Animal & Plant Cell Slides

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In this activity, learners make slides of onion cells and their own cheek cells. Use this lab to teach learners how to prepare microscope slides and use a microscope. Learners will also identify differences between plant and animal cells. Note: a microscope is required for this activity, but is not included in the cost of materials. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 glass slides
  • 2 cover slips
  • 1 bottle of methylene blue (optional)
  • 1 plastic tray
  • 1 bottle of iodine
  • 1 plastic dropper
  • 1 small plastic cup
  • 1 toothpick
  • 1 piece of onion
  • 1 pair of tweezers
  • 1 microscope


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Mission Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Mission Science Workshop, 2013