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). Educators can download a document of this assignment, called the Mitosis Activity to use with these instructions. 

For more classroom materials on Mitosis, see the Cell Division: Mitosis Lecture Main Page of the Virtual Cell Biology Classroom.
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

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Supplies Required for Mitosis Classroom Activity: 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: 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: 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
Ta-Dah! 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. 
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 Mitosis Lecture Main Page.
Endomembrane System of a Eukaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz
Additional Links to Help Students Understand Cell Division

  • Mitosis animated tutorial & quiz from Sumanas. Inc

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Instructor's Corner
Mitosis Classroom Activity (Click on photo strip for larger image.)

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