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Lesson Title: Introduction to Cells

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 introduce the unit on cellular structure and function. The introduction
will help to assess the student’s prior knowledge that is necessary in successfully complete this
unit. I will briefly cover the history behind the cells. Finally, the students will be introduced to
the future lessons as they look at cells under a microscope.

Opportunities to Learn:
Depth of Knowledge

The lesson is an introductory lesson where I will be assessing the student’s prior
knowledge. It will contain mainly level one, which is recall and reproduction. There will also be
level two towards the end of the class when we get into the new concepts

Prerequisite Knowledge

• The students will need to know that cells are in all living things and that organisms can be
either unicellular or multicellular.
• The students will already know the proper procedures for handling a microscope and

Plans for Differentiating Instruction

To ensure that all my students of varying learning styles will comprehend the material being
taught, I will implement the following into my instruction: group work, visual aids, lecture to
enhance knowledge, and various questions. If the students seem to be struggling on a particular
point or concept, I will provide additional instruction and/or materials to reinforce the idea.

Accommodations and Modifications

I will make accommodations when necessary to ensure all students are meeting their learning
goals in my class. For instance, a student in the classroom reads at a slower pace than the rest of
the students. I will provide this student with the reading material ahead of class to allow ample
time to be ready to work with other students during class time. I will also suggest to the student
some strategies that may help this student while reading. By taking notes on what was read, will
provide the student with a summary for when it is time to study for the test, the student will not
have to reread the chapter. The student should also highlight key terms as well as marking where
there is confusion. Before or after class I will go over this information to ensure the student
understands the information.

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 (will create later)



-Work sheet on Cells to go with handout

-Students will need their books


-Slides for the microscopes


• The students will describe the functions of the organelles and they will read the cell
theory in their textbooks.
• The students will demonstrate the depth of their prior knowledge on the pretest and in the
introductory activity.
• The students will describe their misconceptions on the pretest.

On the board:

 Introduction 6 min
 Pretest 25 min
 Microscope review 6 min
 Plant cell observations 20 min
 Group work 25 min
 Review of class 6 min
 Exit slips 0-6 min depending on time left in class

I will start the class by asking questions that will introduce the unit topics to students. My
hope is that if students are challenged with thought provoking questions it will translate to
motivation. These questions should help the students understand what they do not know and I
will make it clear so that by the end of the day they will understand. For several of the questions
I will use a projected picture of a cell (same projected picture of a cell used later in the lesson to
help students link knowledge).

Opening questions
• Can anyone think of a living thing that has no cells?
• Who thinks they know what they are looking at?
• Who can tell me what some of these structures are? (Answers listed on board for next
• Does any one know what they do?

Now we are going to take a test. I do not want anyone to freak out. I do not expect anyone to
know everything on the test but you will know everything by the end of the unit. This will not
count against you. I just want to know what you already know as well as any possible
misconceptions you have. I want everyone to take this seriously, so if everyone shows that they
put effort in, and I see that everyone is taking this seriously, you will gain two extra credit points
on the unit test. After I collect the test, I will explain to the students that they will fully
understand the quiz by the end of unit.
Teacher voice: In the next section, we will find some of the answers to the pre-test through
scientific observation.


I will quickly review a microscope’s use and care. I want to do this to ensure students
can fine focus the lenses to suit their eyesight and that proper care is taken with school property.
The students will then get microscopes and slides of onion cells. After allowing the students for a
few minutes to play with the microscopes and observe the slides, I will ask the students to
identify what they think they are looking at. Once we have decided that it is a cell, I will project
an enlarged picture of a cell onto the wall and ask the students to identify any structures they
Teacher instruction: I have paired you into groups of two. I want you to work together using
your books to complete a worksheet. I want to see both people working. If one person wants to
read the other person should be writing, or you can share the responsibility.
I will then have the students get into groups. The class will be in groups of two. I will
attempt to form groups of lower achieving students with higher achieving ones to create an
informal peer. With their textbooks, they will answer a worksheet that covers cellular structures.
The students will need to work together cooperatively to complete the worksheet. The worksheet
will have them label the parts on an animal cell as well as on a plant cell (similar to the one they
observed). The worksheet will force them to gain the necessary prior knowledge if they lacked
it. During the group work, I will walk around the classroom to assess the students understanding
and answer any questions. When they finish the assignment, we will as a whole class, discuss
the handout so I can be sure that each student understood the lesson.

Engagement questions
• What do you already know about cells?
• What do cells need to live?
• Where do new cells come from?
• What does a cell do in the body?
• What are the major parts of a cell and what do they do?


I will end class by allowing the students to ask questions about anything we reviewed in
class. This will allow me to gauge understanding and clarify topics. I will assign a reading for
homework with the save the last word for me instructions. The students will read the pages in
their text pertaining to the lesson and write down three things they found interesting on a piece of
paper. Before the students leave, they will need to fill out the exit slips. The students will need
to add at least one response to each of the three categories on a piece of paper to leave the

Instructions: For homework, you will be reading pgs 168-180. I want you to write down three
points you found interesting for class tomorrow. Before you can leave, you need to fill out an
exit slip. This means you will need to write at least one response to each of the following

Exit Slip Categories

• Questions I have about the content of the day.
• Things I want to know more about.
• One thing I learned.
• I still do not understand.