Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Making of an Organ

Sandi King
Bay District Schools


How do cells make up our organs? Using a science reading, the study skills of outlining, note writing, and using a graphic organizer are taught. Students make a model of a tongue showing cells, tissues and the organ.


The student understands explicit and implicit ideas and information in fourth-grade or higher texts (for example, knowing main idea or essential message, connecting important ideas with corresponding details, making inferences about information, distinguishing between significant and minor details, knowing chronological order of events).

The student reads and organizes information (for example, in outlines, timelines, graphic organizers) throughout a single source for a variety of purposes (for example, discovering models for own writing, making a report, conducting interviews, taking a test, performing a task).

The student writes notes, comments, and observations that reflect comprehension of fourth grade or higher level content and experiences from a variety of media.

The student knows that living things are composed of cells.

The student knows that processes needed for life are carried out by the cells.


- Copies and transparency of the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs, from associated files (one copy per student plus the demonstration transparency)
- Copies of the questions that accompany the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs (one per student)
- Transparency of the graphic, Cells Make Tissues and Organs, from the associated files
- Student science notebooks (made on day one for his unit)
- Overhead projector
- Transparency of the model outlines from the associated file
- Copy of the Formative Assessment Checklist (from unit's associated files)
- Construction paper strips cut 4 ˝ “ x 1” in these quantities and colors for each of the two groups (red = 71, yellow = 12, green = 6, brown = 12, white = 8)
- Glue (one bottle per group – NOT glue stick)
- Instructions for The Making of a Tongue from associated files
- Vocabulary cards from the associated files
- Vocabulary words written on sentence strips or tag board for unit word wall


1. Download, print, duplicate, and make a transparency of the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs from associated files. (One copy per student plus the demonstration transparency.)
2. Download, print, and duplicate the questions that accompany the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs. (One copy per student.)
3. Download, print, and make a transparency of the graphic Cells Make Tissues and Organs from the associated files.
4. Return student science notebooks to the students. These were made the first day of the unit.
5. Secure an overhead projector.
6. Download, print, and make a transparency of the model outlines from the associated file.
7. Locate your copy of the Formative Assessment Checklist previously used in this unit (Available from the unit plan associated files. See Extensionssection of this lesson plan for a link.)
8. Cut construction paper into strips 4 ˝ “ x 1” in these quantities and colors: red = 71, yellow = 12, green = 6, brown = 12, white = 8.
9. Secure one bottle of glue per group. Do NOT use glue sticks, as the glue is not strong enough to hold over time.
10. Download and print the instructions for The Making of a Tongue, available from associated files. Make one copy per group or one transparency to be shared by all groups.
11. Download and print the vocabulary cards.
12. Write vocabulary words on sentence strip or tag board for the unit word wall.


This lesson plan is to be used on day 4 of the unit, The Inside Story - Cells, Organs, and Systems of the Human Body. This is lesson plan three of twelve included in the unit. This lesson plan integrates reading, writing, and science.


1. Review yesterday’s information about cells. Be sure to have students use their science notebooks as a reference as you ask questions about yesterday’s activities in science, reading in the content area, and writing in their science notebooks. Specifically, be sure to ask questions about cells; how we know they are there (see with a microscope), what they do for our bodies (take in food and oxygen and let out waste to keep our body alive and working properly), what they need to stay alive (food, water, oxygen), how the food, water, and oxygen get to the cells (blood from arteries), what waste the cells make (carbon dioxide and urea), how the cells rid themselves of the waste (blood through veins), and the parts of the cell (membrane, cytoplasm, organelles, and nucleus).

* As you are reviewing yesterday’s information, be sure to mark the Formative Assessment Checklist that was begun previously. Give both affirmative, “Yes, the nucleus does control everything in the cell.” and corrective, “Let’s think about that again. We get oxygen when we breathe, but what carries the oxygen to the cells?” oral feedback.

Reading/Science -

2. As a reading activity, students silently read the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs. Before reading alert students that they are reading for a purpose. Today’s purpose is to discover a supporting fact for the main idea, and at least two details for each fact.

* Pass out individual copies of the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs, and display a large projection of the article using the overhead. Allow about five minutes for students to read the article. As students are reading, orally praise any students who have gotten out a piece of paper and are making notes.

* Distribute the question sheet that accompanies the article, Cells, Tissues, and Organs. Have students answer all of the questions by writing their answers on the form provided. Remind students that the article can be used as a reference. They do not have to memorize all the information, just comprehend it in order to complete the answers. This activity helps the students prepare for the summative assessment that will be administered tomorrow.

* After students have completed the reading and question sheet, ask the various comprehension questions from their question sheet concerning the article. Be sure to discuss and explain about the main idea, supporting facts, and details as well as explicit and implicit information gathered from the article.

* Oral formative feedback should be given in response to the students' answers to your questions as you mark the Formative Assessment Checklist from the associated files. Use the checklist to note any students who had problems with the content on previous days and be sure to direct specific questions to these students. Mark your checklist as to their ability to answer today’s questions.

* Be sure to give corrective and affirmative feedback. Corrective feedback might include responses such as, “No, the cells do not get huge from all the food and water, what must they get rid of in order to make room for the food and water?” Affirmative feedback might include responses such as, ”You’ve got it! Cells get rid of the waste they can not use in order to make room for more food and water.”

Writing –

3. Remind students of how they organized the science information in their science notebooks (outline, paragraph, and illustration). Have students put their science notebooks on their desks. On the table of contents page, make the entry “Cells, tissues, organs – page 7."

