Mitosis in an Onion Cell

onion cells

This graphic shows an image of what cells in an onion root tip would look like as they are in various stages of mitosis.  This worksheet compliments a laboratory activity where students look at onion root tip slides to identify phases of mitosis.  

This worksheet could also substitute for that lab if students were absent or classes that don’t have access to materials.

The image shows cells in interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. The graphic shows that the majority of the cells are in interphase, and students are asked to calculate the percentage.

The cells are drawings, but they are meant to model real cells in mitosis. The graphic shown below compares drawings to real cells. Part of my biology class is helping students navigate diagrams and data. I feel it is important that students appreciate that many of those pretty colorful diagrams in their textbooks are simply representations of biology.

cells undergoing mitosis

Grade Level:  7-9 |  Time Required:  15-20 min

HS-LS1-4 Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms.