Asexual Reproduction Lesson Plan

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

This lesson plan introduces the concept of asexual reproduction to high school students. Students will study and discuss a text lesson, conduct observations of asexual reproduction in plants and experiment with fragmentation in planaria.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the term 'asexual reproduction'
  • Describe several forms of asexual reproduction found in plants
  • Describe several forms of asexual reproduction found in animals


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.


  • Copies of the text lesson Asexual Reproduction: Definition & Overview, one for each student
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one for each student
  • Several small potatoes
  • Several cuttings of succulents or other plants that will root in water
  • Live planaria (can be purchased online)
  • Petri dishes
  • Distilled water
  • Small, metric rulers
  • Plastic pipettes or droppers
  • Dissection scalpels or razor blades
  • Hand lenses
  • Hard-boiled egg yolk
  • Permanent marker or grease pencil



  • Purchase your planaria. Since they are live specimens, you can specify the date you want them delivered. They can survive in the refrigerator until you are ready for them.
  • At least 2 weeks ahead of time (more if you want to get some good root growth on your potatoes), purchase some small potatoes and some succulents.
  • Place the potatoes in a paper bag and leave them in a cupboard.
  • Cut some stems off your succulents and place them in a glass of water. Refill the water as it evaporates.
  • In a few days' time, your potatoes and succulents should begin sprouting roots. Before the lesson, place them in beakers or clear cups so your students can observe them.

Warm Up

  • Begin the lesson by asking students if they have ever found a forgotten potato in the back of their cupboard. What happened to the potato? (Alternatively, ask them what part of the plant they are eating when they eat carrots or potatoes. What would happen if they were to put one into the ground?)
  • Pass around your rooted potatoes and succulents. Explain to students that they are witnessing examples of asexual reproduction, or cloning, in plants. They will be learning more about asexual reproduction in today's lesson.

Text Lesson

  • Distribute copies of the text lesson Asexual Reproduction: Definition & Overview.
  • Call on students to take turns reading the first four sections of the lesson aloud, 'What is Reproduction?' - 'Asexual Reproduction.' Ask students the following questions:
    • What is meant by the term, 'reproduction?'
    • What are the types of reproduction?
    • What is the primary difference between sexual and asexual reproduction?
    • What are some other differences between sexual and asexual reproduction?
  • Divide the class into halves by having the students count off '1' and '2'. Explain that each group will read different sections and will teach the information they learned to the other group. Encourage students to underline and take notes while they read.
    • Ask the 1's to read, 'Plants: Asexual Reproduction via Root Structures' and 'Plants: Asexual Reproduction via Above Ground Methods.'
    • Ask the 2's to read 'Plants: Agamospermy', 'Agamopsermy: Spores' and 'Agamospermy: Seeds.'
  • Once students have finished reading and taking notes, ask the 1's to stand up and spread out around the room. Have each of the 2's find a 1 to work with.
  • Give the students a few minutes to share their information with each other.
  • Next, ask the 2's to raise their hands and have the 1's find a new partner. Repeat this process a few times so the students have several opportunities to both teach and listen.
  • Ask students to return to their seats. They will complete a similar exercise for the sections on asexual reproduction in animals.
    • Ask the 1's to read 'Bacteria, Yeasts and Animals: Binary Fission, Budding and Fragmentation.'
    • Ask the 2's to read 'Parthenogenesis: True Cloning in Animals' and 'What are the Benefits of Asexual Reproduction?'
  • Again, allow students the opportunity to teach their sections to other students. This time, begin by having the 2's stand up and spread out around room.
  • Once they have completed the activity, have students return to their seats.
  • Ask two or three students to take turns reading the 'Lesson Summary' aloud.
  • To check for understanding, distribute copies of the lesson quiz. Have students complete they quiz with the student seated next to them.

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