Reflection: Modeling Modeling Meiosis - Section 3: Student Activity: Using Chromonoodles to Model Sex Cell Nuclei


Making models to help explain biological phenomena can be an excellent teaching strategy because it allows students test out their hypothesis without costing a lot of money.  When teachers ask me what they need to do to start incorporating modeling into their classroom, I give them the following suggestions. First, they should use what they have.  Modeling does not require a large investment of money.  In the past, I have used pool noodles, yarn, fuzzy sticks (aka pipe cleaners), and even, socks. One can even make one's own manipulatives and then laminate them to be reused from year to year.  

Encourage students to make their own models first. Offer some other options of test, but make sure that students are able to test their model.  Whenever testing, students should always ask themselves does this model meet all parameters?

Students should also be given time to view the phenomena.  They should then evaluate the model in light of the actual cell. Students should compare all similarities and differences.  The teacher should also help the student understand that even if a model only meet certain parameters, it still can be a good model.  One just needs to give caveats.  

A good example of this is the chromonoodles model.  For the most part all the steps in mitosis are covered.  However, it is difficult to show the supercoiling of the chromatin around histones to make chromosomes.  While this is important step in nuclear division, the chromonoodles model shows all other steps in mitosis well.  As long as students are aware of the shortcomings of the model, it is still okay to use it to teach.  It also might spur students' creativity into developing a better model. 


  Being Creative With Modeling
  Modeling: Being Creative With Modeling
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Modeling Meiosis

Unit 9: The Cell Cycle
Lesson 2 of 2

Objective: Students will design a model that shows meiosis in a healthy cell.

Big Idea: Ever wonder how sperm and eggs are made? Find out today.

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meiosis, Science, Growth and Development, cell cycle, Developing and Using Models, Systems and System Models
  61 minutes
meiosis  261 23
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