Micrograph of onion root tip.

Mitosis and Meiosis

Micrograph of onion root tip.

Mitosis and Meiosis

The processes of mitosis and meiosis are fundamental topics in biology. During these lessons, students learn how cells divide and pass along genetic information to new daughter cells. This knowledge is important as students advance their learning in genetics, inheritance, and diversity. However, the concepts can be difficult for students to understand because they aren’t commonly viewed processes.

This guide provides an easy way to explore hands-on labs, manipulatives, and free resources that teach these essential processes.

The major areas covered include:
• Mitosis and Meiosis Simulations
• Observing Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis and Meiosis Simulations

Modeling is a principal way students learn the processes of mitosis and meiosis. Carolina offers several options—from using pop beads to ChromoSocks®. Explore the options below!

Chromosome models are used for for study of the processes of mitosis and meiosis
171000 Modeling Mitosis and Meiosis Kit

Bring mitosis, chromosome replication, meiosis, and genetic inheritance to life with chromosomal modeling. Kit includes model set(s) (2 pairs of model autosomes, 1 pair of model Y chromosomes, 2 pairs of model X chromosomes, 4 chromosome fragments to model crossing over events, and 3 shapes of varying colors to simulate alleles) and teacher’s manual. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Yellow and red pop beads and magnetic centromeres
171100 Chromosome Simulation

Starting with the phenomenon of planarians multiplying by both asexual and sexual reproduction, students make sense of the differences between mitosis and meiosis. In Part 1, chromosome models are used to answer the driving question, “What happens to chromosomes when a cell divides to make a copy of itself?” Chromosome models are developed and evaluated again in Part 2 to answer the meiosis driving question, “How is the chromosome number reduced in sperm and egg cells so when they combine their chromosomes, the new organism has the correct number?”

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Pairs of socks are used to model the process of meiosis
214810 ChromoSock® Meiosis Classroom Kit

Ever wish learning meiosis was as easy as folding socks? The ChromoSock® is a specialty sock, made in the US, that comes in different sizes, lengths, and colors to help demonstrate the differences between chromosomes and the genetic information they carry. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Colorful plastic models are used to demonstrate the process of mitosis
211118 Mitosis Manipulatives Kit

Covers all stages of the cell cycle with easy-to-manipulate parts that represent chromosomes, asters, centrioles, and many other cell parts. 

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Colorful foam models are used to demonstrate the process of meiosis
211163 Meiosis Manipulatives Kit

Explore meiosis with your students using visual and tactile models. Make this abstract concept simpler by showing the exchange of alleles during cross-over with large, easy-to-read chromosome manipulatives.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Observing Mitosis and Meiosis

Students can also directly observe the different phases of mitosis and meiosis. We offer hands-on kits and microscope slide sets that are convenient and easy-to-use in your lab.

Stained lily anther viewed under a microscope showing a phase of meiosis
308826 Mitosis and Meiosis Microscope Slide Set

Thirteen microscope slides selected to guide students through the events of cell division. Mitosis is demonstrated in onion root tip and fish blastodisc. Meiosis is demonstrated in lily anther and ovulary.

Beginning—Easy to perform; requires little or no prior knowledge.

Reagents and supplies needed to observe mitosis in onion root tips.
171130 Carolina BioKits®: Onion Mitosis

Squash Method. Prepare your own slides to observe the different phases of mitosis. This is an updated kit from our popular BioKit® series, designed for a class of 30. The Onion Mitosis BioKit® includes everything that you need to prepare onion root tips slides. Students stain the root tips, prepare squashes, and observe mitotic phases. 

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Microscope slides, chemicals, and other materials needed to preform a mitosis and meiosis experiment
746450 Mitosis and Meiosis

Using prepared slides and electronic images of whitefish and onion cells, students learn about the 4 stages of mitosis in Lab Activities A and B. Activity C requires the use of item #171100 Carolina BioKits®: Chromosome Simulation Kit, which is not included. A Sordaria Demonstration Cross Plate (item #155846) for demonstrating crossing over during meiosis is provided for Lab Activity D.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

155847 Sordaria Genetics

Students cross the wild-type Sordaria strain with the mutant tan strain. Hybrid asci are produced containing 4 dark- and 4 light-colored ascospores. Students then use tetrad analysis to calculate the gene-to-centromere distance in map units for the mutant tan gene.

Intermediate—Easy to perform; requires some background knowledge.

Other Mitosis and Meiosis Products

We also have individual lab kits that integrate mitosis and meiosis simulations and observations; individual microscope slides; models; posters; and more for your classroom. Check out the options below.

Additional Mitosis and Meiosis Support

We have free resources to help you teach this concept, including:

  • Free Activities
  • Helpful Buying Guides

Free Cell Structure and Function Resources

Use these free resources to supplement your instruction about mitosis and meiosis.

Buying Guides

Choosing the appropriate equipment for your labs can be a challenging task. Our buying guides are designed to make your decisions easy. Review Carolina recommended microscopes or this handy guide.

For More Guidance

These are our top picks. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, we’ll be happy to help you find the right activities and kits to simplify your planning and implementation. If you have questions, please contact us at product@carolina.com.

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