Introduction: Animal Cell Learning Tool

Picture of Animal Cell Learning Tool

Ah yes, cells. The literal "building blocks" of any living thing. (unicellular, multicellular) This instructable will help teachers/educators teach the cell part of the grade 6/8 curriculum in science. The 3D model is highly detailed and costs under $10!

Lets Build!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
  • Clay
  • Toothpicks
  • A styrofoam ball
  • Acrylic paint (orange,blue)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Container to mix paint in
  • Embroidery thread
  • Paper
  • Paintbrush
  • A permanent pen
  • Pipe-cleaner(s)
  • Utility knife

Step 2: Safety!

Picture of Safety!

Anybody see the old movie "Safety second"? Anyways, BE SAFE! I got a second degree burn from a hot glue gun EXPLODING! Don't do that.

Step 3: Styrofoam Ball

Picture of Styrofoam Ball
  1. With your knife, cut away the styrofoam ball so that it looks something like the picture. (25% out)

Step 4: Paint #1

Picture of Paint #1

I didn't have orange so I mixed red and yellow.

  1. Mix.
  2. Paint. (I put an old roll of tape underneath so no paint would get on the table)
  3. Let it dry.

Step 5: Paint #2

Picture of Paint #2
  1. Get your blue.
  2. Paint!
  3. Let it dry.

Step 6: The Fun Stuff (Tips)

Picture of The Fun Stuff (Tips)
  • Add some glue on the bottom of the clay organelles to help it stick.
  • Give it texture! (toothpick)

Step 7: Mitochondria (power Producers)

Picture of Mitochondria (power Producers)
  1. With some red clay, make 2 small ovals.
  2. Flatten them out.
  3. Add texture.

Step 8: Lysosomes (the Garburator)

Picture of Lysosomes (the Garburator)
  1. Get green clay.
  2. Roll and flatten the little balls of it.

Step 9: Vacuoles (the Holder)

Picture of Vacuoles (the Holder)
  1. In the styrofoam, dig a small hole.
  2. With your hot glue gun, fill in the holes. (that will give the membrane covered look)

Step 10: Nucleus (the Brain)

Picture of Nucleus (the Brain)
  1. Make a ball of turquoise and yellow.
  2. Cut it to look like the picture. (Fig. #3)
  3. Put texture on it. (use toothpick)
  4. Add a red ball for the nucleolus.

Step 11: ER (the Tubes)

Picture of ER (the Tubes)
  1. Cut a slip of pink paper to match the one in the picture, it should wrap 25% around the nucleus.
  2. Cut small bits of embroidery thread to glue on the pink paper.
  3. With the hot glue gun, glue the threat on to the paper.
  4. Attach around the nucleus.
  5. Line the ER with clay.

Step 12: Golgi Body (blue,blue)

Picture of Golgi Body (blue,blue)
  1. With some blue clay, make small "snakes" and attach them in the fashion of squiggles.
  2. Again, add texture.

Step 13: Ribosomes (protein Synth)

Picture of Ribosomes (protein Synth)
  1. With your toothpick, poke some dots on the clay on the ER.

Step 14: Cytoplasm (the Glue)

Picture of Cytoplasm (the Glue)

The cytoplasm is the blue that you painted before.

Step 15: Microtubule Network (the Routes) / Cilla

Picture of Microtubule Network (the Routes) / Cilla
  1. With a pencil, make some lines around to make the microtubule network.


  1. Cut some pipe cleaners 1 inch long and stick them randomly around the cell.
  2. Twist them, to get different shapes.

Step 16: Cell Membrane

The orange paint on the outside.......

Step 17: Lables!

Picture of Lables!

I typed out every organelle on to a page and then cut them out....

  1. Put a dab of hot glue onto each little slip of paper.
  2. Stick the toothpick on it.
  3. Stick into each one according to organelle.

Step 18: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

All in all, I thought it turned out well,and will help teach those kids about cells! If you liked it or have anything to add, comment and remember to vote!

Happy making, mrwonton


nicekazi (author)2017-11-07


howdy66 (author)2017-11-06

Looks great! I wish I had one of these when I was growing up. You should rename the "vacuoles" to "endosomes". The vacuole is the yeasts equilivent of the lysosome.

Mphatso Simbao (author)2017-11-06

Looks awesome! I wish we had this in the bio lab at college. You should do one with plant cells too.

mrwonton (author)Mphatso Simbao2017-11-06

thanks! remember to vote!

Swansong (author)2017-11-06

That's a neat model, this would be a fun class project :)

About This Instructable




Bio: What do you call a spoon, knife and fork? a...... SPIFRK! Meaning of life right there.
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