Sixth Graders Build Cell Cities

Providing students with strategies to help them make sense of abstract or high-level concepts is critical to their learning process.

As a means to develop a more concrete understanding of cells, sixth graders created vibrant three-dimensional cities as analogies for how cells operate. Students started by brainstorming what it takes for a city to run smoothly by examining their own lives and taking note of everything from highways and town halls to garbage dumps and recreational parks. They were then able to apply what they had learned about cells and draw associations between the functions of a cell and the functions of a city. Finally, students worked collaboratively to build their cell cities and make the abstract a little more tangible.

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