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Digital Mitosis and Claymation

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Keywords: mitosis, claymation, biology
Subject(s): Biology, Podcasting, Video
Grades 9 through 12
School: Iver C Ranum High School, Denver, CO
Planned By: Tina Falconer
Original Author: Tina Falconer, Denver
1. Discuss with students the methods used for making claymation animation movies. They need to understand that you need many small steps to show movement of parts or persons. We actually watch a short claymation film so everybody understands.
2. Students then work in small groups to make models of mitosis or meiosis using play dough or clay. We use a Petri dish as a background and fill it with clay. We make the centrioles, spindle fibers, kinetochores and chromosomes out of different colored clay and make sure that they can be moved around easily. Students also make labels to show what is going on and what the steps of mitosis are.
3. Students then use digital cameras to capture their models and make them move through the phases of mitosis by moving the chromosomes and centrioles and taking things away or adding things (nuclear membrane, spindle fibers) as needed.
4. Once all the pictures are taken, we put a movie together on windows movie maker. Students can add funny narration (oh no, Mr Bill) or music if they like to. Student who have permission may upload their effort to you tube or we can add it as a vodcast to our class web page. We then use the webcasts to teach other students about mitosis and meiosis.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Arts or Mass communication/
Digital cameras could be used to shoot many more movies. For example, development of plant seeds, changes in succession, observation of bacterial growth, steps of photosynthesis etc. Thye could also be used to include student photographs in brochures and Power Point presentations.
Materials: Science, Animation, Video Tools, Digital Cameras
Other Items: 10 digital camera, $150.00 each, total of $1500.00