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Lesson Title: Organelles

State Standards: GLEs/GSEs LS1-1a
Students will demonstrate an understanding by explaining the relationships between and amongst
the specialized structures of the cell and their functions (e.g. transport of materials, energy
transfer, protein building, waste disposal, information feedback, and even movement).

Context of Lesson:
This lesson will be an introduction on organelles. In this lesson, we will cover the various
organelles of a cell. Students will understand how the cells minor parts function together and
independently. The students will need to learn their group’s organelles and then use them to
present to the class on what they are, what they do, a general explanation of how they do it, and
what in everyday life is that organelle most like.

Opportunities to Learn:
Depth of Knowledge

The lesson is mainly level two where students are gaining new concepts and developing oral
presentation skills. Students are working with new information to create a presentation utilizing
skills and concepts learned. The lesson also uses level three when students are asked to compare
their organelles to an everyday place or thing, as they will need to provide evidence to back up
their statement.

Prerequisite Knowledge

The students will need to be reminded of what they learned last class. They will be able to use
their sheet from the last time we met to see what their organelle looked like and where they are
located in the cell.

Plans for Differentiating Instruction

The main activity is a jigsaw type group activity in which groups will have two organelles to
explain. I will assign the harder organelles to the more gifted students and easier topics to those
students who are struggling. I will also be around to guide their work and answer questions.

Accommodations and modifications

For students with reading disabilities, subjects for the jigsaw will contain minimal reading. I can
also provide extra time for such groups by having them present towards the end of class if
necessary. Once again, I will allow those students who may be struggling with the topic to come
either before or after class for additional support. I will also allow during group work time for
peer tutoring. Those students who are gifted will have the opportunity to peer tutor those who
are struggling.

Environmental factors

There are windows outside and a large aquarium which could potentially distract students on one
side of the room


-Handout of cell organelles (from last class)




-Slides for the microscopes

-Work sheet on cells to go with handout (from last class)

-Students will need their books

-5 computers in the back of the classroom (also my laptop if necessary)


• Students will demonstrate knowledge by giving specific examples of how the organelles
work and what they are comparable to in their everyday lives (i.e. the mitochondria is the
cell’s coffee pot).
• Students will share their understanding of the characteristics of a cell once they have
observed three cells under a microscope.


On the board:
 10 min Save the last word intro (attendance/homework review)
 5 min Introduction (student relevance)
 5 min Review Pretest (misconceptions)
 25 min sketch cell slide
 5 min class wrap up (create the unifying characteristics)
 20 min jigsaw organelle functions
 15 min presentations
 5 min questions (also homework assignment will work as the playroom of the assignment)

When the students come in, I will tell them to get into groups of their choice. The groups
will consist of four or five students. The students will be instructed to bring their homework
assignment with them. They will be doing the activity known as save the last word for me. This
is where the students share the interesting fact they found. Everyone in the group will comment,
but you get the last word. This activity allows even the shy students an opportunity to express
their voice as the expert while reviewing the last lesson.
I will then ask some thought provoking questions to apply the student’s knowledge from
the homework to the day’s lesson. I will use the questions to give the students the importance of
cellular structure and bring relevance to the activities of the day. These questions will also give
the students a better understanding of their goals for the day.
Introductory questions with follow up questions.
• What do cells do to keep us alive?
 When you get a cut, how do you heal?
 If cells help you to heal, what properties should they have?
 What machines does a cell need to have to accomplish these goals?
 What other functions do you think cells do to keep us healthy?
• How can cells hurt us?
 While I do not plan to spend too much time on this topic during the lesson, it is a
part of the later unit and will engage a curiosity in the students. I also want to
introduce the topic now because the contrast should help the students remember
this lesson when we get into the latter topics
 Topics will include cancer, bacteria, and sickle cell anemia.
Then I will start addressing the reoccurring misconceptions on the pretest from the
previous lesson. Once I have covered the applicable information, I will be turning the class back
over to the students.
What prior misconceptions are students likely to have about these topics?

 Plant cells and animal cells are the same.
 Unicellular organisms do not eat.
 A cell has no defined structure just a bubble of stuff.
 The cell membrane is one solid piece.
 All molecules get into a cell the same way.
 The polarity of a molecule has nothing to do with how it gets into a cell.

I will have three slides for the students to observe. The slides will be a plant cell, an
animal cell, and a bacterial cell. The students in groups of two will observe the slides and make
sketches of them. Each student will be expected to produce a sketch of each of the three slides.
I will tell them that all three slides are of cells and that I want them to give me the characteristics
of all cells based upon their observations. I will demonstrate my expectations by modeling that
all cells have a protective layer to separate its interior from its environment. I will ask the
students to come up with at least three more examples. I will then have the students share their
definitions of the characteristics of a cell. As a class, we will create a unifying set of

• Teacher instructions: Last class we reviewed what small structures make up a cell.
Today we learned that all cells have organelles. Now who can tell me what they
do and how they do it? I know what you are thinking, “we do not know any of
that”. Where do you think you could find that out?

• Student’s responses: in the book or on the internet.

• Response: Correct, so lets do it. I want you to get into your groups of four and I
will assign each group two organelles. What I am looking for from the students
is: What is the function of the organelle? How does it perform that function? In
addition, what does it remind you of from your everyday lives? I will need to
demonstrate how to do this for the class with mitochondria.

• Instructions: Each group has two organelles. No group will have the same
organelles, so you are going to be the teachers. Each group has access to one of
the computers (one group will use mine so we have enough). Everyone has his or
her textbooks as well. I want each group to answer their three questions neatly on
a piece of paper for both of their organelles. You can use Wikipedia or Google for
this but remember it is only to supplement what you find in the book. ( The
experts including the RIBTS emphasize the importance of the use of technology
in the classrooms)
• Instruction: When everyone has finished you are going to teach the class what you
have learned. For the presentation, I want you to be clear. Answer the three
questions for both organelles, and answer any questions your classmates have
about your topics. I want everyone to think of questions about the presentations
as well. I will be expecting at least two questions from every group, so pay
attention when your classmates are presenting (I use presentation because it
allows me the opportunity of informal assessment). Remember you are scientists
now. Therefore, when you make a statement you should be able to back it up with
evidence. Write down the sources of the information you used to answer the
questions. Everyone in the group should talk at least twice. I will be watching to
make sure you are all contributing during the group work. This is part of your
grade for this assignment. (to ensure student understanding I will present the
mitochondria for the students so they know what is expected of them)
Once the majority of the class understands the assignment, I will let them start to work.
The list of organelles:
1. Nucleolus
2. Nucleus
3. Ribosome
4. Vesicle
5. Rough endoplasmic reticulum
6. Golgi apparatus (or "Golgi body")
7. Cytoskeleton
8. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum
9. Mitochondrion
10. Vacuole
11. Cytoplasm
12. Lysosome
13. Centriole
14. Cell wall
15. cytoplasm
16. chloroplast

The class will be broken down into groups of four. Then groups will be assigned the two
organelles for which they will be presenting at the end of class. I will walk around to answer any
questions and ensure students are on task during this time. The students will use the internet and
their textbooks to answer the three questions for two organelles. I will expect students to back
up everything they say with examples from real world sources.


The students will be expected to generate at least two questions for each group presentation.
I do not expect that the groups will be able to answer all of the questions on the spot but I will
expect them to generate any answers for homework. The students will then start the next class
by presenting the answers. I will create a solid copy of their answers to the three questions for a
study tool.