Sexual vs. Asexual Reproduction Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Understanding the similarities and differences between sexual and asexual reproduction is an important part of learning biology. This lesson offers some activities that will support your students as they work on this comparison.

Teaching About Reproduction

Are you a science teacher working on helping your students learn the different ways reproduction can occur in living organisms? Once you have taught your students some of the basics of cellular life, genetics, and the different kinds of reproduction, they will be ready to think in terms of comparisons and contrasts.

One of the most evident kinds of comparative work to do here has to do with the similarities and differences between sexual and asexual reproduction. As your students work on this aspect of understanding biology, it can help to have some activities that will appeal to different learning styles as you keep students engaged.

The activities in this lesson offer different approaches to considering sexual vs. asexual reproduction.

Visual Activities

Here, you will find activities designed to appeal to students who learn best with images and graphic organizers.

Microscopic Level

This activity lets students think about what is actually happening on a cellular level during reproduction. Show students images of slides that depict some of the changes and processes that occur on a cellular level during sexual as well as asexual reproduction. First, give them a chance to talk about what they notice and what this teaches them about similarities and differences.

Then, mix up the images and show them to students again, but this time, ask students to guess or recall which kind of reproduction they are seeing each kind and talk about how they know. You can also incorporate new images to make this round more of a challenge.

Diagram It

Ask students to work with partners for this activity. Each pair should take responsibility for thinking of one kind of asexual reproduction, such as fission or parthenogenesis, and one example of sexual reproduction in a species, such as birds, flowering plants, or mammals.

Then, they should create two different diagrams, one representing each of the processes they are working on. Students should create each diagram separately at first. When they are finished, ask them to look at their diagrams together and talk about the similarities and differences between each process.

Finally, give students an opportunity to share their work with their classmates.

Tactile Activities

These activities are good for students who like to use their hands and bodies when learning.

Dramatize It

Break students up into small groups for this creative and fun activity. Explain that their task is to create a skit in which someone is explaining to a group of people what is similar and different between asexual and sexual reproduction.

Students can use humor and as much imagination as they want while they are acting this out. Once they have had a chance to practice, they can perform their enactments for the rest of the class and talk about what they learned.

Cardboard Model

This is a good activity for students to work on with partners. Have each pair focus on a different type of reproduction; about half of your class should be looking at species that reproduce sexually, while about half should be looking at types or examples of asexual reproduction.

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