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Mitosis Lesson Plan

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Use Study.com's video lesson on mitosis to initiate a hands-on activity demonstrating the phases involved in cell division. By the end of the lesson, students should be able to explain why cells divide and list what occurs during each phase of mitosis.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe why cells in the body undergo mitosis
  • list the steps of mitosis: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase
  • briefly describe what takes place in each phase

Length

30-50 minutes, depending on the age group and their prior knowledge

Materials

  • Play-doh or clay in four different colors
  • Rubber bands
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Sticky notes

Curriculum Standards

Grade 6-8

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4

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 6-8 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7

Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

Grade 9-10

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

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 9-10 texts and topics.

Instructions

  • Place students in pairs. Ideally, each pair will have a desk that will represent a cell. Tell students that they are going to use their desks to learn about mitosis with the help of a Study.com video. Assign one student the recorder and one in charge of the cell.
  • Begin the video entitled, What is Mitosis? - Definition, Stages & Function
  • Stop the video at 3:14. Hand out the following to each pair:
    • Play-doh in four different colors (each group should get a ping-pong ball size),
    • Four rubber bands, each cut in half (totaling eight rubber band pieces)
    • A pipe cleaner cut into four pieces
    • Four sticky notes
  • Tell students that each color of play-doh represents the DNA that has coiled into chromosomes. Students need to create two copies of each (remind them that they got copied in interphase as the video noted). Each pair should make four X's out of the play-doh. The building of these x's is the responsibility of the student in charge of the cell (of course, he or she can get assistance from the partner).
  • Next, have them use the pipe cleaners as 'belts' holding the DNA copies together. If they are confused, have them use the image at 3:14 as a reference. They can place the rubber band pieces on the desk. Finally, the recorder needs to write 'Prophase' on the top of the sticky and place that on the desk.
  • Resume the video and stop at 3:48. The recorder needs to write on sticky under 'Prophase,' 'See chromosomes' and 'Nucleus breaks down.' The person in charge of the cell should make sure the play-doh and rubber bands look like they did in the video during prophase.
  • Remove the 'Prophase' sticky and replace it with a new sticky that says 'Metaphase.' Continue the video.
  • Stop the video at 4:12 and have the recorder write the following on the sticky: 'Chromosomes lined up in the middle,' 'Nucleus disappeared,' and 'Spindles formed'
  • Next, have the student in charge of the cell line the chromosomes up in a line in the middle of the desk. Arrange the rubber band pieces so they attach to the 'belt.' Remind students that the rubber bands are spindles.
  • Tell students to replace the 'Metaphase' sticky with 'Anaphase' and then resume the video.
  • Stop the video at 4:44 and have the student in charge of the cell pull the chromosomes apart (he or she may have to unwind the pipe cleaner or just remove it altogether). Have them pretend the rubber bands are pulling them apart. The recorder needs to write the following under the 'Anaphase' title: 'Chromosomes pulled apart and move to opposite sides of the cell.' Replace the 'Anaphase' sticky with the final sticky: 'Telophase.' Resume the video, stopping it at 5:05.
  • Have the recorder write under 'Telophase' the following: 'Nucleus forms.' The video does not use the word 'cytokinesis' to describe one cell becoming two, but it seems fitting to introduce that here. Have the materials person further separate the chromosomes (one set on one side of the desk, the other set to the other side of the desk).
  • Resume the video.

Extensions

  • Use guided notes to draw/compile notes about the activity/video.
  • Give names to the 'belts' (centromere).
  • Describe that cancer is uncontrolled mitosis.
  • Ask each pair to demonstrate each phase of mitosis with their play-doh and other supplies. Walk around to check for understanding.

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