SC.6.L.14.2

Investigate and explain the components of the scientific theory of cells (cell theory): all organisms are composed of cells (single-celled or multi-cellular), all cells come from pre-existing cells, and cells are the basic unit of life.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Organization and Development of Living Organisms -

A. All living things share certain characteristics.

B. The scientific theory of cells, also called cell theory, is a fundamental organizing principle of life on Earth.

C. Life can be organized in a functional and structural hierarchy.

D. Life is maintained by various physiological functions essential for growth, reproduction, and homeostasis.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.6.L.14.3 Recognize and explore how cells of all organisms undergo similar processes to maintain homeostasis, including extracting energy from food, getting rid of waste, and reproducing.

  • Clarification :
    Students will identify, describe, and/or explain the components of cell theory.

    Students will describe how cells undergo similar processes to maintain homeostasis.
  • Content Limits :
    Items will assess neither scientists who contributed to the cell theory nor the historical development of the cell theory.

    Items addressing homeostasis should focus on cells maintaining homeostasis and are limited to the cellular level. Items will not address permeability, osmosis, or diffusion.

    Items may use the terms cellular respiration and photosynthesis in the context of homeostasis and the functions of cell structures but will not assess knowledge of these processes.

    Items will not assess cellular reproduction.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    This benchmark grouping is foundational. These concepts have not been introduced in the NGSSS prior to this grade-level grouping.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The cell theory applies to all organisms, including the five shown below.

    which of the following statements describes how these organisms are an example of the cell theory?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002040: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002050: M/J Comprehensive Science 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000010: M/J Life Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2000020: M/J Life Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820015: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7920030: Fundamental Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2017 (course terminated))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.6.L.14.In.2: Identify that the cell is the smallest basic unit of life and most living things are composed of many cells.
SC.6.L.14.Su.2: Recognize that there are smaller parts in all living things, too small to be seen without magnification, called cells.
SC.6.L.14.Pa.2: Recognize that the human body is made up of various parts.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

All Living Organisms Have Cells - Prove It! :

This lesson is inquiry-based and is centered around the 5-E Model. This lesson allows students to see that all living things have cells. Students will be able to use microscopes to determine whether something is alive or not. This lesson only addresses the idea that living things are made of cells. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Laws and Theories in Nature:

This lesson will begin with a presentation to discuss the major differences between hypotheses, theories and laws in science and society and identify several examples of laws and theories. The students will then go outside and make/write down/photograph examples of nature supporting these laws/theories.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cell Theory Tic-Tac-Toe:

This is a digital resource in which students will be able to choose three activities to demonstrate their mastery of cell theory.

Type: Lesson Plan

Small but Mighty: The progression of the Cell Theory:

The cell theory has had a major impact on modern science, from the development of the theory to the present day. This lesson will examine strategies students can use to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the development of the cell theory.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's ALIVE!:

This is a 5E style investigation of living and non-living things. Students will use their understanding of "living" to draw conclusions about how a flame should be classified and why. In the extension, students use resources to classify a virus as living or non-living. Their conclusion must be supported by evidence from the sources used. This is an introductory lesson that would be needed to completely cover the cell theory.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigate Cell Theory:

This lesson allows students to investigate the Cell Theory.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cell Theory:

This lesson is designed to teach middle school students about cell theory. The activity involves using microscopes and looking at living, dividing, and non-living material.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

The Cell Theory:

Learn to identify and explain the three parts of the Cell Theory in this interactive, bee-themed tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

The Cell Theory:

Learn to identify and explain the three parts of the Cell Theory in this interactive, bee-themed tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

The Cell Theory:

Learn to identify and explain the three parts of the Cell Theory in this interactive, bee-themed tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.