How to make a model animal and plant cell

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Key points

  • Cells make up all life on Earth.

  • Cells are the smallest unit of life.

  • All cells have specific structures, called components.

  • Models in science are used to help us understand complicated ideas in a simple and memorable way.

Slideshow - Model animal cell

A bowl of grapes, then a red balloon with the words 'step by step' to the right.

A step-by-step guide to making a model animal cell.

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Animal cells are made up of four main components:

  1. : In the model, this is the grape.

  2. : In the model, this is the balloon.

  3. : In the model, this is the water.

Video - Model plant cell

1. What items do you need to make this model?

2. What does the plastic box represent?

3. What do the peas and grape represent?

  1. A plastic box, a small bag filled with water, clingfilm, peas, water with green food colouring, and a grape

  2. The plastic box is the plant cell wall.

  3. The peas represent chloroplasts and the grape represents the nucleus.

Plant cells have the same four components in animal cells but have these extra three as well:

  1. : In the model, this is the plastic box.

  2. : In the model, this is the sandwich bag of water.

  3. : In the model, these are the peas.

Test your knowledge

Quiz - Multiple choice

Quiz - Label the parts of animal and plant cells

Test questions

Write a paragraph to answer the following questions. Tap 'Show answer' to see points you could have included.

1. Describe the components of animal cells and their functions.

2. Describe the components of plant cells and their functions.

  1. Your answer could include:
  • Most animal cells possess a nucleus, cell membrane, cytoplasm and mitochondria.
  • The nucleus contains the genetic material (DNA) of the organism and controls the cell’s activities.
  • The cell membrane is a flexible outer layer that surrounds the cell and controls which substances can pass into and out from it.
  • The cytoplasm is the liquid that makes up most of the cell in which chemical reactions happen. This is mainly water.
  • Mitochondria are tiny parts of cells floating in the cytoplasm where energy is released from glucose from food.