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Mitosis and Meiosis

This page authored by Jim Bidlack, University of Central Oklahoma, based on original activities by NOVA Online, Geoffrey Stewart, Hybrid Medical Animation, McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Jeff Bell, CSU-Chico, and John Kyrk, Science Graphics.
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This page first made public: Aug 11, 2010

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project

Summary

Discussion, along with drawings and animations, are used to help participants understand the differences between and steps involved in mitosis and meiosis.



Learning Goals

  • Understand advantages and disadvantages for different types of cell division.
  • Know the differences between mitosis and meiosis.
  • List and describe the steps of mitosis.
  • List and describe the steps of meiosis.

Context for Use

This teaching strategy for mitosis and meiosis provides a one-hour presentation, with animations, to better understand the differences and steps involved in cell division.

Description and Teaching Materials

  1. Introduce the concept of reproduction as a process where a new generation of cells is produced from original cells – that may or may not be identical to those of the parents.
  2. Ask participants to explain advantages and disadvantages of producing cells identical to those of the parents. Point out that cells produced by mitosis are identical to those of the parents; but cells produced by meiosis are different from those of the parents. Pose the question, what if all humans were clones? Then explain the vulnerability of clones to mass extermination.
  3. Explain the difference between mitosis and meiosis – mitosis producing two cells identical to the parents; meiosis producing four cells different from those of the parents. Review these differences with drawings and show animation(s) of the two processes. See http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=77749
  4. Show the steps of the cell cycle, including mitosis, with drawings and animations. See http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=84159 and http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=271486
  5. Show the steps of the cell cycle, including meiosis, with drawings and animations. See http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=75251 and http://www.merlot.org/merlot/viewMaterial.htm?id=86022
  6. Review mitosis and meiosis.

Supporting Files:

Teaching Notes and Tips

This teaching strategy provides discussion, as well as animations, to show steps of cell division. The introductory discussion helps students appreciate the need for diversity and makes them curious about the differences between mitosis and meiosis before moving onto the intricate details. Incorporation of the animations, interspersed during discussion, helps participants keep actively engaged in the learning experience.

Assessment

Participants may be tested on their comprehension of this learning material through multiple choice, short-answer, or essay exams. A few example questions are embedded in this Activity Sheet, entitled "Questions – Mitosis and Meiosis."

References and Resources

MERLOT description and link to "Mitosis & Meiosis," which shows animation of the two processes side-by-side.

MERLOT description and link to "Super 3D Mitosis Animation," which includes a great 3-dimensional perspective on the process of mitosis with interesting sound effects.

MERLOT description and link to "Mitosis and Cytokinesis Animation," which is a professionally-done animation of mitosis with an audible description of the process.

MERLOT description and link to "Meiosis Animation," which includes animations, descriptions, and questions about meiosis.

MERLOT description and link to "Meiosis in an Animal Cell," which provides a user-friendly, interactive animation for meiosis.