Meiosis Simulation Lab (Day #3 of 3)

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Objective

Students will be able to describe how meiosis can create haploid gametes that are different from all other gametes. In other words, with the exception of identical twins, no two siblings are identical. Furthermore, no child is identical to either or both parents.

Big Idea

Meiosis is the process that produces unique sex cells that eventually leads to the creation of genetically unique offspring.

Learner Goals

Note: I recommend that you first check out this resource in order to get the most out of this lesson!

In high school I took several drafting classes and, for a while, I had hoped to become an architect. With respect to planning instruction and teaching, I feel that I can still live out the detailed approach to building something intricate and complex even though the product is a lesson rather than a certain "built environment".

The lesson-planning document that I uploaded to this section is a comprehensive overview of how I approach lesson planning. This template includes the "Big Three" aspects of the NGSS standards: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices. Of course, there are many other worthy learning goals, skills, instructional strategies, and assessments that can be integrated into a class session. I don't feel compelled to check every box but, rather, use it as a guide to consider various options and tailor the lesson in light of these.

With regard to this particular lesson...

1. Describe, in detail, the steps involved in meiosis (see: “3D” process/PMATMAT).

2. Understand that meiosis uses 1 diploid (2n) cell (found in ovaries and testes) to make 4 gametes (sex cells) that are each haploid (n).

3. Describe how meiosis can create haploid gametes that are different from all other gametes (in other words, with the exception of identical twins, no two siblings are identical). Furthermore, no child is identical to either or both parents. Consider the following: independent assortment, crossing over, mutation.

I hope you get some value from my work! Please find the more intricate details of this lesson plan there.

Teaching Challenges:

1. How do I develop routines and procedures to support students to work independently in the science classroom?

2. How can I develop a classroom culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity, and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration?

3. How do I support my students in posing testable questions and designing effective investigations to answer them?

I hope you get some value from my work! Please find the more intricate details of this lesson plan there.

Anticipatory Set ("Hook")

5 minutes

(Click here for Day #2 of this lesson series.)

Meiosis Motto

To reinforce the purpose of meiosis, I created a little jingle that I go through with students. “Meiosis Makes Unique Haploid Gametes”.

In a moment of transparency I will confess to having few to no "music genes" (if such things actually exist). Therefore, I do a "whip around" activity with my kids. I call on one student who begins the phrase, then on to the next. One after the other until I reach five students. Time permitting, I might do another round for reinforcement.

We then review the meaning of each underlined term using synonyms that reinforce the meaning of the motto; essentially a review of Day #1 activity.

Instructional Input/Student Activities

45 minutes

Formative Assessment:

At this point students ought to understand that meiosis uses 1 diploid (2n) cell (found in ovaries and testes) to make 4 gametes (sex cells) that are each haploid (n).

Students will take a formative Meiosis Quiz related to this goal. Shhhh...the assessment is secret but I trust you to keep it on the DL (down low).

Teaching Challenge: How can I develop my students' ability to apply unifying ideas to make connections across science content?

Cell division, sexual reproduction, genetic diversity, natural selection, and ecology. Each discipline area is affected, in some fashion, by life cycles of organisms. Depending on the organism in question, these ramifications can vary widely. Meiosis is integral to the production of offspring which are genetically unique from each other and from their parents. In terms of humans, this diversity dictates that not all children are created with equal talents. These then are subject to the influence of natural selection that shapes the population as a whole. Depending on the rate of reproduction, the number of offspring produced and the natural resources on hand, this can have significant impact on the ecology of the habitat.

So, much then hinges on the actual mechanism of meiosis and its downstream effects. Therefore, understanding this model underpins, in smaller or larger ways, the other disciplines (that build on genetics in the sequence of the course that I teach).

Teaching Challenge: How do I support students to develop and use scientific models?

According to Next Generation Science Standards, Science Practice #2 involves the modeling of scientific concepts and processes. This can entail constructing (and making sense of) drawings and diagrams of an event (e.g. sexual reproduction) that can lead to an explanation or predictions of how a system will behave in certain situations. The conceptual model of all sexually reproductive animals should focus on their common features and while seemingly simple models ought to bring to light the salient features free from potentially confusing aspects.

So going back to the first teaching challenge, students should be able to make reasonably accurate and specific predictions based on answers to questions such as:

What might happen if either gamete was not truly haploid?

Is it reasonable to believe that a single egg cell can be fertilized by more than one sperm cell?

Note: your students may be able to create quite the list of questions on this topic so I will let them round this out.

Following the completion of a quick formative quiz addressing the mechanism of meiosis students

Making sense of heredity and babies...

Students will then analyze the model of The Human Life Cycle according to the prompts included.

Closure: What did we learn? Where do we go from here?

5 minutes

Post Assessment: Self-assess understanding of Goals #1-3 (see Learner Goals Section)