Comprehensive 11 Day Characteristics of Life and Introduction to Cells Packet

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***Sequencing error in I Have/Who Has cards corrected and answer key added 11-16-15. Please re-download the fixed version or email with your TPT name and we will send you an updated version. We're sorry for any problems this may have created.***

Thank you for your interest and purchase in this 5th-8th grade comprehensive Introduction to the Characteristics of Life and Cells. Your packet includes 11 days worth of PowerPoint slides, corresponding printable notes worksheets for your students, review sheets, labs, demonstrations, calendar cards, bell questions sheets, exit question cards, manipulative card sets, sets of task cards, I Have/Who Has vocabulary game cards, a comprehensive Jeopardy-style review game, and a test with key.

Below is the suggested timeline for your curriculum:

Day 1 – Characteristics of Life
22 slide PowerPoint
1 page corresponding notes worksheet
2 page manipulative sort
1 page mini-lab

Day 2 – Needs of Living Things
12 slide PowerPoint
1 page corresponding notes worksheet
2 page Start Space Station Project for advanced class
2 page Start Space Station Project
1 page Water in Things Lab

Day 3 –Lab Results, Finish Station Project
7 slide PowerPoint (includes lab procedure)

Day 4 – Levels of Classification
14 slide PowerPoint
2 page corresponding notes worksheet
3 page Levels of Organization Manipulative Cards

Day 5 – Cell Theory: Notes, Review Task Cards
15 slide PowerPoint
2 page corresponding notes worksheet
16 page Review Task Cards with answer key (28 cards)

Day 6 – Cell Organelles
14 slide PowerPoint
2 page corresponding notes worksheet
5 page organelle matching game

Days 7 and 8 – Comparing a Cell Project
17 slide PowerPoint
3 page Comparing a Cell Project

Day 9 – Building a Candy Cell Lab Activity
7 slide PowerPoint (includes lab procedure)
2 page Candy Cell Lab sheet

Day 10 – Review Day: Task Cards, Review Sheet, Jeopardy PowerPoint Game
3 slide PowerPoint
35 slide Jeopardy-style review game
15 page Organelle Task Cards (28 cards)
1 page Organelle Task Card Answer Sheet

Day 11 – Test
3 slide PowerPoint
4 page comprehensive test with answer key

Each PowerPoint slide set starts with a bell question to activate learning and ends with an exit question to quickly assess students. The slides correspond directly to the packets, and the information that needs to be written down is underlined on the slides. Slides are designed so that all the information does not appear at once and continues by clicking through the program at the appropriate pace. The answers for the reviews are included in the PowerPoint slides, and the labs have corresponding procedure slides.

Day 10 includes two types of reviews: task cards and a Jeopardy-style game. Both are not meant to be completed in one day; they are part of this packet to give you options. Feel to use one or both on different days.

Manipulative cards sets are intended to be printed as needed, laminated, and used for reinforcement. For example, the cell organelle card sets can be used to match the organelles with their job and levels of organization sets can be used practice putting the levels in order. The questions you can ask (or your students can ask their peers) are endless.

Two sets of twenty-eight task cards are included to be set up as stations or centers where the students move through in order to reinforce concepts. They are also great to provide “early finishers” with extra reinforcement.

I Have/Who Has cards are a fun way to quickly test the students’ vocabulary. Print, cut, and laminate the cards. Twenty-eight vocabulary words or phrases and their definitions have been selected from this curriculum. Pass out ALL the cards to your students, even if it means some of your students have two cards. Select a student to start the game by reading the “Who Has” (definition) portion of his or her card. The student with the corresponding “I Have” (term) portion responds and reads the “Who Has” on the same card. This continues until all 28 cards have been read and the student who started the game ends it. Timing the classes to see which one is the fastest is an enjoyable way to foster some good-natured competition!

While this curriculum is designed to be turn-key with minimal changes, please keep in mind that all schools are different regarding standards focus, class-period time, etc. If you have questions, concerns, or catch a typo (hopefully not!), please feel free to contact us at Also, please take a moment to review this curriculum after use. We hope you find this useful in your classroom! Thank you!

Kristen and Elizabeth
The Science Shoppe

Graphics are courtesy of and
Other graphics credits include:
Chloroplasts by Kristian Peters.
Cork tree bySallyofmayflower.
Portrait of Robert Hooke is an oil painting by Rita Greer.
Scanning electron microscope photo of diatoms by Mary Ann Tiffany of SDSU.
Total Pages
see details
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

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Comprehensive 11 Day Characteristics of Life and Introduct
Comprehensive 11 Day Characteristics of Life and Introduct
Comprehensive 11 Day Characteristics of Life and Introduct
Comprehensive 11 Day Characteristics of Life and Introduct
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