Mitosis and the Cell Cycle

The stages of mitosis and the role of interphase

Mitosis is a miraculous process. In the making of the three trillion cells of our bodies it manages to faithfully replicate and share the chromosomes equally between all the daughter cells. This lesson focuses on the key details of mitosis and activities using an interactive animation and some questions help students to make sense of these details in the context of the whole process of mitosis.

Lesson Description

Guiding Questions

What are chromosomes?

How do cells divide their nucleus in two?

What do you think is happening to the chromosomes in the two cells in the diagram?

What happens to double the amount of DNA inside the nucleus during interphase?

Activity 1 Introduction to Mitosis

Study this Interactive animation of Mitosis from Cells Alive and read the details on the page beneath to see what happens in mitosis.

Keep a mental note of what happens to the chromosomes in each of the main stages.
Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase.

For further information

Activity 2: Mitosis Summary Activities

Using the animation in Activity 1 complete the Student activities on mitosis shown below.

Try these IB style questions on mitosis and the cell cycle

IB style questions on mitosis

Activity 3 (Extension) Cancer and the digestive tract

Try this data analysis activity about mitosis.  This link to mitosis is not immediately obvious, this is the sort of question which tests a students ability to work out what is happening in a specific biological study which they haven't seen before.

  • Why do some 'villi' grow longer than others?
  • What causes growth?

The evidence in the study supports the concept of deregulated mitosis in the small intestines, which may cause cancer.

Cancer and the digestive tract - linking cell division, cancer and histology

Teachers notes

A good way to run this lesson is either to demonstrate the animation on the white board, or give the students access to the page, and let them explore the animation in Activity 1 at their own pace.

Using this information about mitosis students can complete these Student activities on Mitosis which focus on the movement of chromosomes at the different stages of mitosis

The card sort will help students to make structured notes and the activity helps students to understand the details of mitosis,

There is a short set of IB style questions to give students a chance to express their knowledge and understanding of mitosis in a more formal way.

There are some white board slides showing notes about mitosis and model answers here:

An alternative activity which I didn't use in the lesson but which might be useful for extension or for HL classes are

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