Flipping For Meiosis

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SWBAT narrate the stages of meiosis and develop a detailed explanation of how the process of meiosis is responsible for creating new genetic variations.

Big Idea

Students will "flip" once they create their meiosis flip book that will help explain why they do not look identical to their siblings!

Lesson Introduction: Genetic Variability

1 minutes

This video clip introduces the process of meiosis and how this process of cell division contributes to genetic variations.

Hook - Our Jumping Off Point

5 minutes

In a previous lesson students worked through the process of mitosis and created clay models to depict the important occurrences for each stage.  It is important for students to differentiate between the two cell processes (mitosis vs. meiosis) in order to fully comprehend the outcome of each event and the influence on the resulting genetic variations in the newly produced cells.

As an introduction to the process of meiosis, students will watch this short video clip.  Students will create a "T" chart to record facts about both mitosis and meiosis processes.  

After the video, student volunteers will be called on to share their interesting facts that compare and contrast the two processes of cell division.  Students in the class are encouraged to respond and build upon these facts in a whole-discussion format.  Questions that students still have after the video will hopefully be answered in the lecture notes in the next section.

This video clip is very short and does not contain detailed specifics of each process since it is meant to serve as a brief introduction.  Students will have the opportunity to view the video clip later in the lesson to review the details of meiosis.

Direct Instruction - Flipping For Meiosis

20 minutes

Students will get out a sheet of paper to record the Lecture Notes - Meiosis that will provide a detailed explanation for each stage of meiosis.  During the lecture notes, there will be a special emphasis placed on the end result of the division process that results in four new haploid cells that are genetically different.  Students need to be able to visualize the process of crossing over during Prophase I in order to conceptualize the sharing of genetic information.  The process of crossing over exchanges genetic information between the chromosomes which will result in four genetically different cells at the conclusion of meiosis II.  This process is why meiosis is responsible for the creation of new genetic combinations and an increase genetic variations in the resulting offspring.


Independent Practice - Flip Book Fun

25 minutes

Each student will need the following supplies for this activity:

  • Copy of the Meiosis Image Sheet
  • 2 sheets of 8.5x11 paper (white is fine, but can make it fancy with construction paper)
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Textbook or lecture notes to use as a reference
  • Stapler
  1. Students will use the colored pencils to color the meiosis image sheet according to the different colors shown in the textbook.  The color choice is not important, BUT students must use different colors to represent the chromosomes so that the exchange of genetic material during crossing over is evident.  The chromosomes in the 4 resulting haploid cells should all have a different color combination.  
  2. Students will cut each their 8.5x11 sheets of paper into 4 equal rectangles so there are eight smaller rectangles that can be stapled together to form the flip book.
  3. Students will glue the first TWO images onto the front page of the flip book.  
  4. Students will continue to glue only one image onto each of the middle six pages of the flip book.
  5. Students till glue the last TWO images of meiosis onto the last page of the flip book.  The odd gluing pattern is to conserve paper in an effort to fit 10 images onto eight sheets of paper.  To simplify the process, use additional sheets of paper so that each page only has one image . . . it is always challenging working on a tight classroom budget!
  6. Students will use their textbook or lecture notes to develop a detailed description of each stage of meiosis that will be written on the BACK of each page of the flip book.  **With the descriptions on the back of each page, the flip book will serve as study tool for the students.**

As students complete their projects, they can quiz their neighbors in preparation for an upcoming assessment.

Sample of Student Flip Book - This sample demonstrates the minimum amount of detail, but still serves as a useful and effective study tool.

Close - Coming Full Circle

5 minutes

As a final review, students are tasked with developing a claim that meiosis is responsible for causing genetic variation among the siblings in their family.  Students will use their lecture notes and textbook to cite evidence that supports their claim.  To get the most from this homework assignment, students are encouraged to go home and carefully observe the variations in physical traits or phenotypes  of their siblings.  Students need to brainstorm a list of differences they observe between their siblings.  If a student is an only child, they can visit a friend's family or make observations of other households in their extended family.

Once students have completed their "research" observations of their siblings, they will use their data as evidence to explain how the process of meiosis is responsible for genetic variations in the gene pool.  These written responses will be shared in class as a reinforcing activity in the next lesson.

Student Work Sample - Meiosis - This sample of student work demonstrates student understanding of the importance of meiosis to enable genetic variation in families and in our community.  This writing prompt would have been more efficiently completed if it was written in-class because students needed more guidance and explanation than I initially anticipated.  I will continue to use this prompt to encourage students to write across the curriculum and explain their understanding of meiosis and genetic variation, but I will make sure students have the face-to-face supports in place to improve the chances of student success for this assignment!

Students are encouraged to view the video clip below for a more detailed review of meiosis as they brainstorm and gather evidence in an effort to develop their claim.