Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Baby Cell “Facts of Life”

Elizabeth Russell


The students, by taking on the rolls of an animal cell's parts, will relate the structures of the animal cell parts to their purposes.


The student knows that body structures are uniquely designed and adapted for their function.


-RAFT assignment sheets with student checklist
-Animal cell diagram or model for students to use as a visual (optional)
-Any prior cell structure and function worksheets or information students have from previous
-Copies of the Teacher Checklist


1. Make RAFT instruction page with checklist and copy for each student.
2. Make a separate checklist for you to use while assessing student product.


Note: This lesson addresses animal cell structures only. Students should have already learned the names and functions of each cell structure.

1. Ask random questions for review of animal cell parts and their functions.

2. Tell students they will be communicating this information by writing a story called a RAFT.

3. Hand out to each student the RAFT page which has the instructions and checklist for this activity. (see attached file)

4. Tell students they are to write a story as if they are a parent animal cell talking to their child cell. They will be informing their child of their parts and each part’s function.

5. Students write a rough draft of their story.

6. Read aloud to the class the areas on the Animal Cell Raft checklist. Tell students to highlight in their story each cell part and function as it is read.

7. Tell students to check off on their own checklist those cell parts highlighted on their paper.

8. Tell students to edit/add parts they did not include in their rough draft.

9. Tell the students to revise their story information as needed and create the final draft to submit.

10. Tell students to read their story for you and the class.

11. Use the Teacher Checklist to mark the areas included in the student’s RAFT. Add any comments to assist the student in identifying areas not included in their RAFT or for other feedback.


Students communicate their knowledge of the physical features of animal cell parts to include: nucleus, ribosome, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi apparatus and cell membrane by writing a story in the format of a RAFT. Students also include in the RAFT the function of each of these parts related to the structures
Use a checklist to make sure all structures and functions are included and correct.


1. Students can use their stories and act out the characters in a skit for the class.
(This could be beneficial for students who learn kinesthetically or for students who are

Web Links

Gives additional information on RAFTs and provides a printable RAFTform.

Attached Files

The RAFT instruction sheet and a checklist for the student.     File Extension: pdf

The Teacher Checklist     File Extension: pdf

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