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Tiny Titans: The Cell Story

Software: Brush Ninja
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In this lesson, learners will dive into the world of cells and their organelles, taking a journey similar to explorers in new territories. Using Brush Ninja, learners will craft animated stories to showcase their newfound knowledge.


Lesson Overview

Overview Activity Objectives
Opening Activity Learners will use the SEM simulator to explore the microscopic world virtually. They'll magnify objects, and uncover hidden structures and textures, setting the stage for our exploration of cells and organelles.
  • Develop a sense of curiosity and excitement about the unseen world of tiny structures. 
Main Activity Learners(in groups) will fuse their grasp of cells and organelles with creativity, using Brush Ninja to create captivating cell stories. Through artful storytelling, learners will solidify their understanding while visually animating the microscopic realm.
  • Utilize their understanding of cells and organelles to construct animated stories that accurately depict cellular structures and their functions.
  • Promote SEL.
Closing Activity Learners will take turns sharing their own animated cell stories with the class.
  • Enhance comprehension by learning from classmates' interpretations.
  • Build confidence in public speaking and sharing ideas.


Prior Knowledge

Learners should be able to:

  • Identify living things and their basic characteristics.
  • Tell that living organisms are made up of smaller parts.


Lesson Objectives

  • Learn about cells and cell organelles.
  • Create an animated story using Brush Ninja.


Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to: 

  • Recognize that cells are the fundamental structural and functional units of living organisms.
  • Appreciate the diversity of cells in various organisms and understand that living things can be composed of one cell or multiple types of cells.
  • Identify key organelles within animal cells, including the nucleus, cytoplasm, and cell membrane.
  • Create an animated cell story using Ninja Brush.



Pre-lesson Preparation

  • Like all lessons on Eddy, this lesson follows a certain approach. If this is your first time implementing an Eddy lesson, check out our lesson approach for more information.
  • Prepare necessary technology/hardware in advance
    • Devices (tablets/laptops/Chromebooks/computers) - one per team
    • A stable wifi connection.
    • Access to Brush Ninja  on each device.


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Slide 3

Introduce the ground rules to learners.
You can check out our lesson approach if it’s your first time conducting an Eddy lesson.

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Slide 4

Engage learners by asking, "Can you guess what object is shown in the image?"
Encourage learners to observe closely and share their predictions about the object's identity.

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Slide 5

After their responses, unveil the object as sugar crystals.
Ask learners whether they know the device that allows them to venture into the tiny realm.

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Slide 6

Highlight the impact of the microscope's discovery. 
Explain how it revolutionized our understanding by revealing a previously hidden realm of minuscule structures and organisms. 
Mention its pivotal role in advancing biology, medicine, and science in general. 

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Slide 7

Introduce the SEM simulator as a tool for microscopic exploration. 
Explain that it enables users to examine various objects at a microscopic level. Provide the link https://myscope-explore.org/virtualSEM_explore.html
Encourage learners to engage in the exploration process by visiting the website.

Note: An SEM microscope, which stands for Scanning Electron Microscope, is a powerful tool that lets us see incredibly tiny objects with great detail. It uses electron beams to scan the surface of objects, creating super-detailed images. Unlike regular microscopes, which use light, an SEM uses electrons to give us a closer look at the fine textures and structures of things that are too small for our eyes to see.

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Slide 8, 9, 10

Guide the learners through the instructions to effectively utilize the simulator.

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Slide 11

Engage learners with reflective questions.
Encourage learners to think critically about their observations and consider the connections between the objects they explored and the idea of smaller building blocks within them.


What to do if the simulator doesn’t work?
If the simulator doesn't work, try these steps: Refresh: Reload the webpage by pressing Ctrl + R (Windows) or Command + R (Mac). Check Browser: Ensure you're using a compatible browser like Chrome or Firefox. Clear Cache: Clear your browser's cache and cookies and try again.
How does the opening activity reinforce learning?
Actively exploring the SEM simulator deepens understanding through hands-on experience.
How to help the slow learners?
Guided Assistance: Provide step-by-step guidance during SEM exploration if needed. Extended Time: Allow extra time for SEM exploration and question responses.
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Slide 12

Discuss the concept of cells.
Explain to the learners that cells are the smallest building blocks of life, constituting the fundamental units within all living organisms. 

