Plant and Animal Cells Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Plant and animal cells share a lot of common traits, but they also have their differences. In this lesson plan, students will explore both the similarities and differences between the two and create a Venn diagram to show what they know.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will:

  • Describe a plant cell
  • Describe an animal cell
  • Identify differences between plant and animal cells
  • Create a Venn diagram comparing the two types of cells


45-60 minutes (or one full class period)

Curriculum Standards

MS-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Conduct an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells; either one cell or many different numbers and types of cells.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


  • Access to video lesson, The Difference Between Plant and Animal Cells
  • Printed copies of the lesson transcript (one per student and a copy for the teacher)
  • Access to the quiz
  • Drawing paper (one piece for each group of 3-4 students)
  • Markers or colored pencils


  • Begin with a basic discussion about cells.
    • What do students know about cells?
    • What are cells made of?
    • What is their purpose?
  • Show the video lesson, The Difference Between Plant and Animal Cells, following along on a copy of the printed transcript so that you can stop for discussion.
    • After ''Animals Vs. Plants'' and 'Shared Characteristics:''
      • What is a heterotroph?
      • What is an autotroph?
      • Explain the difference between the two.
      • What are some characteristics that plant and animal cells share?
    • After ''Features Unique to Plant Cells'' and ''Features Unique to Animal Cells:''
      • What is something plant cells have that animal cells do not?
      • What other differences are there between the two types of cells?
      • Who can name some of the parts of each cell?
    • After ''Lesson Summary,'' check for understanding:
      • Review each of the highlighted vocabulary words.
      • Ask students to share one thing they have learned from the video.
      • Answer any questions students might still have.
  • Administer the quiz to assess learning.


To reinforce learning, use the following activity.

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