Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Edible Cells

Lauren Farinas
Polk County Schools


Students will construct edible models of a plant cell and an animal cell and be able to state the functions of the organelles.


The student knows the structures of cells, and their function and ways these mirror the structure and function of multicellular organisms.


All of these materials are required for each student.
-One slice of regular bread (plant cell with membrane- crust)
-One slice of round bread (animal cell with membrane- crust)
-Two tablespoons of peanut butter (cytoplasm)
-One plastic knife
-Two round slices of banana (nucleus)
-20 raisins (mitochondria)
-2 green grapes (vacuole)
-10 one-inch pieces of licorice (endoplasmic reticulum)
-3 green jellybeans (chloroplasts)
-20 mini-M&Mís (ribosome)
-One package of green Fruit Roll-ups (cell wall)
-If a visual of cell organelles is needed (overhead transparency), refer to the Weblinks


1. Round bread can be purchased from local bakeries if requested ahead of time and can be pre-sliced as well.
2. Purchase all of the materials listed. (See Materials.)
3. Make a copy of the instructions and terms for each student. (See attached file.)
4. Make a copy of the grading scale for each student. (See attached file.)
5. Make an overhead transparency of the grading scale for the students.
6. Cut licorice sticks into one-inch pieces.
7. Obtain copies of both plant and animal cells to use as overhead transparencies. If needed, the Weblinks listed can be accessed and the information needed can be printed and made into overhead transparencies.


This lesson only addresses the structure and function of cells.

1. Ask the students: Of what are you composed? If no one is able to supply the correct answer, tell the students that they are all composed of cells.

2. Assess students' current knowledge of cell structure by using a K-W-L chart.

3. Using an overhead transparency, remind students that all cells have ribosomes, cytoplasm, nuclei, mitochondria, cell membrane, and endoplasmic reticulum. Only plant cells have a cell wall and chloroplasts. Both plant and animal cells contain all of the other parts of the cell.

4. Tell the students that they will be able to eat what they make today after they show the teacher their models.

5. Display the overhead copy of the rubric so that the students will know how they will be assessed. (See attached file.)

6. Distribute the instructions and definitions paper and go over each term. (See attached file.)

7. Remind the students to follow the directions and distribute materials to students.

8. Students are to write a short sentence describing the function of each organelle.

9. Students are to alert the teacher when their models are complete. After the student has explained the parts of the cell to the teacher the student may either eat their cell models or throw them away.

10. Review the activity by using the K-W-L chart that was created at the beginning of the lesson.

11. Assess the activity using the rubric in the attached file.

12. The student is then responsible for cleaning the area in which they worked.


The students will correctly place and label organelles and write a short sentence that states the function of each organelle. A grading scale will be used to assess the edible models. Included with the attachments is a suggested grading scale. This activity was often used to boost grades because, unless the student refuses to work, they will be successful.


This lesson is an excellent lesson for ESE and ESOL students and does not require any modifications.

Web Links

This is a good example of a plant cell.
Plant Cell Anatomy

Web supplement for Edible Cells
Animal Cell Anatomy

Web supplement for Edible Cells

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