Activity 2.2: Molecules Cells Are Made of (45 min)

Target Student Performance

Students use food labels to describe molecules in animal, plant, and decomposer cells: large organic molecules (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), as well as water, vitamins, and minerals.

Resources Provided

Recurring Resources


Print one copy of 2.2 Food Labels Worksheet for each student. Print the reusable handouts one copy of 2.2 Reading Nutrition Labels Handout and one copy of 2.2 Food Label Cards per pair of students. Print one copy each of the molecule posters and post them on your classroom wall.


1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.


Use 2.2 Grading the Food Labels Worksheet to grade student responses. At this point, students can be held accountable for correct answers. If students are still struggling with these concepts, you may want to revisit parts of the lesson they are finding difficult.

  • Add challenging vocabulary to the word wall
  • Pair students strategically
  • Provide sentence stems for discussion
  • Emphasize use of visual aids in both PowerPoints and printed material
  • Bring in example foods to show students macromolecules in the food they eat
  • Complete one part of the 2.2 Food Labels Worksheet together before having students work on their own

Instead of beginning with the food labels of beef and carrots in the PPT, have students bring in food labels from home and share what they know about the food from the labels. Then, continue with the activity.

Extending the Learning

There are many opportunities to explore cell structure and function in greater depth:

  • Students could learn about other molecules not included in this activity, such as nucleic acids.
  • Students could learn about organelles and their functions. (Some organelles, such as mitochondria, could be included in later lessons on cell processes.)
  • Students could also learn about functions of specific molecules, such as the role of lipids in the cell membrane or functions of proteins as enzymes.