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Lesson Plan

How Cells Divide

Course, Subject

Biology/Living Environment, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, Commencement, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade


  1. Have students go to the How Cells Divide website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/baby/divide.html
  2. Students will take out a blank sheet of paper that they fold in half length-wise. In one column students write mitosis and in the other they should write meiosis.
  3. Have students read the introduction to How Cells Divide and then click on the mitosis vs. meiosis link.
  4. At this link, the processes of mitosis and meiosis are displayed on one page so that the students can see both processes occurring at the same time. With each page, have the students write down what happens in each phase of mitosis and meiosis (Ex. Mitosis: Interphase – Chromosomes replicate). At the end, their sheet of paper is a complete guide for both processes. When students study for their Mitosis and Meiosis assessment, their work produced in this lesson is their study guide for review.
  5. As an option, students can also draw pictures of each phase to support their notes and help them remember what is happening in each process.
  6. As an extension, students can read the related links on Human Cloning, 18 Ways to Make a Baby, and Fertility Throughout Life.

Content Provider



20-25 minutes

Essential Question

What are the similarities and differences between mitosis and meiosis?


There is no specific assessment developed for this web-based lesson. This web-based lesson should help students visualize as well as compare and contrast the processes of mitosis and meiosis. The end product can be used as a study guide. If desired, a teacher can create a quiz for the students to assess their understanding of the two processes.


This website compares and contrasts the phases of mitosis and meiosis using an interactive simulation. Students can see the processes side by side so they have a visual comparison of the two processes. Students can also read about other ways that couples are having babies in today’s society.


NOVA - 18 Ways to Make a Baby

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