Cell Division Classroom Supplies

Mitosis Classroom Demonstration
with Photos and Assignment

Classroom Activity from Science Prof Online


Cell division of 
eukaryotic cells can be a challenging topic for biology students to understand. The following is a step-by-step photographic guide of a simple classroom activity on mitosis that utilizes inexpensive supplies (pipe cleaners, interlocking beads and string). 
Article Summary: Here is a hands-on classroom activity to help students practice their understanding of mitosis. Photo Guide and Word doc assignment included.
Mitosis Classroom Activity + Printable Assignment

Interphase: Photo 1. First string one interlocking bead onto each strand of chromatin. Set one of each type of pipecleaner (6) aside. Those will come into play when DNA replicates;  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 this exercise too complicated and messy); 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; 4. Close-up of replicated chromatin.


Mitosis: Photo 1. Prophase = chromatin condensing into chromosomes. Twist the pipe cleaners so that they are curley; 2. Metaphase; 3. Anaphase; 4. Early Telophase; 5. Late Telophase

Mitosis Classroom Demonstration
Two New Daughter Cells: 
The string membrane of parent cell is "pinched" inwards at the center of the cell and chromosomes decondense. Note each daughter cell has the same number of chromosomes as we started with in the parent cell. 

Additional Links to Help You Understand Cell Division

  • Mitosis animated tutorial & quiz from Sumanas. Inc

Instructor's Corner
Mitosis Classroom Activity 

​Page last updated: 1/2016
from the free STEM 
education site 
Science Prof Online
Virtual Biology

You have FREE access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory biology course. The Virtual Biology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions &  Practice Test Questions.
Hawaiian Ginger Flower
Educators can download a document of this assignment, called the Mitosis Activity to use with these instructions. 

For more classroom materials on Mitosis, including PPT lecture, practice test and review question, see the Cell Division: Mitosis Lecture Main Page of the Virtual Cell Biology Classroom.
Where to purchase Interlocking Beads 
used in this demonstration:

Carolina Biological Supply: Go to their website (http://www.carolina.com/) and search "DNA beads". 
Supplies Required for Mitosis Activity: 

In this exercise, the original cell starts with six chromosomes, so the following supplies are needed. 

Photos 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)

Photos 3 & 4. It helps keep materials organized if interlocking beads and string are each in separate, smaller baggies.

Classroom Hands-on Mitosis Exercise
Classroom Hands-on Mitosis Exercise
Classroom Hands-on Mitosis Exercise
Classroom Hands-on Mitosis Exercise
Mitosis Lecture PowerPoint
Need a Mitosis Refresher?
View the Cell Division: Mitosis PPT Show or check out all Mitosis Student Materials

Mitosis Homework Assignment