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Mitosis and Meiosis Field Project

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Keywords: Flip Video,
Subject(s): Biology
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Olympia High School, Orlando, FL
Planned By: Lance Tyree
Original Author: Lance Tyree, Orlando
Mitosis and Meiosis Field Project

A Biology class composes a documentary on Mitosis and Meiosis using themselves (i.e., holding hands, creating a circle) to diagram and perform the different phases of cell reproduction. The students will then be able to evaluate their performance through watching themselves on the video.

My students are currently working on the Mitosis and Meiosis multimedia project in class right now. This is the first year I have tried such a project. The students seem very receptive to it and love the idea of using Flip Cameras. Olympia High School has Flip Cameras that a teacher can check out of our Media Center. There is a limited number of Flip Cameras and a teacher must book them a few weeks in advance to get the cameras. Currently, I was able to check out 8 Flip Cameras for this project. When I saw the availability of this grant I thought what a great idea to have a class set of 10 to use whenever I wanted to encourage student involvement in any project.

The directions for the Mitosis and Meiosis project are very open ended. This is to encourage students to research and differentiate the different steps of cell reproduction on their own. Then they must design, organize and create the entire documentary on their own. The students do have a rubric to follow, but the main direction is; using everyone is class, make a documentary outlining the stages of cell reproduction on a large life size scale in the back field. Listed below are the daily instructions. I tried to attach a copy of the rubric but do to format compatibility I could not. I have instead listed the categories on which the class will be graded:

Presentation, sources, attractiveness, content, organization, origniality and workload.

Day 1: The students are given a day to “brainstorm” themes (i.e. news cast, Crocodile Hunter, Mr. Wizard, etc). The class must then outline and form a plan on how they are going to accomplish their goal. Students then debate and examine how they are going to organize the project. At this stage the lesson differs depending on how the class executes their plan.

Day 2: Students now must form a concept on how they are going to demonstrate the stages of cell reproduction on the Flip Camera. The students debate over specific color t-shirts they are going to wear to represent different parts of the cell. They also debate on the use of props and the overall style of their performance. Students must also incorporate math skills for when the cell divides and decide on the number of people they are going to use to represent different organelles. Students at this stage are also working on their organization and compromising skills.

Day 3: A script and outline must be submitted by this point so the instructor can make sure the students are on task and are covering all the necessary steps in the project. The students will also compromise on a final draft of the performance plan.

Day 4: This is dress rehearsal day. The students will make sure they have all supplies and props deem needed. The Flip Cameras will be brought out and the students will begin their documentary. Students will then be able to watch their performance and judge, justify, and evaluate what they need to change or make better for the final video.

Day 5: This is the final video day. Students will once again perform all the stages of cell reproduction (the students are not aware that the repetition is helping them learn). The students then have two days to edit and modify their video for submission into the instructor.

Once the final copy is graded then each student will receive a copy of the video to keep, study, and post on their own personal web pages. The video will also be given to other Biology instructors to show to their class. A project like this has never been tried at this High School. I know many teachers are going to adopt the lesson if it is a success.

I have also added the overall unit plans for this lesson:

Cell Reproduction

This unit is structured around the science of Cellular Reproduction. Listed below is a list of objectives for this unit. It encompasses Chapter 9.
• Describe how cell reproduction contributes to repair and to growth.
• Contrast the two main ways that organisms reproduce.
• Describe the structure of a chromosome.
• Name the stages of the cell cycle and explain what happens during each stage.
• Summarize the major events that occur during each phase of mitosis.
• Explain how cytokinesis differs in plant and animal cells.
• Compare benign and malignant tumors.
• Explain how cancer treatments can work at the cellular level.
• Describe how homologous chromosomes are alike and how they differ.
• Contrast haploid and diploid cells.
• Summarize the process of meiosis.
• Describe how chromosome assortment during meiosis contributes to genetic variation.
• Explain how crossing over contributes to genetic variation.
• Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis.

This unit will contain two major projects. The first project will be diagramming the steps of mitosis with street chalk on the desk performed in groups of 3. Students may also take pictures and videos of this project for future study material. The next project will be a multimedia project on mitosis and meiosis. This will be a total class project. Student must display their knowledge of cell reproduction and reproduce it on a grand video scale.

Campbell, Neil A., Brad Williamson, and Robin J. Heyden. Biology Exploring Life. Needham, MA: Pearson, 2006. Print.
This is the first project like this done in this High School's Biology department.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
A chemistry teacher saw my class planning for this assignment and decided if it was successful she was going to try the same thing with atoms and molecules..
We will soon be studying DNA. I can use this same template for DNA synthesis.
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Projectors, Projector Screens, Art Tools, Video Tools, CDs and DVDs, Hard Drives, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, Computer Accessories, Power, Keyboards, Flash/USB Drives, High