As the students enter class, they take out their journals and respond to the prompt: Is meiosis important? Why or why not? Write your answer in CER format.
While the students write, I circulate through the room and review their responses. I ask the students to explain their writing as necessary and to include examples and evidence. Once the students have had an opportunity to write down their thoughts, I do a quick poll. I ask students to raise their hand if they think meiosis is important and then I ask students to raise their hand if they think it is not important. I ask students to support their position with evidence. This journal prompt is similar to the prompt from the previous lesson about mitosis, so I expect the students to be more detailed in their descriptions.
Using the SMARTBoard, I review the notes and the notes review with the students and then lead them in a review of an online tutorial.
This video provides an overview of the information I emphasize with the students.
Viewing the tutorial and our discussion afterwards addresses NGSS MS-LS3-2.
Once we have reviewed the phases of meiosis, and I am confident that the students have a basic understanding of the changes that occur in the cell during each phase, I have the students open the Comparing Meiosis and Mitosis worksheet. I review the initial website with the students and explain that they will be reviewing the phases of mitosis and meiosis in order to compare and contrast the two. I also explain that the students will begin by creating a Venn diagram based on what they view in the comparative slides. In the second section of the activity, the students need to carefully read the information on each of the slides in order to complete the chart. The final section requires the students to generate a response by reviewing the information from the first two sections.
As the students work, I circulate through the room. For the students, the most difficult part of the first activity is the creation of a Venn diagram using Google Docs. In order to avoid this difficulty, I tell the students they can write their diagram on paper. In this student sample, the student used an online tool to make his graphic organizer. I also try to emphasize that at this point in the activity I want them to write about the items they see in the diagrams, while the next section will require them to read carefully. When the students are working on the second activity, I ask them questions about the information they are writing and double check that they are carefully reading the information presented on the website. Once the students begin working on the third section, I refer them back to the information they wrote in the previous two sections. While reading for information and generating a final summary of similarities and differences between mitosis and meiosis, the students are addressing CCSS RST.6-8.2, RST.6-8.10, and WHST.6-8.2d.
Toward the end of class, I lead the students in a summative discussion. While not all of the students have finished the entire worksheet, they have all finished the Venn diagram. I ask the students to share information from their Venn diagrams with the rest of the class as I write the information on the SMARTBoard. As they share their information, I also have them focus on the types of cells that are produced by each form of cell division.