Battle Royale: Mitosis vs. Meiosis
Lesson 4 of 4
Objective: SWBAT make a claim to which cellular division process is most important and provide evidence that explains the details of mitosis and meiosis.
In an effort to encourage students to master their understanding of cell division, this lesson will focus on the similarities and differences between the processes of mitosis and meiosis. The NGSS requires students to go beyond rote memorization of the steps for these processes. Rather students need to be able model the processes and explain their importance in maintaining complex organisms (mitosis), as well as the potential for inheritable genetic variations through cell division (meiosis). Students will struggle with keeping the details of the two similar processes separate which is why this additional lesson is essential to solidify student understanding.
Students will get out a sheet of paper and create a T-chart to list all of the characteristics of mitosis and meiosis. Students have had the opportunity to learn about both process in previous lessons: Mitosis Lesson and Meiosis Lesson.
After two minutes the students will share their responses with their neighbor and are able to add to their list after their brief collaboration. This graphic organizer will help to provide highlights and inspiration for the students' essay later in the lesson.
Students will watch this 3 minute video clip to review their understanding of mitosis and meiosis to add a little fun and a lot of knowledge about cell division:
Students will use their graphic organizer from the beginning of the lesson and their lecture notes from previous lessons: Mitosis Lecture Notes and Meiosis Lecture Notes to help determine which process is being described in each example. Students will collaborate to complete this activity and will record their responses on their own paper (yes, both partners have to write . . . your students will always ask!) to use as a reference tool later in the lesson or during preparation for an assessment.
Students will determine if the phrase describes Mitosis, Meiosis, or Both.
- Occurs in somatic (body) cells
- Experiences the prophase stage
- Occurs in gametes (sex) cells.
- Will complete two divisions in the process
- Occurs in males
- Undergoes a single division in the whole process
- Results in the replication of two identical daughter cells
- Experiences the anaphase stage
- Results in the creation of four genetically different cells
- Chromosomes exchange genetic information through crossing-over
- Does not experience crossing-over
- Involves the division or replication of cells
- Spindle fibers completely disappear completely in telophase
- Creates new cells to replace old,damaged cells
- Occurs in females
Students will use their brainstorming "T" chart from the opening section, the collaborative activity above, along with the Mitosis Lecture Notes and Meiosis Lecture Notes to gather evidence to create an essay that will compare and contrast the two cellular division processes.
Students need to respond to the following writing prompt: After careful analysis of the data presented in class, which cellular process is most important? You must provide specific data that serves as evidence to support your claim!
The prompt is vague on purpose in an effort to allow students the freedom to interpret the topic based on their analysis of the data covered in the course. Students may consider mitosis most important due to its responsibility to replicate the somatic cells on a daily basis. Conversely, students may deem meiosis most important due to its ability to provide genetic variability. As long as students are able to provide scientific evidence to support their claim, they will be deemed correct!
Sample of Student Essay - This student did a nice job describing teach process, but did not answer the question, "Which process is most important?" The student also states that "Mitosis can lead to a second step called meiosis." YIKES!! After reading this student's work, I made sure to go back and reteach that meiosis is the reproduction of genetically different gametes and mitosis is the reproduction of identical somatic cells. Although this essay did not meet my intended target, the assignment provided a valuable opportunity to review each of the types of cell division in preparation for an upcoming assessment. Plus, it was a big eye-opener to making sure to check for student comprehension!!!
As the lesson concludes, students will be given the opportunity to state their claims and supporting evidence to the class. The teacher will ask foe volunteers who believe they have the correct answer to the prompt:"Which cellular division process is most important?"
After student volunteers have been able to defend their reasoning, the class will the student response clickers to cast their votes. The clicker system will tally the students' responses so the results can be calculated and projected on the front screen. So who will reign supreme in the battle of the cellular division processes . . .
*Note: As a surprise write in candidate, BOTH was the victor meaning the students believed both cellular division processes were necessary to survive day-to-day and allow for future generations to flourish!