Age 10-12: Concept 4 - Systems and Interaction: Unit 2

Learn how to use a microscope and how to classify life on Earth using some of the characteristics of organisms and the cells that make up different organisms. Find out how plants and animals are different, even at the cellular level!

This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit, The Tree That Time Built.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Microscopes and Cells
  • Lesson 2: Animal Cells (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Plant Cells
  • Lesson 4: Systems of Plant and Animal Cells (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Large Systems of Life: Ecosystems (3 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Classifying Life (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Cells and Life on Earth (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Compare plant and animal cells and understand the internal structures within them that allow them to obtain energy, get rid of wastes, grow, and reproduce in different ways. (Science)
  • Describe biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem in which organisms interact. (Science)
  • Diagram the levels of organization within an ecosystem including organism, population, community, and ecosystem. (Science)
  • Identify the basic characteristic of organisms, including prokaryotic or eukaryotic, unicellular or multicellular, autotrophic or heterotrophic, and mode of reproduction, that further classify them in the currently recognized Kingdoms. (Science)
  • Know that cells can organize into tissues, tissues into organs, and organs into organ systems. (Science)
  • Recognize that the broadest taxonomic classification of living organisms is divided into currently recognized Domains. (Science)
  • Recognize that the presence of a nucleus determines whether a cell is prokaryotic or eukaryotic. (Science)
  • Understand that all organisms are composed of one or more cells. (Science)
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