How to Make a Plant Cell Model Using a Shoebox

••• Plant image by Platinum Pictures from

Cells are the basic units of life. There are two main types of cells: animal and plant cells. A plant cell has certain organelles that do not exist in an animal cell, including the cell wall and chloroplasts. The cell wall functions as a guard around the plant cell. Chloroplasts assist in the process of photosynthesis, which provides energy for the plant cell.

    Cut out a sheet of wax paper to fit the bottom of the shoebox. Insert it into the shoebox, gluing it down so that it covers the entire bottom of the inside of the box. The wax paper represents the cytoplasm of the plant cell.

    Label the inner wall of the box as the cell wall.

    Glue a line of black yarn along the seam of the box. The black yarn represents the cell membrane of the plant cell.

    Make a small circle out of a piece of black yarn and glue it in the center of the wax paper. This yarn represents the nuclear membrane.

    Glue the three green buttons randomly on the wax paper. The green buttons represent the chloroplasts of the plant cell.

    Glue one-half of a candy bar to the wax paper. This represents the mitochondria of the plant cell.

    Glue the clear buttons anywhere on the wax paper. The clear buttons represent the vacuoles of the plant cell.

    Place three 1-inch black yarn strips together and glue them on the wax paper. The yarn strips represent the endoplasmic reticulum of the plant cell.

    Glue the three brown beans to the 1-inch-long black yarn strips. The brown beans represent the ribosomes of the plant cell.

    Glue the two pretzels to the wax paper. The pretzels represent the Golgi apparatus.

    Label each organelle with its appropriate name.

    Things You'll Need

    • Glue
    • Black yarn
    • 3 green buttons
    • Labels
    • 2 red buttons
    • 1/2 candy bar
    • Wax paper
    • 2 clear buttons
    • 3 brown beans
    • 2 pretzels
    • Scissors


About the Author

Based in Virginia, Kevin M. Jackson has been writing professionally since 2003. He is the author of the books "Life Lessons for My Sons" and "When GOD Speaks." Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Savannah State University and a Master of Arts in urban education from Norfolk State University.

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