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Slide 13

Discuss unicellular and multi-cellular organisms with the learners.

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Slide 14

Encourage learners to consider the internal components of a cell. 
Pose the question: 'What can you observe within the cell?'
Possible Responses:
Inside Substance: Learners might mention the contents inside the cell, like a jelly-like substance.
Small Parts: learners may refer to tiny structures or pieces inside the cell.
Unknown: Some learners might admit not knowing the specific details.
Colors/Textures: They might describe colors or textures seen in the image.

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Slide 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Discuss the different organelles.
Nucleus - The Command Center
Cytoplasm - The Jelly Playground
Cell Membrane - The Protective Wall
Mitochondria - The Power House
Endoplasmic Reticulum - The Delivery System

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Slide 21

Guide learners through using Brush Ninja for their cell stories
Introduce Brush Ninja as a digital drawing tool for creating animations.
Explain that it's like making a flipbook or mini-movie with drawings.

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Slide 22

Divide learners into small groups. 

You can check out the Eddy Approach if required.

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Slide 23

Ask the learners to familiarize themselves with the user interface.

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Slide 24

introduction, main content, and conclusion.
Guide learners to brainstorm a captivating introduction that introduces their chosen cell character and sets the tone for the animation.
Encourage learners to consider which organelles to feature and brainstorm how their character can interact with each organelle while providing brief explanations.
Help learners craft a concise recap of the animation's content and guide them to conclude with a positive and impactful message.

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Slide 25

Guide learners on how to create the introduction.

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Slide 26, 27

Guide learners on how to add the content involving organelles.

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Slide 28

Guide learners to adjust frame rates.

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Slide 29

Guide learners on how to play the animation.

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Slide 30

Guide learners on how to download the  GIF/video file. 

Finally, instruct them to start working on their cell story.


What if students face problems navigating Brush Ninja?
Peer support: Encourage peer support and collaboration by pairing students who are familiar with such tech platforms with struggling learners. Tech tutorial: You can direct them to the tech tutorial or guide that provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the platform.
How can I adjust this section for advanced learners?
Encourage advanced learners to expand their animations by incorporating additional frames.
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Slide 31, 32

Allow learners to share their creations.

Briefly discuss the rules with the learners to be followed while sharing.

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Slide 33

Reflection: Have learners reflect on their experience creating their stories.


What to do if some learners are not feeling confident enough to present in the class?
The educator can join the team and initiate the presentation to boost the students’ morale.

Understanding of Cell Concept



The learner shows limited recognition of cells as basic units. Displays minimal grasp of cell diversity and compositions.


The learner recognizes cells as fundamental units and acknowledges diversity in organisms. Understands that organisms can be unicellular or multicellular with distinct cell types.



The learner clearly recognizes cells as fundamental units. Appreciates diversity in organisms and comprehends the range from unicellular to multicellular organisms with different cell types.


Identification of Key Organelles



The learner struggles to identify or inaccurately identifies key organelles in animal cells. Demonstrates limited understanding of their functions.



The learner partially identifies key organelles and their functions within animal cells.


The learner accurately identifies and understands the roles of key organelles, such as the nucleus, cytoplasm, and cell membrane in animal cells.


Application of Animation Tool



The learner struggles to use Ninja Brush effectively for animation creation. Animation lacks coherence and relevance to cell concepts.



The learner moderately applies Ninja Brush for animation creation, with some coherence in the animation's relation to cell concepts.



The learner skillfully employs Ninja Brush to create an engaging animated cell story that effectively reflects cell concepts.




Comments (1)

Peeyusha Sharma
05 Oct 2023
Very interesting use of the software.