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.

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. This lesson is for students in 5th grade and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. In addition to the handouts, you will need to supply poster board, yarn, colored pencils, colored construction paper, and glue or tape.

Options for Lesson

There are a few suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you could incorporate into the lesson as extra activities if you want. For the activity, you could gather additional items for making the models, such as string, lids or the cells, and so on. Another option that relates to the response for the closing question is for students to draw diagrams of the “newly invented” cell division process. Students could vote on which process is best based on the closing question. Another idea is to invite a biologist to speak to the class and discuss further the differences between the two cell division processes.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes pages provides an extra bit of information about the lesson. Students may know some things about cell division but may not realize that there are different types. You could benefit from teaching this lesson in conjunction with others that relate to biology, cells, and cell division. Use the blank lines to write out the thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.


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.


The Mitosis and Meiosis lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each of these handouts helps students’ demonstrate what they learned and solidify their comprehension of the concepts. The guidelines on the classroom procedure page describe when to hand out each one to the class.


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.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The last two pages of the PDF are answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. The correct responses are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ answers. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

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.