Cells are the fundamental units of all
organisms. Some organisms made up of only one cell, but many more organisms
are made of billions of cells. A cell is a packaged power plant that maintains
all necessary functions in order to stay alive. All cells have certain
components that enable them to carry out vital life processes. There are
several different types of specialized cells, but emphasize to students the
basic structure of the cell.
A cell has several components that perform
different functions. The vital parts of a cell are called
"organelles." Among the most important are the nucleus, vacuoles,
and mitochondria, all of which are enclosed within the cell membrane and
immersed in cytoplasm.
Each organelle performs a specific task
that helps keep the cell alive. In both an animal and plant cell, the nucleus,
vacuoles, mitochondrion, cell membranes, and cytoplasm can be found.
The nucleus is the control center of
cell activity and contains the genetic material that is important for cell
division. The structures that resemble air bubbles are called vacuoles.
Some vacuoles store food for future use while other store wastes until they
are removed. Since the cell is a living entity, it needs energy. The energy
that a cell uses is produced in the mitochondrion which releases sugar
and starches that is used as fuel by the cell. Most of the parts of the cell
are surrounded by a cell membrane. The function of the membrane is to
allow only certain fluids and chemicals into and out of the cell. Cells
contain a thick substance called cytoplasm which is capable of
maintaining the life processes. The name of the protoplasm within the nucleus
is called nucleoplasm.
A plant cell also contains chloroplasts and
a cell wall. Chloroplasts are the photosynthesis center of a plant cell. It
converts light into energy. It contains chlorophyll which gives it the green
color we associate with plants. The cell wall gives plant cell a rigid support
and protects the cell.
- There are various differences between
animal and plant. The worksheet shows the different types of cells and has the
students comparing and contrasting the various parts. The major difference
between the cells is that plant cells have a cell wall, chloroplasts, and
larger food vacuoles.
- Instruct students to color the
worksheet in the appropriate colors. Remember the plant cell should contain
- The website, http://www.cellsalive.com
can help your students learn more about the different components of a plant
and animal cell.