NSTA Bookstore - Sept 2022


General Science and Teaching


Author Post
Larissa Riddle Larissa Riddle 790 Points

Hello! I am hoping to find a way to make cells more exciting and accessible to my 6th graders. They are really struggling to understand how something so small can be important. I would like to do some hands on activities with my students that help them create models and make sense of this difficult topic. I am struggling to find really helpful resources. I am willing to buy things for my classroom, but I am not wanting to spend a fortune. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Clarence Jones Clarence Jones 70 Points

Hello, have you tried creating your own slides with different samples. I was trying to create some slides but I went to a place called Schoolbox here in Georgia, and they had actual slides already made and for a low price. My kids found the experiment I created to be exciting, so please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Ella Bowling Ella Bowling 1540 Points

I have several complete 5E lessons on cells if you think those would be useful?

 Susan Nandlal 430 Points

Hello Larissa, I like your enthusiasm in wanting to include hands on activities into your lesson. I think it is a great way to help your students learn more about those challenging topics in science. I am always looking for ideas that would compliment my lessons to make it more interesting. I have used materials such as clay, jello, and styrofoam to do this project. I have discovered that when students are able to create something of their own in learning, they are able to make meaningful connections and increase their learning experiences. I wish you all the best in your project.

Jessica Holman Jessica Holman 2170 Points

Hey Larissa! I want to also reiterate what others have said about how awesome it is that you are thinking about interesting your students. That is such a big deal, connecting or making their learning personal. I teach high school Biology and we also must teach about cells. One of the things that we have made a priority as we have learned more about the NGSS is choosing an engaging anchor phenomenon. We try to think of what our students would be interested in if we mentioned it to them. So, we look at interesting scientific articles and journals around the topics and do a little research. For our cells unit, our anchoring phenomenon is “Can Cell’s Cause Damage – Too much of a good thing is bad?” We introduce the students to a cancer patient where their cells are multiplying rapidly which has resulted in a disease. We want to know why the cells that we all have could also be the result of a deadly disease. We then build a storyline around this and outline what we need to know in order to figure it out. Then as the teacher, we lead our students through this building their understanding connecting back to the goal of explaining what is happening in our phenomenon. Maybe you could use a story like this in your class, possibly go a little deeper in certain areas.

Larissa Riddle Larissa Riddle 790 Points

I would love that!

Marissa Gnau Marissa Gnau 350 Points

Hello Larissa! I am having the same issue trying to find interactive learning opportunities for my 6th graders. I will be getting into cells towards the end of the year, around March or so, but I am trying to get a game plan for it now to prepare. When I was in school we created a cell out of food, but I have been told that is a no-no now in the education world. As I am student teaching, this is the time I am using to find what does and doesn't work.

I hope you found resources that helped you in through this unit!

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