Activity Overview

In this activity, students will create a storyboard that models the stages of meiosis from start to finish. Students should be sure to provide a description of what happens at each stage along with a visual representation. For an alternate activity, print out the example storyboard, cut the cells out, and have students put the steps in the correct order.

Prophase I Chromosomes condense and spindle fibers start to form. The chromosomes pair up with the homologue partner. The homologous pairs then swap fragments in a process known as crossing over.
Metaphase I Spindle fibers attach the chromosome pairs and move them to line up on a line known as the metaphase plate.
Anaphase I The cell elongates as the homologous parts are pulled apart by the spindle fibers. The sister chromatids stay together.
Telophase I Two new nuclei form and the spindle fibers break down. The cells become separate through a process known as cytokinesis.
Prophase II Chromosomes condense and spindle fibers start to form.
Metaphase II Spindle fibers attach to the chromosomes. The chromosomes are lined up along the center of the cell, at a point known as the metaphase plate.
Anaphase II The cell elongates as the sister chromatids are pulled apart by the spindle fibers.
Telophase II Two new nuclei form from each haploid cell. The spindle fibers break down. The gametes separate from each other through a process known as cytokinesis.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that illustrates the stages of Meiosis

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Add the stages of meiosis as the titles of the cells.
  3. Use a series of shapes and props to create a visualization of each stage.
  4. Write a description of each stage in the description box under each cell.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [SCI-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.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Cell Division
Describe the stages of cell division using text and illustrations.
25 Points
13 Points
0 Points
All the stages have been identified and are in the correct order.
Most of the stages have been identified and are in the correct order.
Some of the stages have been identified and are in the correct order.
The storyboard cell clearly illustrates the stage.
The storyboard cell relates to the stage but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard does not clearly relate to the stage.
There are clear descriptions, including good scientific vocabulary, explaining what is happening at all stages.
There are clear descriptions explaining what is happening at most stages.
There are clear descriptions explaining what is happening at some stages.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

How to Conduct Comparative Studies of Mitosis in Different Organisms


Introduction to Mitosis Across Different Organisms

Start the lesson by introducing the concept of mitosis, emphasizing its universality and importance in cellular life. Present the basic stages of mitosis and then highlight how this process can vary among different organisms, such as plants, animals, and fungi. Use diagrams, videos, or animations to illustrate these variations.


Research and Exploration

Assign students to small groups and allocate each group a specific organism to research. Task them with finding detailed information on how mitosis occurs in their assigned organism, focusing on any unique features or stages. Provide access to textbooks, scientific journals, and online databases for comprehensive research.


Creating Comparative Models or Presentations

Have each group create a detailed model, diagram, or digital presentation that illustrates the mitosis process in their assigned organism. Encourage creativity and accuracy, ensuring that the models or presentations clearly show the similarities and differences in mitosis compared to the standard process typically observed in human cells.


Group Presentations and Discussion

Organize a session where each group presents their findings to the class. Encourage the audience to ask questions and engage in discussions about the differences and similarities observed in mitosis across different organisms. This not only reinforces the material but also enhances understanding through peer learning.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stages of Meiosis

What are the stages of meiosis and what occurs in each stage?

Meiosis consists of two sequential rounds of cell division, meiosis I and meiosis II, each with distinct stages. In Meiosis I, Prophase I is characterized by chromosomal condensation, homologous chromosome pairing (synapsis), and crossing over, where genetic material is exchanged. In Metaphase I, homologous chromosome pairs align at the cell's equator. During Anaphase I, these pairs are pulled apart to opposite poles, and in Telophase I, cells may begin to divide. Meiosis II resembles mitotic division. Prophase II sees the re-condensation of chromosomes, and in Metaphase II, chromosomes align individually at the equator. Anaphase II involves the separation of sister chromatids, and in Telophase II, nuclear membranes reform, followed by cytokinesis, resulting in four genetically distinct haploid cells. This process reduces the chromosome number by half and introduces genetic variability.

How is meiosis regulated within a cell?

Meiosis is tightly regulated by a complex interplay of genetic and enzymatic controls to ensure accurate chromosome segregation and genetic diversity. It is initiated by a series of signaling pathways involving hormones and proteins that trigger the start of the meiotic process. Key regulatory proteins, such as cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), play a crucial role in progressing the cell through different meiotic stages. These regulatory factors ensure that each stage is completed correctly before the next one begins. The checkpoints, particularly at the end of prophase I and metaphase I, are critical for maintaining genomic integrity and preventing errors like non-disjunction. This precise regulation is essential for producing viable gametes and maintaining species continuity.

What is independent assortment in meiosis, and why is it important?

Independent assortment refers to the random orientation and separation of chromosome pairs during metaphase I and anaphase I of meiosis. Each pair of chromosomes (one from each parent) aligns independently of the others, meaning the distribution of maternal and paternal chromosomes into gametes is random. This process is significant because it contributes to genetic variation in offspring. Along with crossing over, independent assortment ensures that each gamete contains a unique set of genes, which, upon fertilization, results in offspring with a genetically diverse combination of traits. This genetic diversity is crucial for evolution and adaptation in populations, providing a mechanism for natural selection to act upon.

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