Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about mitosis and meiosis (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
Where to start?
Ask students to watch this excellent video showing a fertilised human egg undergoing its first few mitotic divisions. Then show a human karyotype and ask why chromosomes are arranged in pairs.
Key Stage 3 worksheet to identify when cell division occurs. Students are given a series of pictures. They identify whether cell division has taken place. This is a great starting point to introduce mitosis.
Mitosis and the cell cycle
GCSE worksheet on mitosis and the cell cycle. Use this simple activity looking at mosquito chromosomes after you have given students the chance to learn the ideas behind mitosis. Students could work in pairs or individually for this task. (PDF)
Comparing and contrasting meiosis with mitosis
GCSE worksheet to compare and contrast meiosis with mitosis. This activity asks students to compare and contrast mitosis with meiosis by identifying similarities and differences. It could serve as a good way to recap mitosis once you have introduced meiosis. This activity was based on an idea from The Big Ideas of Physics and How to Teach Them by Ben Rogers. (PDF)
A Level activity on the stages of meiosis. This resource can be used to help students recognise the different meiotic stages. Students are shown pictures of cells undergoing meiosis. They must identify each meiotic stage and put the images in the correct order. (PDF)
Videos of cell division
A fantastic collection of videos and images of cells provided by The Cell. These videos are freely available and can be used to show students the dynamic nature of cell division.
- Suggest why chemotherapy may cause hair to fall out.
- Why do people age?
- A cancerous cell divides uncontrollably once every hour. How many cancerous cells will be present after 24 hours?