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Plant and Animals Cells

Main Core Tie

SEEd - Grade 7
Strand 7.3: Structure and Function of Life 7.3.1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size



Utah LessonPlans


This is a commonly done activity to teach microscope skills and the differences between plant and animal cells.


  • elodea or onion cells
  • toothpicks
  • methyl blue stain or iodine
  • microscopes
  • microscope slides
  • cover slips
  • prepared slides
  • optional: a flex-cam to view the cells as a class
  • worksheet

Background for Teachers

Students need little background for this activity and this could be done as a beginning inquiry activity and students could discover the differences and similiarities on their own

Instructional Procedures

  1. Assign students to microscopes and describe location for storage and cleanup
  2. Read the student sheet attached with students.
  3. Allow time for students to work on the lab.
  4. Show students the flex-cam view of the cells if possible.

Assessment Plan

Scoring Guide

  1. Students follow directions and perform activity………………4
  2. Student make observations and record data………………….4
  3. Student correctly answer analysis questions………………….4


  1. How are plant and animal cells alike? They are small, have some parts that are the same and perform life processes.
  2. How are plant and animal cells different? Plants have a cell wall and chloroplasts (making them green) and are often squarely shaped.
  3. Was your prepared slide plant cells or animal? Answers will vary
  4. What were clues? Shape, cell wall or chloroplasts present, color


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 10/02/2014
Updated: 02/05/2018