This resource provides ideas for developing a sequence of 'good enough' cell models to explore how cells can form tissues and organs.
Modelling a simple animal and plant cell can be done as a demonstration intitially, discussing what each part of the model represents and relating it to what can be seen under the microscope. The image from the microscope could be projected onto a white board using a webcam.
Students can then create their own models of simple and specialised cells. When modelling cells, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the model can draw out misconceptions. For example, having viewed cells as images or under a microscope, students can easily believe that they are two-dimensional.
Carefully planned group work with explicit aims can encourage students to relate structure to function, extending the activity to allow connections to be made between between the practical work and scientific ideas.