Plant cells are what plants are made up of and are the things that help plants grow and stay healthy. The plant cell is a complex structure containing many different parts. It is made up of the cell membrane, cytoplasm, vacuoles, mitochondria, a nucleus, a nucleus membrane, cell walls and chloroplasts. Teaching children about plant cells can be difficult due to the complexity of the topic. Using a model to illustrate the different parts of a plant cell, however, can help significantly because youngsters often learn better when they can see what they are being taught.
Grease a baking tray lightly with cooking spray. Roll sugar-cookie dough into a rectangular shape onto a baking tray and bake according to the packet instructions. Let the dough cool before continuing. This dough will represent the cell wall within the plant cell.
Smear chocolate pudding across the cookie dough. This pudding is representing the cell membrane so create a one-inch border between the pudding and the edge of the dough.
Cut four squares out of fruit roll-ups. Place the squares randomly on the cookie. This will represent the cytoplasm in the plant cell.
Take a round peppermint candy and place it in the centre of the cookie. This is the nucleus.
Place two chocolate buttons on top of each roll-up square. This will represent the vacuoles within the cytoplasm.
Place green jelly beans around the cookie to represent chloroplasts and place red gummy candies on the cookie to represent mitochondria.
Create labels on small pieces of paper and tape each one to a toothpick. Place the toothpicks around the cookie to explain what each piece of candy represents. Once each part of the plant cell is explained, remove the toothpicks and quiz the kids on what each part is. When they successfully name the items, cut up the cookie and let them each have a piece.
Things you need
- Sugar-cookie dough
- Baking tray
- Rolling pin
- Cooking spray
- Chocolate pudding
- Fruit roll-ups
- Peppermint candy
- Chocolate buttons