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-Life Science Unit Guides

Cell Cycle Unit – Teacher’s Guide

Welcome! This post has been written with the intention of helping you teach an effective Cell Cycle Unit in 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. 

Cell Cycle Unit Topic 1: Mitosis

Decorate:

  • Mitosis Posters
    If you have access to a color printer, hang these posters up a few days or even a week or two before you begin this unit. Put them somewhere students will easily see. This way, they’ll be a hook that gets students thinking and asking questions. Another great option is to use these posters as samples and have students create their own, potentially as a square on a choice board!

Teach:

  • Cell Cycle Presentation
    Mitosis is a complex but interesting process! Take the time to engage the class with a whole group lesson. I’m a big fan these days of using software like Nearpod and Peardeck to maximize student engagement. Encourage your students wonder about the beauty of these fascinating cellular processes.
  • Cell Cycle Webquest
    If you prefer 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 resource is also great for a sub day.
  • Cell Cycle Guided Reading
    This easy to use and check worksheet allows students will do a quick reading and answer questions based on the information they learn. Great for homework, reteaching, or to assign to students who aren’t able to be present for direct instruction! This resource is designed for both digital and in person instruction. If you use interactive notebooks, I love to print this one out and glue it in as an easy reference.

Practice:

  • Cell Cycle Self Checking Practice
    I designed this resource 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.
  • Mitosis Cut & Glue Puzzle *
    For this resource, students will cut apart 25 pieces and attempt to match all words with the correct images. Give students a piece of construction paper to glue their final results. This is a great resource to get students to problem solve and to use their fine motor skills.
  • Mitosis One Pager *
    One pagers are a great way to review information. In order to fit their learning onto one page, students must summarize effectively. Using color and fun graphic organization can also help information “stick” a little better. To extend, some students may be interested in creating their own one pager. Use this resource after students are confident with the information and have practiced several times.

Review:

  • Mitosis & the Cell Cycle Card Sort *
    This resource comes in two differentiated versions, and is primarily intended for in person instruction. Ideally, have the cards cut apart and possibly even laminated in advance. Students can work in groups or alone to match up the cards. I like to leave things as open ended as possible in order to allow students to think more critically about the connections between the various pictures, images, and vocabulary.
  • Cell Cycle Foldable *
    Foldables are a great way to get hands on with learning. Review learning with this differentiated resource. Again, this is a great resource for use with interactive notebooks and can be glued in for easy access.

Assess:

  • 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 would suggest that this resource could easily be extended as a CER assessment. Ask students to make claims as to which stage of the cell cycle an individual cell is in. They should defend their claims with evidence and reasoning.

Cell Cycle Unit Topic 2: Meiosis 

Teach:

  • Meiosis Webquest
    Move away from mitosis and into meiosis with this introductory webquest. Mitosis and meiosis have a lot of similarities and differences, and it may be difficult for your students to differentiate. 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 Guided Reading
    This resource is a sister to the mitosis guided reading. Use it for for homework, reteaching, or to assign to students who aren’t able to be present for direct instruction. This resource can also be used for both digital or in person instruction. If you use interactive notebooks, I love to print this one out and glue it in as an easy reference.

Practice:

  • Meiosis vs. Mitosis Compare and Contrast Activity
    Help your students comb 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. This is another great one to use with interactive notebooks or for digital learning!
  • Meiosis vs. Mitosis Color By Number *
    Take a day to relax and unwind 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 to chill and chat with our students!

Review:

  • Meiosis One Pager *
    One pagers are a great way to review information. In order to fit their learning onto one page, students must summarize effectively. Using color and fun graphic organization can also help information “stick” a little better. To extend, some students may be interested in creating their own one pager. Use this resource after students are confident with the information and have practiced several times.

Assess:

  • Meiosis vs. Mitosis Quiz
    Whenever you feel your students are ready, feel free to assess 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 includes varied question types in all levels in order to provide a picture of your students’ capabilities.

    * resource designed for in person instruction only

This Cell Cycle Unit is designed to be affordable and useful to teachers in middle school science. Help me serve you and others through this bundle (or the creation of new resources) by leaving feedback. My work is meaningful when it takes some of the stress off of YOU.

Teaching is a weird job. I’d love to connect and discuss our successes and failures on my instagram (@laney.leee).  Please reach out and ask me anything.

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