* Have the students turn to page 5 and looking at yesterday’s outline, review the rules of outlining.

* Turn to page 7 of the science notebook, and using the overhead, model making an outline of today’s information. Elicit entries to the outline from the students. Underline main ideas on the overhead transparency. Request that students tell you if the information is a fact or a supporting detail and where it should go on the outline. Students complete their outlines while the teacher is modeling.

*Upon completion of the outlines, refer to the rubric that is in the back of the student’s science notebooks. Discuss your model outline in terms of the criteria from the rubric. Make any editing changes that may be necessary in order to receive that excellent rating for today’s outline. Be sure to explain why these changes need to be made. It is important for the teacher to model this editing procedure using the rubric, so as the days of the unit progress, be sure to make some errors in your outline model so that an opportunity arises that editing is necessary. Science notebooks are put aside for the next activity, but will be used again after the activity.

Science –

4. As a lead into this activity and as a review of the science information gained from the article read, display the vocabulary cards from the associated files. Read the definition and ask students to match it to one of the words. Discuss the difference between cells, tissues, and organs. Display the transparency of the graphic Cells Make Tissues and Organs showing the skin portion of the transparency. Discuss the relationship between the cells, tissue, and organ. Place the vocabulary cards on the unit word wall.

5. The Making of a Tongue activity - purpose
Share with the students that the purpose of this activity is to make a visual representation of cells making tissue and tissue making organs. In this tongue model, each link represents a cell and each color represents a different kind of tissue. All of the different kinds of tissue work together to form one organ. In this model, the red “cells” are muscle cells and make muscle tissue. The brown “cells” make taste bud tissue for detecting bitter tastes such as coffee granules or unsweetened chocolate. The yellow “cells” make taste bud tissue for detecting salty tastes. The green “cells” make taste bud tissue for detecting sour tastes such as dill pickles. The white “cells” make taste bud tissue for detecting sweet tastes. All of these different tissues work together to make the organ we call the tongue.

6. The Making of a Tongue – group and jobs
Divide the class into two groups. List the jobs for each group making sure there is a job for each member of the group. The tongue model is made up of eleven rows. If there are fewer than eleven in each group, combine jobs. If there are more than eleven in the group, create additional jobs. Sample jobs are:
1. Make row one.
2. Make row two.
3–11. Make rows three through eleven.
12. Glue rows 1 – 5 together
13. Gather red paper strips.

7. The Making of a Tongue - activity
Follow the directions from The Making of a Tongue Instructions from the associated files.

8. As the students are cleaning up, conduct a formative assessment of how cells make tissue and tissue make organs by conducting individual interviews with the students as you circulate around the class. Give corrective and affirmative oral feedback as you are marking the Formative Assessment Checklist.

Writing –

9. Now that students have read about cells, tissues, and organs, written an outline of the information, made a model to demonstrate the cells, tissues, and organ relationship, they should be ready to complete today’s science notebook entries. Demonstrate, using the overhead, how to write a paragraph about the new science knowledge learned today. Your model should follow the Florida Writes models of main idea, facts, and supporting details. The paragraph should contain notes about factual information, as well as comments and observations about what has been learned through today’s activities. After your modeling is complete and your example is removed from view, allow about 15 minutes for students to complete their writings. As they are writing, circulate around the room and give formative feedback to individuals. Be sure to give specific praise such as, “I see you have three details to support this fact.” and corrective feedback such as, “You need to add some details to support this fact.” The Formative Assessment Checklist is marked as appropriate.

Science/ Language Arts

10. Display the transparency of the graphic organizer, Cells Make Tissues and Organs. Discuss how this graphic organizer helps us to “see” and understand the connection between cells, tissues, and organs.

11. The final activity for today is the illustration that must accompany each day’s entry in the science notebook. The purpose of the illustration is to organize information for a variety of purposes. With the transparency displayed, allow students about ten minutes to complete their illustration (graphic organizer) in their science notebooks. It is important to do the paragraph writing before the illustration since students may use excessive time on the illustration and not keep their focus on the modeling of the writing. Doing the writing first helps students remain focused.

12. Model using the rubric of criteria to self-assess your paragraph and illustration. See the note on #3 above for an explanation of modeling finding errors and modeling the editing process using the rubric.

13. Review for summative assessment #1, I Am Alive. This assessment will have questions concerning cell functions and living things composed of cells, as well as a paragraph for the students to read and answer questions about as they have been practicing with the daily articles. Students should be encouraged to take their science notebooks home to use as a study guide for tomorrow's assessment.


Formative assessments are integrated in this lesson plan and are described in activities #1, #2, #8, and #13. Examples of affirmative and corrective oral feedback are given in the procedures section of this lesson plan. A Formative Assessment Checklist is available from the unit's associated files.

The importance of individual formative assessment cannot be overstated. It is this formative assessment that guides teacher planning and individual assistance to assure that all students are successful.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. The paragraphs can be read orally to assist students with reading problems.
3. The The Making of a Tongue activity can be done as individuals rather than in a group setting if time allows.
4. [Magic School Bus, Inside the Human Body] is a great book, video, CD to use as a resource.

Attached Files

Reading text and associated materials     File Extension: pdf

Graphics and associated materials     File Extension: pdf

Making of a Tongue activity     File Extension: pdf

Vocabulary     File Extension: pdf

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