Cell Division Classroom Supplies

Meiosis Classroom Demonstration
with Photos and Assignment

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY from Science Prof Online


Cell division of eukaryotic cells, particularly the production of gametes, can be a challenging topic for biology students. The following is a step-by-step photographic guide to a simple classroom activity on meiosis that utilizes inexpensive supplies (pipe cleaners, interlocking beads and string). Educators can also download a Word document hand-out of this assignment, called the Meiosis Activity. For more classroom materials on Meiosis, see the Cell Division: Meiosis Lecture Main Page of the Virtual Cell Biology Classroom.

Article Summary: Here is a classroom hands-on activity to help students practice their understanding of the steps of meiosis. Photo guide and Word doc assignment included.
Meiosis Classroom Activity + Printable Assignment

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Supplies Required for Meiosis Classroom Activity: In this exercise, the original cell starts with six chromosomes, so the following supplies are needed. 1 &  2. Large Zip-loc bag contains 12 pipe cleaners (6 blue, 6 pink, of those 4 are long, 4 are medium & 4 are small), interlocking beads (12) and string (2 strands); 3 & 4. It helps keep materials organized if interlocking beads and string are each in separate, smaller baggies.
Interphase: Photo #1. First string one interlocking bead onto each strand of chromatin. Set one of each type of pipe cleaner (6) aside. Those will come into play when DNA replicates;  Photo #2. Interphase G1 Phase = six unreplicated, uncondensed strands of chromatin, sting represents the plasma membrane (I don't use additional string to represent the nuclear membrane. It makes exercise too complicated and messy); Photo #3. Interphase S Phase = six replicated strands of chromatin (sister chromatids). Snap together the two interlocking beads that represent the centromeres, bringing the other six pipe cleaners into play; 
Photo #4. Close-up of replicated chromatin. 
Mitosis I:  Photo #1. Prophase I, chromatin condenses into chromosomes. Twist pipe cleaners so that they are curly; Photo #2. Metaphase I, homologous chromosomes line up at cell equator; Photo #3. Anaphase I, homologous chromosomes move toward opposite poles of the cell; Photo #4. Early Telophase I, homologous chomosomes have migrated to opposite end of the cell. Cytokinesis begins; Photo #5. Late Telophase I after cytokinesis is complete and chromosomes decondense.
Virtual Cell Biology

You have free access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory Cell Biology Course. The Virtual Cell Biology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including Power Point Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.

For classroom materials on Mitosis, see the VCBC Meiosis Lecture Main Page.
Endomembrane System of a Eukaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz
Meiosis II: Prophase II not pictured; Photo #1. Metaphase II, sister chromatids line up at equator of each cell; Photo #2. Anaphase II, sister chromatids separate and chromosomes move to either end of the cells; Photo #3. Early telophase II, chromosomes have migrated to opposite ends of cells, cytokinesis begins; Photo #4. End of meiosis. Four cells with a haploid (n=3)) number of decondensed chromosomes.
Additional Links to Help Students Understand Cell Division

Portions of this article originally appeared on Suite101 online magazine.​

​Page last updated: 5/2013

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Meiosis Classroom Activity (Click on photo strip for larger image.)

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