Exploring the Parts of a Cell

Lesson Plan


State Standards:


Life Sciences- Characteristics of Living Things

2. Differentiate between living and nonliving things. Group both living and nonliving things according to the characteristics that they share.

Essential Question:



Lesson Question:


In this unit, we will be studying living things and what they are made of. You will begin this lesson by reviewing what a cell is and the difference between plant and animal cells. You will then begin to focus of the job of the nucleus within the cell.


You will review the differences between plant and animals cells. Then you learn about the job of the nucleus.

Lesson Experiences:

Begin with reviewing diagrams of animal and plant cells.

Cells Alive

Next review the three column chart on the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.

Plant Cells

Animal Cells



  • Cell Wall
  • Cytoplasm
  • Cell Membrane
  • Chloroplast
  • Nucleus





  • Cell Membrane
  • Cytoplasm
  • Nucleus


  • Cell Wall
  • Chloroplast


plant cell image

animal cell image

Next you are going to learn about the role the nucleus plays in the cell.


NSF Tour of the Cell

NSF: A Tour of the Cell

Youtube:  What's in a Nucleus?

“The Stuff Of Life : What's In A Nucleus?”


Now we have examined cells in plants and in animals. We have looked at the parts of cells, including the nucleus. What are differences between plant and animal cells? What is the job of the nucleus in the cell?

Let's review what we now know:

  1. Plant and animal cells have many of the same parts.
  2. Plants and animal cells also have different parts. (Cell Wall and Chloroplast)
  3. The nucleus is the control center of the cell .

What else is there to find out about cells?


Students will be asked to write a sentence in Wordle based upon what they have learned about the nucleus.




You Tube video “The Stuff Of Life : What's In A Nucleus?”

NSF “A Tour of the Cell”

Chart for cell comparison

Teachers: This lesson is part of a larger unit on cells. It comes after other lessons on the differences between plant and animal cells, and the parts of a cell.

Image credit: Cell diagram from Wikimedia Commons.