How to Make an Easy Animal Cell Model

Written by jessica cook | 13/05/2017
How to Make an Easy Animal Cell Model
Glue some basic products together to make an easy animal cell model. (glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from

Science teachers everywhere require their students to learn about cells by making a model of those cells. If you need to make an easy animal cell model, just use your creativity and a few simple supplies. Your model will be portable and unique because you will construct most of the parts entirely on your own. With a little effort and a lot of glue you can make an easy animal cell model in an afternoon.

Get out an old plastic bowl that you don't mind losing to this project. This will serve as the base for your cell model; the view will be as if you have sliced a cell in half.

Glue a few strands of yarn around the top inside edge of the bowl; these will represent microfilaments and intermediate filaments.

Roll one large blue ball out of clay for the nucleus. Make two or three medium-sized balls out of purple clay for the vacuoles. Roll three small red balls for the lysosomes and three small yellow balls for the secretory vesicles. Glue all of these items into the bowl, grouping them together according to colour.

Cluster some spaghetti noodles together, cut to approximately 1-inch lengths. Glue them in the cluster and glue the cluster into the bowl to represent the centrosome. Then add a few individual spaghetti noodles to represent microtubules.

Mold an oval-shaped disc out of modelling clay in a light colour, such as yellow or grey. Then roll a thin line of darker modelling clay and swirl it back and forth across the surface of the disc. Glue this into your cell model to become mitochondria.

Roll out a flat strip of yellow modelling clay and fold it back and forth like an accordion. Use a pencil to poke into the thin edge on one side and glue it near the nucleus to be the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Then make some slightly thicker layers of the yellow modelling clay with a darker clay rolled onto the thin edge, and fold this around the outside of the rough endoplasmic reticulum to represent smooth endoplasmic reticulum.

Things you need

  • Plastic bowl
  • Glue
  • Modelling clay or play clay
  • Yarn
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Pencil

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