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5 Exciting Ways to Teach Cell Structure to Keep Students Engaged

Job Brisby Eloja
May 1, 2023

Each living organism on Earth is made of cells. In biology, the cell is the basic unit of life, from the simplest organisms to the most complex ones. 

With that, learning about cell theory and organelles is a basic foundation of biology classes. It’s important to keep students motivated to learn. 

Keeping students engaged in the lessons can be a challenge, though. For one, this topic has loads of information. Cells have lots of different organelles, and each cell has a different set of structures. The wealth of information may be overwhelming to some students.

To achieve better engagement for students, here are five creative ways to teach cell theory and organelles. These methods will help students understand and remember the concepts well.

1. Use Interactive Models of Cells

Cell models can make learning this topic more interactive for students. This way, they can have more freedom to explore cell structures and organelles their way. 

You can set up a simple lab experiment to let your students observe live cells. This way, they can have an up close and personal experience with the concepts they’re studying. Let students look through a microscope and see cell structures before their eyes. Use different magnifications to see cellular structures in more detail. Students will be amazed as they see organelles in person. 

You can also use 3D models to show the different types of cells and their organelles. Students are free to rotate and move the models around any way they like. With this, they can visualize the cell and its organelles a lot better.

2. Make It Fun with Games and Activities

Games and fun activities can actually facilitate learning differently than traditional lectures and textbooks. If students are having fun, they can also learn even if they’re not aware of it. 

You can easily prove this by giving them a quiz after they play. You’ll be surprised that many students will get high marks.

Adding cellular structures to a functional cell to make it an osteocyte.

Lab-themed games and simulations, like Labster’s Cell Structure virtual lab, are great tools for students to experience learning in a more engaging way. In this virtual lab, students can explore cells and the organelles inside them. The simulation also lets students explore the structures of cells at their own pace. They can even repeat the simulation until they master the important concepts.

Discover Labster's Cell Structure simulation today!

3. Integrate Technology in the Classroom

Technology can make learning about biology more interactive and engaging. You can use a range of technologies as teaching aids, such as simulations, interactive whiteboards, videos, animations, and online quizzes. 

Immersive simulations can take students inside a cell, allowing them to explore and interact with the organelles. Interactive whiteboards can be used to draw and label the different organelles, and students can collaborate with their instructors on the same whiteboard. Online quizzes can then be used to test students' knowledge.

For the modern-day student, technology-assisted learning is the norm. Instructors need to take full advantage of the technology available to maximize learning. Plain lectures are no longer enough for the students of today.

4. Inspire Students by Exploring Careers

Learning about cell theory and organelles can inspire students to pursue careers in biology and medicine. These include:

  • Medical doctor
  • Nurse
  • Medical laboratory scientist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Infectious disease specialist

It’s good for students to know how this topic will be useful to them in the future. If they can see that they will use it in their future careers, they will be more inspired to learn. It will answer the question, “How can I use this knowledge in real life?”

5. Connect Topic to Real-World Applications

Let students know how this topic applies to the real world. Cell structures are not just topics that stay in the classroom. They have significance in real life as well. 

For example, you can talk about how cell structures help doctors diagnose and cure diseases. Once students know this, they will gain more appreciation for this kind of topic.

Final Thoughts

Teaching cell theory and organelles can be fun and engaging if taught creatively. Teaching this topic does not have to be confined to lectures. Instructors can use interactive demonstrations, different technologies, and even games. These tools help students develop a better understanding of the topic.

Osteocyte in a virtual lab on cell structure.

A great tool to use is Labster’s Cell Structure virtual lab. This lets students explore organelles and cell structures at their own pace. The simulation lets them manipulate lab equipment in a safe virtual environment. Also, the simulation explains key concepts in ways that are easy for students to understand. 

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and play the Cell Structure simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!
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