To provide students with visual impairments with the opportunity to create an accurate representation of the shape and characteristics of plant cells
Cells are not visible in daily life. In fact, even seeing cells through microscope only provides the student with a view of only a few of the parts of a plant or animal cell. UDL stands for Universal Design for Learning. The cell models provide both tactile and kinesthetic feedback for students learning the structure of the cell. The bright colors and good contrast also work well for students with low vision.
Prior to doing this activity, students read articles about the parts of a cell, learn the parts of a microscope, and practice preparing slides of plant cells. Prepared slides may also be used. Student will also benefit from examining 3D models of cells, and large print and tactile drawings of cells with parts labeled.
Students with useful vision may be able to look at the image of the cells on the monitor or television screen. Then students will use the parts of the cell kit to create a model of what they observed. For the student whose lack of vision makes viewing the cell impossible, the teacher, assistant, or lab partner can construct the tactile model replicating the image on the screen. The student then examines the model tactually. Alternately, the student who has examined raised line drawings of cells can create a model using the kit. Then the lab partner can reshape the model to resemble the one being viewed.
For more information about the UDL Cell Model Kit visit http://www.cellzone.org
LS1.A: Structure and Function
UDL Cell Model Guidebook, Springfield Technical Community College, 2010. Funded by a grant form the National Science Foundation (NSF)
This activity was authored by Dawn Tamarkin, cell biology professor, Springfield Technical Community College.
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