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Animal Cell Model

Making an animal cell model is fun and interesting, in which you get to learn the various types of cell organelles, their shapes and functions...

Last Updated On: Saturday, June 12, 2010


As the name signifies, an animal cell is an advanced, eukaryotic type of cell isolated from animal species. If you have learned plant and animal cell differences, you might be already aware that the latter type is nearly circular in shape. An animal cell lacks the protective cell wall, hence the shape of the cell is framed by a plasma membrane. Inside the cell, there are various membrane bound organelles, each of which is responsible for specific functions.

Topics concerning plant cell vs animal cell and their similarities are introductory chapters in science subjects. They provide information about the types and functions of cells. However, demonstrating cell models is a better way to understand the lessons precisely and also, in an interactive manner. Thus, in biology experiments, students are often given assignments to prepare an animal cell model or diagram.

How to Make an Animal Cell Model?

Before you get involved in making an animal cell model, try to understand the anatomy and parts of a typical eukaryotic cell. A better alternative is to examine the shapes and structures of the organelles in a labeled animal cell diagram. This will help you in coming up with innovative ideas for your project. With a little creativity and forethought, you can prepare an animal cell model with less effort. Following is a step by step procedure for building a labeled animal cell model:

Required Materials and Supplies
Colorful animal cell picture
Styrofoam balls
Playdough (or modeling clay)
Cardboard for base
Pipe cleaners
T - Pins
Duct tape or regular tape
Glue or adhesive
Box cutter
Knife and scissors

Steps for Building an Animal Cell

Step 1

Gather the required supplies for building an animal cell model. Select a large and detailed animal cell picture with colorful parts. For the cell nucleus part, you can purchase a small ball or Styrofoam block from the garden supplier. You can make remaining cell organelles from this block or playdough.

Step 2
It is better to make the individual organelles before and stick to the cardboard base with adhesive pr pins. Otherwise, working directly on the model will make the job more tedious and messy. Accordingly, prepare a list of the cell parts, which you are supposed to build. Remember to make appropriate sized organelles with respect to the model size.

Step 3
Lay the cardboard base and start building an animal cell model. To create plasma membrane, you can use a large rubber band or paint with a brush. Then, stick the nucleus (round plastic ball or Styrofoam ball) in the center with the help of duct tape or glue. For chromatin structures, you can use pipe cleaners in a random manner.

Step 4
Cut out different shapes of Styrofoam that resemble cell organelles and color each of them with different shades. With reference to the labeled animal cell diagram, attach the colored pieces to the cardboard one by one, making sure that they occupy the correct positions in the animal cell model.

Step 5
For better understanding, prepare a key on a paper sheet and illustrate the various cell parts. Ensure that the spellings are correct and if possible, explain their main functions in one or two lines. Finally, document the steps of making animal cell model, especially if you are presenting in a science fair project.

So, isn't making animal cell model interesting? After completion of the task, you will be familiar with the functions of the organelles. You can look out for different animal cell model ideas and choose the best for your project. Be accurate with the cell shape, structure and organelles to get good scores. Next time, learn about plant cell structure and parts and portray your understandings by building a plant cell model.


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