Learn About the Cell: Webquest & Activities for Middle School

All living things are made up of tiny building blocks called cells. Inside each of these cells are smaller pieces that work together to keep organisms alive. Plant cells and animal cells contain some of the same parts, but each also has some unique functions. Students will use this webquest to learn about the parts of cells and how they work together. They will also explore some of the specialized cells found in larger organisms such as dogs or humans.


The National Association of Science Museums has announced a contest for students to create a game to teach others about cells. The game must teach students about the parts of cells, what they do and how they work together. Students can create a card game, board game or interactive role playing game as desired. The game should provide all of the information needed to play, such as definitions and information on cell parts as needed.


Divide students into pairs or groups to work together to create their game. Students will need to write the rules as well as create the physical game for others to play. Students may want to review existing board games they can modify. A game such as Clue could be changed so that players must determine a specific type of cell, Monopoly could be modified so players must purchase the parts of a cell until they have a working cell. Card games such as Gin Rummy could also be changed in a similar way. The game should be designed to help others learn the answers to the following questions:

What is a cell?

Name one structure in a plant cell that is not found in an animal cell.

What do all cells have in common?

What is a membrane?

What is an organelle?

What is a nucleus?

What do mitochondria do?

What is a chloroplast?

What is osmosis?

Name 3 types of cells and what they do.

Students will present their game to the class and show how it is played. After each game has been introduced the groups will each play a game created by a different group. All students will vote on the best game and the winner will have their game submitted to the Science Museum contest.

Students may find the following websites helpful:

https://www.osovo.com/diagram/animalcelldiagram.htm – animal cell

https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/plantcell.html – plant cell



Students will be evaluated as a group on a 3-point scale.

1- The game rules are incomplete and the game cannot be played. The game does not provide all of the required information.

2- The game rules are complete and the game can be played. All required information is included.

3- The game rules are complete and the game can be played. Additional information beyond the basic requirement is included.

Students will learn the basics about cell structure and function in this webquest. Designing a game for others to play will allow them to demonstrate the use of that knowledge.