Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cells Unit Study, Weeks 2 and 3: Prokaryotic Cells, Animal Cells, Cell Cycle, and Mitosis!

     The past two weeks have been a blur of learning, to say the least. My younger children have been studying cells and they have been having a great time with the lessons. Over the past two weeks, they learned to differentiate between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. They also studied the organelles found in animal cells. We wrapped up this past week with a study on the cell cycle and mitosis.

     Continuing on with our interactive notebooks for science, we incorporated a really nice life science notebook I purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers. (By the way, this is one of my favorite go to spots for specific lesson material.) We've been using the notebooking lessons, specific to cells, found in the Life Science Interactive Notebook by Nitty Gritty Science. They practiced with identifying the stages of mitosis in cells using free worksheets found Biology Corner. Of course, no interactive learning can be complete without the audiovisual resources! We watched three very informative videos found on YouTube. They really helped my daughters to fully understand the information they recorded in their notes. Here are our favorite videos for these lessons: 




   Awesome! Yes? I know! We are serious fans of Crash Course  and Bozeman Science videos on YouTube.


For the second "Friday Funday" of our unit study, we also used some of our fun, hands-on learning material:

My girls were so happy to show off what they learned...or maybe they just wanted to eat the cake! Well, whatever motivated them, I was happy to see that they retained so much information about cells. By the way, the chocolate cake recipe was found at The Pioneer Woman, and it was every bit as delicious as she claimed it to be.


      For week three, I couldn't let my girls down. I wanted to continue to foster their eagerness to learn by providing them with more sweets interactive learning activities that they would enjoy. They are both very interested in cake decorating so I  decided to bribe encourage them to show off what they learned with some new cake decorating supplies. We were caked out, but we all love cookies, so our mitosis activities for the week, turned into an edible cookie lab!

     They started by making the cookie cake for the cell cycle model.

It turned out perfectly!

While the cookie was baking, we whipped up the batter for some blue velvet cupcakes! (Seriously, it was a chemistry lesson so it was all in the name of learning.)

With the cupcakes out of the way, it was time to make some cake decorating icing. We made a large batch of buttercream icing and the girls were really anxious to play with their new tools.

Finally, it was show and prove time. Time for them to show me what they learned about the cell cycle and mitosis. They started by applying icing to the cookie and using different colors to represent the phases of interphase. I use the time to ask them questions, just to see what all they know.

They added cupcakes for the stages of mitosis. They used sprinkles and icing to show what happens during the various stages of mitosis and labeled them.

   It turned out great and after all of that work, we had to taste it. They loved it and asked to make another one someday soon. Now, don't think we only use edible labs. They also identified onion cells during their various stages of mitosis. we pulled out our handy microscope and slides and they had fun identifying the cells.

     Well, that wraps up the last two weeks of our cell study. Looking forward to completing this week and getting into some more exciting learning activities.

Peace and blessings,



  1. You my dear sister are absolutely amazing. I am a veteran homeschool mom of seven children, three of whom are in college now. I am also the founder of a small afro centric homeschool community. But I find myself at a lull in implementing creative out of the box homeschool lessons with my younger girls now like I did years ago with my older kids. I have drawn such inspiration from you in the last two weeks. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life. I feel the FIRE (freedom in real education) returning to my homeschool. Please share a typical homeschool schedule that works for you. It seems like I have been trying for over 16 years to find the perfect daily schedule where I can fit everything in. Bless you and your family.

  2. Thank you, Kyna. I am interested in learning more about your Afrocentric homeschooling community. It is hard to fit it all in and I don't stress over trying to do so. We plan, but go with the flow! Blessings to you and yours as well. :)



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