Animal and Plant Cells Microscope Lab (Onion and Cheek Cells) by Miss Middle School Teacher
This is a quick and easy way to have students observe actual animal and plant cells. Students make a wet-mount slide of their own cheek cells and another of onion cells. I've had quite a bit of success with it! Students work to draw their observations at different powers under the microscope and then answer reflection/analysis questions for discussion later. The lab is set up with step-by-step instructions for students so that they can easily work at their own pace and the teacher can circulate around the room. This lab leads us to discuss the differences between plant and animal cells.
Materials needed for this lab:
Microscopes for students to use (individually, in pairs, or in groups of 3), Glass slides (flat slides work best, not concave), Plastic slide covers, Iodine or dye for making the wet mount slides (if the dye does not come with droppers, you will need some plastic pipettes as well), 1 onion (one is enough for use with up to 4 classes of 25 students) cut into chunks, One box of toothpicks (preferably the kind with a flat side), paper towel
This product includes: student lab directions/note taking page for making a wet mount slide of cheek cells, student lab directions/note taking page for making a wet mount slide of onion cells, student reflection/analysis questions, and a teacher key.