Year 6 Science

science owl

This is an activity from the Science section of the What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know resource book. To learn more about using Core Knowledge UK resource books, please visit the dedicated pages for teachers, parents, grandparents and home educators. Please sign up for the free Core Knowledge UK newsletter to receive updates about new resources and activities.

Different Kinds of Cells

Cells are many different shapes depending on the special jobs they do. Muscle cells are long and thing so that they can relax or contract and move the body. Red blood cells are tiny, round and flat so that they can pass through blood vessels and bring oxygen to other cells. Cells in a tree trunk are long and thin and form tubes to transport food and water up and down the tree. The cells on the surface of a plant's leaves are flat and tightly connected to form a type of 'skin' that keeps water in.

In complex organisms like human beings, cells are often organised into tissues, organs and systems. A tissue is a collection of similar cells that work together. If you feel your upper arm, you touch skin tissue. If you 'make a muscle', you can feel muscle tissue under the skin.

Tissues that do similar things work together to make organs, like the heart, the stomach or the brain. Organs can work together to form systems. For instance, the stomach, the large intestine and the small intestine are all organs that are parts of your digestive system. All of these tissues, organs and systems are built from cells.

This activity is adapted from pages 301 of What Your Year 6 Child Needs to Know, which will soon be available from our shop, here.