Activity Overview

An alternative activity to the “Parts of a Cell” labeling poster would be for students to simply label each type of cell separately. In this activity, students will create a spider map identifying and describing the structure of plant cells. The colorable plant cell in the Storyboard Creator will allow students to easily highlight each part of the cell.

Cell Membrane Where protein synthesis occurs
Cell Wall Made of cellulose and strengthens the cell
Chloroplast Contains chlorophyll and it is where photosynthesis happens
Cytoplasm Where the majority of the activities take place
Mitochondria Where the majority of 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

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 spider map to identify and describe the different parts of the plant cell.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In Science, go to the “Anatomy” section. Find the illustration of a plant cell.
  3. Identify the different parts of the plant cell and type them into the title boxes.
  4. Each cell should have one part of the diagram colored a different color than the rest, matching the title box.
  5. Write the function of the of the part of the plant cell below the illustration.

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 Teach Labeling a Plant Cell in an Elementary School Classroom


Introduction to Plant Cells

Begin with a simple explanation of what plant cells are and why they are important. Use age-appropriate language and visual aids like diagrams or videos to illustrate the basic concept of a cell. Introduce the basic parts of a plant cell (e.g., cell wall, nucleus, chloroplasts, etc.) using colorful and clearly labeled diagrams. Keep explanations brief and straightforward.


Interactive Exploration

Use interactive tools such as digital apps or online games that feature plant cell diagrams. These tools often allow students to explore each part of the cell at their own pace, which is ideal for accommodating different learning speeds in a classroom. Alternatively, if digital resources are limited, use large printed diagrams or posters of a plant cell. Have students come up to the diagram and point out different parts as you discuss them.


Hands-On Activity

Provide students with materials to create their own model of a plant cell. This could be a drawing, a collage, or a 3D model using craft supplies like clay, paper, and yarn. Guide them through the process of creating their model, ensuring they label each part of the cell correctly. This hands-on activity not only reinforces their learning but also allows them to express their understanding creatively.


Review and Reinforcement

Conclude the lesson with a fun review activity, such as a quiz game or a labeling challenge, to reinforce what they've learned. Display students’ cell models around the classroom, or create a gallery walk where students can view and discuss each other’s work. This not only showcases their efforts but also helps consolidate their understanding of the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions about Labelling a Plant Cell

What Is the Function of the Cell Wall in Plant Cells?

The cell wall is a key structural component of plant cells, providing rigidity, strength, and protection. Made primarily of cellulose, it is a thick and sturdy layer that surrounds the cell membrane. The primary function of the cell wall is to maintain the cell's shape and prevent over-expansion when water enters the cell. It acts as a support structure, helping the plant maintain its upright position and facilitating growth in height and size. Additionally, the cell wall plays a crucial role in mediating the interactions of the cell with its environment, including the absorption of nutrients and defense against pathogens. Unlike animal cells, which require flexibility for movement and different functions, the rigid cell wall of plant cells is essential for their stationary lifestyle and contributes significantly to the overall structural integrity of plants.

How Do Mitochondria Function in Plant Cells Alongside Chloroplasts?

In plant cells, mitochondria and chloroplasts work in tandem to manage the cell's energy needs. Mitochondria are responsible for cellular respiration, a process that converts glucose and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy currency of the cell. This process occurs in all eukaryotic cells, including plant cells. Chloroplasts, on the other hand, are unique to plant cells and some algae and are the site of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts light energy into glucose, a process that occurs only in the presence of light. While chloroplasts are primarily active during the day in the presence of sunlight, mitochondria function constantly, providing a steady supply of ATP to the cell. Thus, in plant cells, mitochondria and chloroplasts complement each other: chloroplasts produce the glucose that mitochondria use to generate ATP, ensuring a consistent supply of energy for various cellular activities.

What Are Effective Strategies for Designing Worksheets on Plant Cell Structures?

When designing worksheets on plant cell structures, effectiveness lies in clarity, engagement, and reinforcement of learning. Start by clearly illustrating the plant cell and its organelles with labeled diagrams. Incorporate a mix of activities such as labeling exercises, crosswords, and matching tasks to reinforce the names and functions of different organelles. Include sections where students can describe the functions of structures like the cell wall, chloroplasts, and vacuole in their own words, enhancing comprehension and retention. Integrating questions that encourage critical thinking, such as comparing plant cells with animal cells, can deepen understanding. Additionally, use real-life examples to show the relevance of plant cells in everyday life, like how chloroplasts' role in photosynthesis is crucial for the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat. Well-structured worksheets should balance informative content with interactive elements to cater to different learning styles, making the study of plant cell structures both educational and engaging.

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