Life Science

Mitosis Inquiry Activity

Hi all - I'm going to begin discussing cell division with my 10th graders soon and would like to use an inquiry activity. Does anybody introduce mitosis or teach this portion with inquiry activities and be willing to share what you do? Thanks in advance! Kathryn

Kathryn Kennedy
Kathryn Kennedy
9055 Activity Points

Hi Kathryn,
You might want to do an advanced search, too. I put in "mitosis" as the key word, then filtered it only for high school. 7 resources came up. This one sounded really neat:
Making Mitosis Visible
Also
Idea Bank: Mitosis Flip Book.
I have done this with my middle school students, and it was very helpful for them to create the "pages" and put them in the correct order. This article has the pictures already drawn.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
84203 Activity Points

I got a flipbook template from a colleague. The students drew the stages on a template they had to cut out, only half of the books turned out well. To get the flipbook to work the pages need to line up perfectly. Next year I plan on having the students draw the stages in the top right hand corner of their composition books. The flipbook overall is a good idea.

Gerry Clarin
Gerry Clarin
2125 Activity Points

Hi Kathryn, Have you considered having your students make their own onion root tip slides? I need to give a shout out to Brad Williamson with Kansas Association of Biology Teachers for posting this to the KABT BioBlog. You can see his November 8, 2008 post [url=http://www.kabt.org/?s=mitosis]here[/url]. Just scroll down the page, his post is the second one. Here is how I approach mitosis with my students. It takes a couple of days. First, I have my biology students make their own onion root tip slides at the beginning of my mitosis lesson. They view their own slides and also their classmates' slides. Your class should get several very good mounts and some not so great ones (depending on how careful your students are). Next, I have my students view prepared onion root tip slides that can be purchased for any biological supply house. Students compare their slides with the "professional" preparation. Finally, I have enlarged some digital pictures of several onion tip mounts and laminated them. I make two copies of each images. One copy of the image I keep intact. I cut the individual cells apart on the other copy of the same image. I have my students working in partners physically sort the individual cells into what stage of mitosis they think the cells are using a large piece of paper with areas for each of the stages of mitosis. Then I have my student pairs compare with another student pair. They have to work out where the two pairs disagree and decide why they chose the stage they did. I then bring all the groups back together and facilitate a discussion. I project a digital image of a prepared slide. Student use cards to vote at what stage of mitosis each cell is. We goes through about 10 to 15 cells as a class. Then I have my student consider how many cells were at each stage using the results they got from their previous count. I have them journal in their lab notebooks the highlights of each stage. Then will talk about the whitefish blastula (the example for animal mitosis). They view a professional mount and then sort laminated copies of individual cells. Lastly, I show them [url=http://www.cellsalive.com/mitosis.htm]this film[/url] from the Cells Alive website and we talked about how the cell cycle is continuous.

Ruth Hutson
Ruth Hutson
62730 Activity Points

I love the ideas that have been suggested above, I have also use the flip book idea with mitosis. Another idea, when teaching crossing over is to use colored socks, to keep things sanitary you could put the socks/gloves on hands (I don't have this activity written up, however, you have 2 of the same colors, they duplicate (i.e. hands/feet) and then begin to separate). This way you could also teach crossing over. With crossing arms/legs and switching the socks. Are you teaching specifically mitosis? I use the saying "I pee'd Matt see?" (IPMATC) for the menomic phrase - remember, I'm alt. MS! I tell the story of small children camping and their first time having to use the bathroom outside. :) The students love the story, which I have to modify depending on group. Enjoy, Alyce

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

Hi all - Thanks so much for the suggestions! I had tried the flip book idea, but it didn't seem to work with my students that year and so I gave up on it. Maybe I should try it again this year. I loved the mnemonic device, Alyce. That's hilarious! I created a virtual lab for onion root tips (our school has yet to invest in quality microscopes) that I'm attaching. Feel free to use it and if you modify it, let me know how it works out. Cheers! Kathryn

Kathryn Kennedy
Kathryn Kennedy
9055 Activity Points

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