How to make a model plant cell

  • All animals and plants are made of cells. Animal cells and plant cells have features in common, such as a nucleus, cytoplasm, cell membrane and mitochondria.

  • Plant cells also have a cell wall, and often have chloroplasts and a permanent vacuole.

  • Chloroplasts are where plant cells make their food by the process of photosynthesis.

Find out how to make a model of a plant cell.

Have a go

A picture of the model plant cell

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What are the differences between animal and plant cells?

Plants are made up of millions of cells that help the organism to carry out the functions it needs to survive.

Animal cells contain a nucleus, cell membrane, mitochondria and cytoplasm.

Plant cells are larger because they contain all of these structures but have some unique structures like a cell wall, vacuole and chloroplasts.

All these specialised structures are called organelles. An organelle is a tiny structure inside an animal or plant cell that has a specific function or role.

What is the job of each part of a plant cell?

  • The cell wall is made of cellulose. This gives strength to the cell, making it rigid and helping it to keep its shape.

  • The cell membrane is porous, allowing substances (such as carbon dioxide) to pass in and out of the cell.

  • Cytoplasm is a jelly-like substance where chemical reactions take place.

  • Chloroplasts contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. This absorbs sunlight and allows photosynthesis to happen.

  • The nucleus contains DNA and coordinates the cell’s activity.

  • The vacuole contains cell sap and stores other nutrients to help it to survive.

Activity - plant cells

Where next?

Discover more about this topic from around Bitesize.

What are cells?
What is cellulose?
How to make a model animal cell