Observing Animal Cells

Cheek cell

When looking at onion cells under a microscope, I thought how helpful it would be for students to have an animal cell to compare and observe. This lab is a perfect addition to the Cell Structure and Function Science and Literacy Lesson!

This lab is really simple. All you need is a microscope, cotton swab, a slide, and your cheek.

Here is how it works:

Rub a cotton swab across your cheek. Smear the cotton swab on a slide (You won’t see much without the microscope, but it is probably there.) and place a slide cover over that area. Place your slide under the microscope and make the adjustments to see the individual cheek cells. You can see what it might look like in the image above. The dark circle in the middle of the cell is the nucleus. You will notice the cell shape is more organic (unstructured) than the plant cell. Observing the two types of cells will help students make the connection to the clip art versions of cells they will see on paper.

Here is a free printable Venn Diagram to help record your observations and comparisons:

Comparing Plant and Animal Cells Diagram

Comparing Cells Venn

Enjoy the fun lab with your students! Connect with me on Instagram and tag me in photos of your science fun so I can see your class enjoying science!

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