where respiration takes place
Nucleus Contains DNA and controls the functions of the cell
Ribosome Where protein synthesis occurs
Vacuole A space filled with cell sap which keeps the cell turgid

While the poster labeling activities produce the most visually appealing work, they can take up more time than other methods. If you are pushed for time or would like an alternate way to have students complete this type of assignment, you can have your students complete the activities in this guide called "Animal Cell" and "Plant Cell", which use spider maps instead to label parts of the cell.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a cell diagram with each part of plant and animal cells labeled. Include descriptions of what each organelle does.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Find diagrams of a plant and an animal cell in the Science tab.
  3. Using arrows and Textables, label parts of a cell and describe each part's function. Be sure to label the cell clearly.
  4. Color the text boxes to group them into organelles found in only animal cells, organelles found in only plant cells, and organelles found in both cell types.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [SCI-MS-LS1-2] Develop and use a model to describe the function of a cell as a whole and ways parts of cells contribute to the function.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Labeled diagram
Label the diagram giving the functions of each part.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
All the labels are correct.
Most of the labels are correct.
Some of the labels are correct.
All the functions are correct with no grammar or spelling mistakes.
Most of the functions are correct with some grammar and spelling mistakes.
Some of the functions are correct with many grammar and spelling mistakes.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

How To Utilize Cross-Curricular Approaches in Labeling Plant and Animal Cells


Integrate Science with Art

Start by introducing the basic structure and functions of plant and animal cells in a science class. Use detailed diagrams and models to explain different cell parts. Transition to an art project where students create their own detailed drawings or models of plant and animal cells. Encourage creativity, but also emphasize the importance of accurately representing and labeling each cell part.


Incorporate Mathematical Concepts

Introduce mathematical elements by having students measure the size of different cell parts and calculate the scale for their drawings or models. This can include simple arithmetic calculations for younger students or more complex ratios and proportions for older students. Discuss the concept of symmetry in cell structures, especially in plant cells, and how it relates to mathematical principles.


Link to Language Arts

In language arts classes, assign students to write descriptive paragraphs or essays about the functions of different cell parts. This exercise can help reinforce their understanding and provide a different perspective on the material. Encourage students to use vivid and accurate language to describe the cell structures, fostering their vocabulary and descriptive writing skills.


Conduct Presentations and Peer Learning

Have students present their art projects and written work to the class. This not only helps reinforce their own learning but also allows them to learn from their peers. Facilitate a discussion where students can compare the plant and animal cells, highlighting their observations and insights from the cross-curricular activities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Labeling Plant and Animal Cells

What are the parts of a plant cell?

A correct poster of a plant cell with labels would include: cell membrane, mitochondria, nucleus, ribosome, cytoplasm, cell wall, vacuole, and chloroplast.

What are the parts of an animal cell?

When plant and animal cells are labeled, they have very similar parts. When you label parts of an animal cell you should include: cell membrane, mitochondria, nucleus, ribosome, and cytoplasm.

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