The classic cell model projects for middle school science! My students love this one! We’ve done it a few different ways over the years, and it’s always been a messy but fun time. Some ideas to consider are:
- Do you want your students to make their projects in the classroom or at home?
- Do you want to allow students to use food?
- Will your students make a literal cell model or will they create something that represents a cell, such as the cell school?
- Can students work in groups?
- Will digital alternatives be allowed?
No doubt a quick Google search will bring up thousands of student examples. I can still remember making my own cell in middle school. I chose to make my cytoplasm out of Jello, but I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t have access to a refrigerator at school. I submitted a project that more closely resembled a soup than a cell. Cue traumatic memories.
More Ways to Implement Cell Model Projects for Middle School:
A great variation to the cell model project is to require that students make a unique project with represents the parts of the cell. Rather than literal cells, students create a metaphor. Cities, factories, and human bodies are all very similar to cells. Students will be required to label which parts of their project coincide with the organelle functions they have learned.
Check out this cell school made by a few of my students:
If you’re looking for a rubric, I have provided mine below for your reference. Be sure to pass this out to students ahead of the project for their reference.
See more about how I teach my Cell’s Unit here.