Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis and Meiosis introduces students to these two processes of cell division. Students will learn the similarities and differences between the two processes. They will learn which organisms undergo mitosis and which ones undergo meiosis. In fact, they will learn that these two processes specifically have to do with reproduction. Mitosis allows asexual reproduction, and meiosis allows sexual reproduction.

The “Options for Lesson” section offers a number of suggestions or alternatives that you can use when you deliver this lesson. For instance, you may want to include other materials for the lesson plan, such as lids or buttons. Another suggestion is to invite a biologist to the class to talk about these processes and answer questions students might have.

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What our Mitosis and Meiosis lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Mitosis and Meiosis teaches students how to identify these two processes of cell division. Students will be able to define the terms and compare and contrast the two. They will also discover the kinds of organisms that use mitosis or meiosis to divide their cells.

There are three content pages that outline the two processes. The lesson first reminds students about cell division and why it is so important. This natural process is necessary for the growth and survival of all living things. Students will discover that cells divide in two different ways. One way is mitosis, and one-celled organisms and some plants use this process to reproduce (asexual). The other way is meiosis. Humans and animals use meiosis for reproduction (sexual).

The lesson first discusses mitosis in detail. With mitosis, a cell splits in two, and all the chromosomes copy over to each cell. Mitosis does occur in humans and animals because the cells need to replicate this way. It is just for reproductive purposes that the cells undergo meiosis. With meiosis, half of the chromosomes from the father cell and half from the mother cell copy over to the new cell or cells.


Students can work with partners during the activity portion. They will need several supplies, which the worksheet lists at the top. Students will create a poster board that displays the steps of both mitosis and meiosis. They will include visuals that they create with the yarn and colored pencils. They will also include labels and other helpful text to help viewers see the difference between the two processes.


The practice worksheet splits into two sections. For the first part, students will need to figure out whether statements describe mitosis, meiosis, or both. There are 10 total statements for them to complete. The second part requires students to label the diagram. There are nine blanks to fill in.


Similar to the practice worksheet, there are two sections on the homework assignment. Students will first fill in the blanks to 10 statements using the words in the word bank. Then they will draw a picture that represents meiosis beginning with the parent cell.

Additional information


5th Grade, 6th Grade



State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.