Plant Cell vs Animal CellPlant and animal cells have several differences and similarities. For example, animal cells do not have a cell wall or chloroplasts but plant cells do. Animal cells are round and irregular in shape while plant cells have fixed, rectangular shapes. Plant and animal cells are both eukaryotic cells, so they have several features in common, such as the presence of a cell membrane, and cell organelles, like the nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. Chloroplasts Plants are autotrophs; they produce energy from sunlight through the process of photosynthesis, for which they use cell organelles called chloroplasts. Shape Another difference between plant cells and animal cells is that animal cells are round whereas plant cells are rectangular. Cell Wall Plant cells have a rigid cell wall that surrounds the cell membrane. Vacuoles Shape and size of vacuoles Animal cells have one or more small vacuoles whereas plant cells have one large central vacuole that can take up to 90% of cell volume.
Using Bubbles to Explore MembranesType of Activity: This is a hands-on activity that simulates cell membrane structure and function. This inquiry type lab can be done as a group or cooperative learning experience. Target Audience: This lab can be used in any life science or biology classroom. What questions does this activity help students answer? What is the structure of the cell membrane and what unique properties does it have? Background Information Notes for teacher: This activity can either introduce or culminate a unit on cell transport and cell membrane structure. Required of students: Students will need to bring pencils, notebook and text (if applicable) to class. Preparation time needed: 1 hour. Class time needed: Previous class discussions on cell membrane structure (this can vary), 50 minutes for the activity, 20 minutes for follow-up discussion and questions. Activity Summary/Abstract: Cell biology is an integral part of most high school Biology 1 courses. Materials needed: (For a class of 30 students) Procedure: