Welcome! This post has been written with the intention of helping you teach the Cell Cycle effectively to your middle school science class. If you’re arriving to this page from somewhere other than the Teachers Pay Teachers site, this is the product that this guide was written for. Here’s how I teach using these resources:
Note: Items are listed in the order in which they would be used. Lessons are not broken into specific “days” as many of us have vastly different timings per class period.
Topic 1: Mitosis
- Mitosis Posters
If you can, try to put these posters up a few days or even a week or two before you begin this unit. Put them somewhere students naturally look. They can be a hook that gets students to ask questions before you even begin to teach!
- Cell Cycle Presentation
Mitosis is a complex but beautiful process! I think taking the time to engage the class with a whole group lesson and notes is very important. Try to help your students wonder about the beauty of these cellular processes. They’re so intelligent yet also governed only by set laws. Biology is incredible.
- Cell Cycle Foldable
- Cell Cycle Webquest
If you like a flipped classroom approach, I wouldn’t discourage giving this webquest before you do any kind of whole group instruction covering the cell cycle. I think it’s important that our students learn to read for comprehension, especially when it comes to informational text. This webquest could be an intro or use it later on as homework or for a sub day.
- Onion Root Identification
I love this practice worksheet! One side contains a review of the key points of each of the stages of the cell cycle, and the other a snapshot of a growing onion root. I normally project an image of the root on the board and, after giving private think time, ask students to come up to identify a cell in the specified phase. It’s always a riot as students inevitably miss a few, and the class goes crazy.
- Cell Cycle Self Checking Practice
I designed this practice to ensure that students practice with correct information. The self checking style prevents students from sticking with incorrect answers for too long, so this assignment can easily be completed without teacher assistance. Assign this one for homework 🙂
Topic 2: Meiosis
- Meiosis Webquest
Branch off of mitosis with this introductory webquest. Mitosis and meiosis have a lot of similarities and differences, and it’s going to be difficult for your students to differentiate the specifics. Give your students a chance to filter through the information at their own pace with this webquest.
- Meiosis Presentation
Next, take the center stage and guide your students through some notes. This is your chance to answer questions and clear up any misconceptions developed during the webquest. I like to take a few minutes during this presentation to quickly review sexual and asexual reproduction. It’s important to stress that the chromosome reduction produced by meiosis is crucial to sexual reproduction.
- Meiosis vs. Mitosis Compare and Contrast Activity
Help your students slowly work though the required content with this fun cut and paste activity. I normally ask my students to check with me before they glue anything, but there’s always a few hilarious mess ups. Great to use with interactive notebooks!
- Meiosis vs. Mitosis Color By Number
Keep with the artsy theme with this color by number review! I love to use this activity as a follow up to a difficult classroom management day. Sometimes we just need a day off of the fight! I’ve never seen a kid that refuses to color (if they have all the materials they need).
- Meisosis vs. Mitosis Quiz
Whenever you feel your students are ready, feel free to hit them with this formative assessment! Great for providing feedback.
- Meiosis and Mitosis Study Guide and Test
Lastly, finish the unit with a summative test. This one has all kinds of question types in all levels in order to provide as clear a picture as possible of your students’ capabilities.
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