Gametophyte Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

The gametophyte is an important stage in the plant life cycle, that you will likely cover in your biology class. This lesson contains activities that will help your students learn about gametophytes.

What Is a Gametophyte?

Plants and some species of algae have a life cycle in which generations of the plant alternate how many chromosomes the cells have. One generation will have two chromosomes, and then next will have one. A gametophyte produces gametes, which are the eggs and sperm of the plant. In essence, the gametophyte is responsible for the sexual reproduction of plants.

This topic will have many new vocabulary words for your students, and it will be helpful to give your students ample time to learn the new words and how they relate to each other. The following examples will help you with this while providing your students with engaging activities to learn about gametophytes.

Gamete Model


  • Clay
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom poms
  • Hot glue gun
  • Styrofoam balls
  • Toothpicks
  • Small slips of paper
  • Writing utensils


Have your students explore the gametes that gametophytes produce during the sexual reproduction of plants. Your students will need to create a female and male gamete. They should use the supplies you provide to create a model of each cell, and use the toothpicks to label each part of the gamete. Encourage your students to look at photos and diagrams of gametes to construct their models. They will need to think creatively about each part of the cells to find something that adequately represents each part.

3D Life Cycle


  • Modeling clay


Divide your students into groups of 2-3. Show your students a list of plants that they can choose from. Make sure you choose a variety of plants that represent different forms of algae, ferns, lycophytes, seed plants, and bryophtes (mosses). After your students have chosen their plant, they will create a life cycle that shows how gametophytes affect each generation for that particular plant. For instance, some plants have dominant gametophytes while others do not. This will affect how each life cycle looks.

Your students will use the clay to create representations of each different stage. After your students have completed their life cycles, display them around class to create a 'life cycle museum'.

Class Dictionary


  • Paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Binder

With your students, develop a list of vocabulary words that apply to gametophytes. Ensure that your students include the following words:

  • Spores
  • Alteration of generation
  • Haploid
  • Diploid
  • Archegonium
  • Antheridium

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