Cell Lesson for Kids: Definition & Types

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  • 0:04 Building Blocks of Life
  • 0:50 Types of Cells
  • 1:17 Prokaryotic Cells
  • 1:58 Eukaryotic Cells
  • 2:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lindsy Frazer

Dr. Frazer has taught several college level Science courses and has a master's degree in Human Biology and a PhD in Library and Information Science.

What is a cell and how many are in our bodies? Keep reading to find out! In this lesson, we will explore cells, and we will learn about the two main types of cells and how they are different.

Building Blocks of Life

What do you call the picture a cell takes of itself? A cellfie!

Cells can't actually take pictures of themselves, but when you take a selfie of yourself, you are taking a picture of trillions of cells! That's right, your body is made up of trillions of tiny cells, which are the basic units of life- the smallest building blocks of a living thing.

You can think of cells as puzzle pieces. Each puzzle piece is the smallest working part of a puzzle, and when all the pieces come together, they form a big picture. How long do you think it would take to put together a puzzle that came in 30 trillion pieces? It would take many lifetimes!

Some living things, like certain bacteria, are only made of one cell. Other organisms, such as plants and animals, are made of millions upon millions of cells. The average human contains about 30 trillion cells.

Types of Cells

All living things are made of cells, but not all cells are made the same. Cells come in all shapes, sizes, and kinds. For instance, the ostrich egg, which weighs more than 3 pounds, is the biggest single cell on earth. Meanwhile, the giant squid contains long, thin nerve cells that can be about 40 feet long.

While they come in many forms, cells can all be categorized into two main types: prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic Cells

Prokaryotic cells are the simplest cells around. Their unusual name comes from the Greek words for 'before nucleus,' referring to the fact that prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus (a control center that holds a living organism's DNA).

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