Mitosis vs Meiosis: an online science lesson

Author: Teresita Gravina

My name is Teresita Gravina and I am a Math and Science Teacher in IC De Amicis- Da Vinci a lower secondary school in Caserta, Italy.

Due to the Covid19 emergency the school in my region are closed since 5th of March. We had to move our lesson to online platform in one night without bring nothing from school laboratory. Since then I am working hard, trying to do my best, to ensure the best learning experience for my students. This is a national emergency and everyone can participate doing what he/she can, I am a teacher, so I teach 😀

When the school closed I was to begin to introduce cell and their functions to my 6 grade students. I am used to include in every topic a practical activity and students in general loves it (not always the same for the parents) so I decided to organize an activity about mitosis, meiosis and their differences. I organized the activity thanks to a Google module. In this you can add photo, ask question and receive answers, send an assessment and students can share with you their files. You can have a look at the activity here, and if you want to use it, please let me know and I will invite you to modify it and use in your class (remote or real).

Part 1

I started with a microscope photo of onions cells during mitosis and asked some questions about this phenomena. The idea was to ask the same question that I would have asked in front of a microscope. In lower secondary school we have to help students to explore phenomena without going in depth, into details. The goal was to help students to realize that they were observing something very small and they need a microscope (or a photo taken by it) to observe the phenomena and recognize the different phases.

Part 2

In the second part of the activity students are required to model Mitosis and Meiosis and underline the differences. I suggested to use biscuits, but also bread and jam could be useful (so they will have a sweet break as well). I showed them my solutions and invite them make their one showing the different phase of mitosis and meiosis.

my (sweet) solution to represent differences between Mitosis and Meiosis

Students have to complete the lessons filling in the Google module and at the end they have to reproduce mitosisVSMeiosis and send me their work. Some of the students decided to use other ways to represent mitosis and meiosis and here you have other examples

Mix tape on Flipgrid with works by my 6 grades

Thanks to this activity 6 graders could be aware of strong differences between Mitosis and Meiosis, and this simple knowledge will help them when they will approach this topic in depth.

I know that this is a really simple activity, but in this special times, when nothing is simple, in my opinion sounds special. This is a normal Science class carried out in an unsual class settings, something that make you very proud of your students (and thankful to their parents that support them in remote learning).