SC.912.L.14.1

Describe the scientific theory of cells (cell theory) and relate the history of its discovery to the process of science.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Standard: Organization and Development of Living Organisms -

A. Cells have characteristic structures and functions that make them distinctive.

B. Processes in a cell can be classified broadly as growth, maintenance, reproduction, and homeostasis.

C. Life can be organized in a functional and structural hierarchy ranging from cells to the biosphere.

D. Most multicellular organisms are composed of organ systems whose structures reflect their particular function.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
    Also Assesses:

    SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

    SC.912.N.2.1 Identify what is science, what clearly is not science, and what superficially resembles science (but fails to meet the criteria for science).

    SC.912.N.3.1 Explain that a scientific theory is the culmination of many scientific investigations drawing together all the current evidence concerning a substantial range of phenomena; thus, a scientific theory represents the most powerful explanation scientists have to offer.

    SC.912.N.3.4 Recognize that theories do not become laws, nor do laws become theories; theories are well-supported explanations and laws are well-supported descriptions.

  • Clarification :

    Students will describe and/or explain the cell theory.

     Students will describe how continuous investigations and/or new scientific information influenced the development of the cell theory.

    Students will identify ways in which a scientific claim is evaluated (e.g., through scientific argumentation, critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations).

    Students will identify what is science, what is not science, and what resembles but fails to meet the criteria for science.

    Students will explain the development of a theory.

    Students will recognize the differences between theories and laws.

  • Content Limits :

    Items may assess how contributions of scientists such as Van Leeuwenhoek, Hooke, Schwann, Schleiden, and/or Virchow aided in the development of the cell theory but will not assess what each scientist contributed.

    Items assessing a scientific claim, the development of a theory, or the differences between theories and laws are limited to the cell theory.

  • Stimulus Attributes :
    None Specified
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply scientific knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge of SC.6.L.14.2, SC.8.E.5.10, SC.6.N.2.1, SC.6.N.2.2, SC.6.N.3.1, SC.6.N.3.2, SC.6.N.3.3, SC.7.N.1.7, SC.7.N.2.1, SC.7.N.3.1, SC.8.N.1.5, SC.8.N.2.1, SC.8.N.2.2, and SC.8.N.3.2.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The cell theory was first proposed in 1838. Evidence obtained through additional scientific investigations resulted in the current cell theory. Which statement describes a component of the original cell theory that was removed because of the new scientific knowledge?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2000310: Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000320: Biology 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027010: Biotechnology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
3027020: Biotechnology 2 (Specifically in versions: 2015 and beyond (current))
2002480: Forensic Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2017, 2017 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002400: Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002410: Integrated Science 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000800: Florida's Preinternational Baccalaureate Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7920015: Access Biology 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
7920025: Access Integrated Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2000315: Biology 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2000500: Bioscience 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
2002405: Integrated Science 1 for Credit Recovery (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020 (course terminated))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.L.14.In.1: Identify that all living things are made of cells and cells function in similar ways (cell theory).
SC.912.L.14.Su.1: Identify that the cell is the smallest basic unit of life and that all living things are made of cells.
SC.912.L.14.Pa.1: Match parts of common living things to their functions.

Related Resources

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

Lesson Plans

Cells Are Alive!:

This lesson plan guides the student to examine the reasoning behind each of the tenets of the cell theory. Students will explore the formulation of cell theory and why this fundamental principle is important to biology by watching a video, conducting their own research, and discussing ideas with their peers.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Cell Theory Sharing Book:

In this lesson, students will create a picture book about the cell theory to be shared with middle school students who are learning about this topic and to demonstrate the relationship between the development and the process of science.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Explore the Cell Theory!:

Students will explore the cell theory. Over the course of the lesson, students will examine the major parts of the cell theory and learn about the scientists who were involved in its development.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tracing the Development of the Cell Theory:

This lesson will help the students to understand the cell, the cell theory and the scientists who contributed to the development of the cell theory.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Cell Theory Lesson Plan:

The components that make up the Cell Theory will be discussed, and students will show understanding by writing a detailed paragraph in their own words explaining the three components. They will then work in small groups to research historical events leading to the development of the theory by numerous scientist, the dates of their contributions, and explain how each contribution increased the development of the Cell Theory.

Students will then independently report their findings by constructing a colorful detailed timeline. The time line will show the historical events leading to the development of the cell theory in a chronology order. Using their timeline they will revisit the one-paragraph summary of the cell theory and rewrite the paper to explain how the sequence of events leading to the development of the cell theory in a Chronology order demonstrates the true nature of science as we know it today.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Cell Theory through Observation, Testing, and Modeling:

Students will address the three main tenets of cell theory by investigating: (1) "How big is a cell?" (using virtual scaling and compound microscope skills); (2) "What do cells do?" (students will build a model of a cell using craft materials); and (3) "Where do new cells come from?" (interpreting evidence from graphs and making new predictions). This lesson would work well paired with a review on what constitutes a scientific theory and student practice of using compound microscopes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Cells, Cells Everywhere!:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in the basic principles of the cell theory. The cell theory states that all organisms are made of cells. These cells are the smallest and basic unit of life. And finally, cells can only come from other cells.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

Sorting Cells:

Flow Cytometry is a cool technology that can count and sort cells.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Text Resource

Animal Cells Can Communicate by Reaching Out and Touching, UCSF Team Discovers:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have discovered that animal cells can communicate by sending out thin tubes of cytoplasm called cytonemes that extend across many cells to reach a cell that will receive the signal, much like neuron communication.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorial

Cell Structure and Function:

This tutorial is a basic unit on cellular biology. The unit introduces the cell theory and its parts. It also discusses the importance of microscopes while studying cells. This presentation describes animal and plant cells in detail and discusses the organelles found in each.

Type: Tutorial

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades 9-12

Cells, Cells Everywhere!:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in the basic principles of the cell theory. The cell theory states that all organisms are made of cells. These cells are the smallest and basic unit of life. And finally, cells can only come from other cells.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorial

Cells, Cells Everywhere!:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in the basic principles of the cell theory. The cell theory states that all organisms are made of cells. These cells are the smallest and basic unit of life. And finally, cells can only come from other cells.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorial

Cell Structure and Function:

This tutorial is a basic unit on cellular biology. The unit introduces the cell theory and its parts. It also discusses the importance of microscopes while studying cells. This presentation describes animal and plant cells in detail and discusses the organelles found in each.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

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