Design a Specialized Cell

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Specialized Cells


Design a Cell

Example



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Activity Overview


Another challenging way to get students to start to think about how adaptations allow specialized cells to function effectively is to get them to design their own specialized cell. This activity is best taught before the students have learned about specialized cells in detail, but after they have looked at basic cell structure. Students will really be able to demonstrate creativity and knowledge of the functions of cells in completing this activity.

Students should be given a particular function, such as carrying an electric signal from one part of the body to another. Students will then design a cell, then compare their diagrams with the specialized cell diagrams already included on Storyboard That. This would be a great time to review the structure and organelles of basic animal and plant cells so they can include these in their design.

In the activity instructions given to students, the function of carrying a message from one part of the body to another is used (a nerve cell). You can change these easily to include another function based on the types of specialized cells you will be teaching!


Modification

Scaffold the activity by changing the template to give students a diagram of a human body cell. Students would then be able to add on to the template instead of creating the cell from scratch.


Extension

Have students create a brand new cell for the body which would be used for superhuman activities: for example, a cell that allows Superman to fly or allows Spiderman to produce spider webs.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

There are many cells that have special adaptations and features to allow them to carry out specific tasks effectively. Design your own cell that would allow electrical messages around to be sent around the body. Spend a few minutes thinking about what adaptations and features of a cell would do this effectively.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Use a series of shapes and props to design your cell.
  3. Use textables and arrows to label and describe any organelles, adaptations or features.
  4. Save and submit the assignment.
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Template


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Rubric

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