This is an assessment (Google and PDF versions) to evaluate the students’ understanding of the NGSS MS- LS1-2
This is an engaging activity in which students connect their understanding of the functions of the cell organelles with a real life place or object. For example, they can connect a cell to their own favorite sports team (and stadium), a computer, a rocket ship or anything else they are interested in. As they can choose their own analogy and means of presentation, student engagement is high.
The students are initially introduced to the idea of a cell analogy by watching a video and then completing a worksheet describing how a cell is like a city. Sample answers to this are included.
Detailed instructions for the cell analogy are given and a number of student examples are also included in the teacher notes.
A detailed rubric is also given.
This activity can be completed in the classroom or online at home.
Before starting this investigation, students will need to be aware of the main organelles (names and functions) found in a plant and animal cell.
The science and engineering practice “Developing and using models” is incorporated in this assessment.
Included in this resource:
Teacher slides (8 slides)
Student worksheet showing how a cell is like a city.
Sample answers for student worksheet.
Detailed student instructions for cell analogy assessment.
A rubric which may be modified according to your needs.
9 examples of student cell analogies.
Accommodation labels for students who need help with organization.
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Email any questions you have with subject line “Questions on cell analogy” to us at and we’ll be happy to answer them