The Incredible, Edible Cell!


(adapted from:

Problem: How can you use gelatin and candy to make a model of a cell?

Hypothesis: ______________________________________________________________________________


* 1 gumball . . Nucleus* 2 blue or green pieces of fruit roll up .. Golgi Bodies * 2 red or yellow pieces of fruit roll up .. Endoplasmic Reticulum * 1 teaspoon of round cake sprinkles .. Ribosomes * 4 hot tamales .. Mitochondria * 4 chocolate covered raisins .. Vacuoles * 1 Jello/Knox mixture in plastic cup * 1 paper plate * 1 small Dixie cup full of cell parts (organelle) materials * 1 plastic knife * 1 plastic spoon


1.       Getting the Jello Ready. Follow the package directions to mix up batches of Jello gelatin mix. Pick a light colored flavor. Every 6 oz package will make up 4 or 5 cells. Add some unflavored Knox gelatin to the Jello to make it set up a little stiffer (just regular Jello fell apart during our first test). Pour the Jello/Knox mixture into individual 9 oz Solo brand plastic cups until they are about two-thirds full. Put them into a refrigerator to set. This is the end of today’s work. Make sure to label your cups! You are going make 2 cells (one animal cell and one plant cell.)

2.       Day Two time to eat! Remove the Jello from the plastic cup onto the paper plate. We had some problem with this. The students may need to run the knife around the very outside edge of the Jello to loosen it. There are some suggestions that you might spray the cup with Pam or some other non-stick material. We did not get a chance to try this yet. Running warm water over the cup may also loosen the Jello.

3.       Cut the Jello/Knox in half and remove the top half. Turn over the top and set it on the plate beside the bottom half

4.       Use the spoon to dig out a hole in the bottom half of the Jello/Knox cytoplasm. Just pushing the food pieces into the Jello causes it to crack and come apart, making for a very messy cell. Place the gumball in this hole to represent the nucleus of the cell.

5.       Using the spoon to make spaces and your diagram as a guide, place the other cell parts into the cell. Parts can be put into both the top and bottom half of the Jello/Knox cell

6.       Take the top part of the cell and carefully place it on the top. If the cell feels soft, you can put the parts back into the plastic cup, and then turn it over onto the paper plate. Then carefully remove the plastic cup.

7.       After reviewing the parts one final time, those students who wish to can feast on their cell. Please use clean spoons in case the spoon you were working with fell on the floor or the table.

Data: Draw your cell and label its parts.


1.       What are organelles?

2.       What organelles are found in plant cells?

3.       What organelles are found in animal cells?

4.       Give the function of these organelles:

·        Nucleus

·        Ribosomes

·        Endoplasmic reticulum

·        Golgi body

·        Mitochondria

·        Vacuole

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