After wrapping up our work for now on the Chromosome Project, we transitioned to studying how cells divide. Mitosis, or somatic cell division, involves the division of one cell into two after all of the components of the original cell (including the DNA!) divide into two sets. We began by watching a Crash Course video about mitosis:
After the video, students were assigned to read pages 46-51 of chapter 4 (Cellular Reproduction: Multiplication By Division) of Inside the Cell. Students then answered the following questions in their lab notebooks:
- Explain the purpose of mitosis.
- Which cells undergo mitosis?
- Describe the phases of mitosis in detail (words and/or drawings).
- Explain what happens when cells divide uncontrollably. List the known causes of uncontrolled cell division.
This unit is focused specifically on NGSS Standard HS-LS1-4: Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division (mitosis) and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms. Students have previously been assessed on their understanding of how cellular expression of specific gene products (proteins) can result in unique cell types, and groups of unique cell types can form tissues. Students learned about body structure and organization during Unit 3, including the organization of cells into tissues and organs. In this mini-unit, students will be able to clearly connect the process of mitosis (cell division) with tissue organization and organism development.