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Here students role-play the process of photosynthesis performing as different parts of a plant cell
7, 6, 5, 4
Title – Cell Play Activity
By – Eugene Donepp
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 4-7
The students will role play the different organelles and structures of a plant cell.
- The students will act out the process of photosynthesis in the role play.
New York State Standard 4:
Science: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.
Cell Play Activity role playing sheets
Plant cell diagram overhead
Review the parts of the plant cell to the students. Tell them they will be role playing the parts of the cell in class today. Each student will have a chance to actively be a part of the cell. Explain they will also use the role play method to further understand how the plant makes its own food through the process of photosynthesis.
Tell the students to think of a tiny, microscopic plant cell.
Tell them to imagine that plant cell was enlarged to the size of the room. Explain the extent of how the room will act as some of the structures within a plant cell. Tell the students they will also be acting as some of the organelles and structures of the plant cell.
Show the students the role playing sheets that they will be using. Read each card out to the students and explain where they will be placed in the classroom. Tell the students they will have the opportunity to play several different roles during the lesson. Also explain that the teacher’s role will be to help them more early on, but as the cell play activity develops, they will be required to role play more independently.
- Pass out the roll play activity sheets to the class randomly. Place the students in the proper places in the classroom cell. Lead the students through the process that sunlight, water and carbon dioxide enter the cell and meet at the chloroplast to make sugar, or food of the plant.
- Remove sunlight from the cell and have the food go to the mitochondria where the energy is released from the sugar. Have the students role playing the mitochondria do jumping jacks to show that energy is being used.
- After the energy is used up, lead the used sugar to the vacuole which will remove the waste from the cell.
- Repeat this process again. After this round is completed, have a germ try to enter the cell. Test the DNA in the nucleus to see if they will let in the germ to damage or kill the cell.
- Collect the cards and redistribute them to the students making sure each student has a different role. Lead them through the process again. Ask if they think they can complete the process on their own, or with limited coaching from the teacher.
Give them another chance to complete the task. If time allows, collect and redistribute the roles to the students to try another role.
- Collect the activity sheets and tell them to return to their seats. Review on the overhead the process of photosynthesis on the diagram of a plant cell. Tell them they were doing the same thing in their role play. Explain and pass out the homework questions.
Modifications: tactile role play, peer teaching,
Assessment: Observation of the role play, homework questions, cell test