Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Bonnie Baxter

Cell Division: Mitosis

Part of Unit: Basic Animal Genetics

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This lesson will cover the purpose and process of mitosis in eukaryotic cells; focusing on the sequence and basic events in each phase.

Lesson Time

Introduction to Mitosis
1 Hour
Phases of Mitosis
1 Hour

Objectives and Goals

  • Identify the purpose of mitosis (cell division) in regards to animal genetics and life.
  • Visually identify the phases of mitosis.
  • Explain the basic events in each phase of mitosis.
  • Review the basic differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

Activities in this Lesson

  • (DAY 1, Part 1) Every high school student has seen or heard of the movie, "Twilight." Many students have even read the books. Use this teenage obsession to your advantage by viewing a clip of the movie at the beginning of class as a segue into this Mitosis unit. Hint: If you do not own the movie, borrow it from one of your students, as one of them most likely does, or use the YouTube link provided. Cue the movie to the scene where Bella (lead actress) is walking into Biology class to be seated by Edward (lead actor and vampire). The scene depicts the two characters passing a microscope back and forth to identify various stages of Mitosis in onion cells (approximately 4 minutes). You will find that students will quickly and quietly be seated in order to begin watching the movie. This is a great time for you to take roll.

    Resources and Materials

  • (DAY 1, Part 2) *After video clip... lead students into the following discussion: "Mitosis is so easy, even vampires can do it! What exactly were Bella and Edward looking at? How could they tell the difference between the phases of mitosis? Why do some mitosis diagrams look different than others? What is mitosis and why should we even care??? Today we will discover all of this and more!" Use the following PowerPoint to discuss the lesson objectives, vocabulary and tie mitosis into basic animal genetics. Students should follow along with the "user friendly" notes page provided.

    Resources and Materials

    • Introduction to Mitosis [ Download ] This PowerPoint is designed to introduce the main purpose of mitosis and briefly preview what the major phases look like and their sequence.
    • Intro. to Mitosis Notes [ Download ] User friendly notes page to accompany PowerPoint, so that students can record major ideas without being overwhelmed by note taking.
  • (DAY 1, Part 3) This activity is designed to get students out of their seat and interacting! (While at the same time checking for their understanding.) At this point in the lesson students have been sitting quietly during the video clip and during the PowerPoint lecture. They will be starting to fade! In this activity they have the opportunity to show off their knowledge and interact with each other. This activity will usually only take about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully review the directions at the top of the handout before letting them loose. Be sure to insert student names into the "Go tell" portion. Use the "Go tell" portion for students you think might need more reinforcing of the curriculum. For example: After Wyatt writes the phases of mitosis on the whiteboard 26 times, he should have them memorized.

    Resources and Materials

    • Find Someone Who... [ Download ] This is an informal assessment tool used to get students out of their seat and interacting! This activity must be used after Part 1 & 2.
  • My Mitosis Map Demo / Modeling

    (Day 2, Part 1) Pass out a copy of My Mitosis Map to each student. This will immediately catch their attention because it looks much like a doodle you would see on a high school student's book cover. Students are curious at this point. IMPORTANT: Before class, read the instructions provided that describe the map in detail. I recommend rehearsing this prior to class so it is more believable. If the students know you are reading a script they will tune out, for lack of spontaneity. Add your own twists for fun! Tell them you really had this dream! The classroom environment becomes much like story time in kindergarten (while secretly covering the sequences, structures and phases of mitosis.) Essentially, capture the imagination of your students while tapping into a higher level of thinking. Hints: Use the zoom or enlarge feature of your school's copy machine if you would like each students map to be printed on larger paper.

    Resources and Materials

  • Making Connections Demo / Modeling

    (Day 2, Part 2) Reveal to the class how each element of My Mitosis Map represents an object of Mitosis. Ask the class, "In Interphase Island, what do you think all of the tangled seaweed represented?" Answer: Chromatin "How about the Coconut?" Answer:Nucleolus.

  • Pass out Making Connections: My Mitosis Map Handout. Review the directions with the class carefully.

    Resources and Materials

    • Making Connections: My Mitosis Map [ Download ]
  • Spot check that students are correctly identifying the objects from the map with the elements of each Mitotic Phase.


Assessment Types:
Rubrics, Teacher-Made Test,

The class will need index cards to take this quiz.  The answer key is the last slide of the quiz. 

  • Mitosis Quiz Assessment Mitosis Quiz Assessment [ Download ] This quiz is designed to test student knowledge of phases of mitosis. Use an index card to take.