Dozens of parents, students and teachers streamed through the library at Eshleman Elementary School November 16 to participate in a “Cellebration” of what students have learned this year about cells.
Using Styrofoam, shoe boxes, Legos, clay, pipe cleaners and other materials, the students created elaborate three-dimensional models showing the parts of a cell, including the nucleus, cell wall and membrane, Golgi bodies, chloroplasts, mitochondria and other parts.
They explained what each of the parts does and how they built their models to parents, teachers and students as they walked by. The library was abuzz with excitement as the students talked about their projects.
The “Cellebration” is a culmination of a unit that introduces students to cells as the basic building blocks of life. Students learn the organelle names, locations and functions and look at cell samples through microscopes.
Using English language arts skills, they write similes about cells and compare and contrast plant and animal cells. After teachers explain the project and show samples of previous models and discuss possible building materials, students work on their models at home over several weeks.
“They spend so much time working on their projects, and they always look great,” said Mindy Swope, who teaches the cell unit with her fellow fifth-grade teacher, Aliza Becker.
“Inviting parents, grandparents and other students in for the “Cellebration” “is a great way to share in our students’ success,” Swope said.
“An extra ‘high-five’ from people other than just their homeroom teachers is always fun, and it nicely showcases our learning. It also gives future fifth-graders a brief insight into the project, which helps add to their excitement for the unit when we begin it with them.”
Many thanks to the Eshleman teachers, staff, students and families for supporting this creative project.