This activity was designed for remote learning during the 2020 Pandemic. Normal lessons on meiosis might have students label drawings, view animations, or even make models on their desks to show how homologous chromosomes pair and exchange DNA during crossing-over. I have used pipecleaners, gummy worms, and popsicle sticks to guide students through meiosis I and meiosis II.
In this activity, students move through slides and practice organizing cells in the correct order for meiosis and labeling phases. One really important slide shows a cell in Prophase I where homologous chromosomes pair. Students should understand that this process is different from what they learned in mitosis (I also have a drag and drop activity for mitosis) where chromosomes do not pair. The prophase slide also reminds them of cell features, such as the centrioles, spindle, and nuclear membrane.
Students are asked to determine how many chromosomes are in each cell at the end of meiosis I and meiosis II by counting the centromeres. The last slide attempts to give them a manipulative to help them understand independent assortment. They can drag chromosomes to an alternate arrangement showing how sorting is random during the process. The chromosomes can be arranged in a different formation that what was shown in the previous slide.
Grade Level: 9-12
Time Required: 15-20 minutes
HS-LS3-2 Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.