Modeling Meiosis and Gamete Formation

Learning Resource Type

Lesson Plan

Subject Area





This module includes hands-on and inquiry-based activities related to the processes of meiosis and gamete formation. Using yarn and pop beads, students will simulate the changes in chromosome pairs during the various stages of meiosis. The students will use Playdough to model the formation of the sperm and egg cells. Students will denote the differences in cytokinesis and explain the reasoning for the differences.

Science (2015) Grade(s): 7


Gather and synthesize information to explain how prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ in structure and function, including the methods of asexual and sexual reproduction.



  • Cell
  • Prokaryotic cells
  • Eukaryotic cells
  • Structure
  • Function
  • Asexual reproduction
  • Sexual reproduction
  • Mitosis
  • Meiosis
  • Chromosome
  • DNA


Students know:
  • Prokaryotic cells are microscopic, single-celled organisms that have neither a distinct nucleus with a membrane nor other specialized organelles.
  • Prokaryotes include the bacteria and cyanobacteria.
  • The function of prokaryotic cells.
  • The reproductive methods of prokaryotic cells.
  • Eukaryotic cells consist of a cell or cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus.
  • Eukaryotes include all living organisms other than the eubacteria and archaebacteria.
  • The function of eukaryotic cells.
  • The reproductive methods of eukaryotic cells.


Students are able to:
  • Obtain information about cells, including structure, function, and method of reproduction, from published, grade-level appropriate material from multiple sources.
  • Determine and describe whether the gathered information is relevant.
  • Use information to explain how prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ.


Students understand that:
  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells differ in structure and function, as well as method of reproduction.

Scientific and Engineering Practices

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Crosscutting Concepts

Structure and Function

Primary Learning Objectives

1. Students will describe the steps in meiosis and the importance of each step.

2. Students will explain how genetic variations in species are accomplished through tetrad crossover.

3. Students will describe how haploid sex cells are produced by parents and how fertilization produces diploid offspring.

4. Students will describe the differences in cytokinesis in sperm and egg cells and explain the significance of each.


Before Strategy/Engage: 50 minutes (Day 1)

1. The teacher should give each student a copy of the Pre-/Post-Test Meiosis. The teacher should give students approximately ten to fifteen minutes to complete the pre-test. The teacher should stress to students that the purpose of the pre-test is to demonstrate the student’s background knowledge about the concept of meiosis.

2. After students complete the pretest, the teacher should check students’ answers to determine their current knowledge base of the concepts using the Pre-/Post-Test Meiosis with Answers. Alternatively, the teacher could allow students to check their own paper or check a partner’s paper.

3. The teacher should display the following questions on the board or chart paper to lead an interactive class discussion. (See the Questions to Ponder document.)

  • Why are you not an exact copy of your brothers and/or sisters since your genes and their genes came from the same set of parents?

Possible Answer: Chromosomes vary during meiosis due to crossing over and possible mutations which cause variations in genetic make-up.

  • How do parent’s genes get passed to you and your brothers and/or sisters?

Possible Answer: The egg, which comes from the mother, contains half of yours and your siblings’ chromosomes (genes). The sperm, which comes from your father, contains the other half of your and your siblings’ chromosomes (genes).  The egg and sperm are combined during fertilization and make up your diploid chromosome number (full set of chromosomes).

  • Normal humans carry 46 chromosomes in each cell (two copies of 23 chromosomes).  Why do we have two copies of each of the genes in our genome?

Possible Answer: One copy is contributed by each parent. After meiosis, each sex cell contains only one copy so that during fertilization the zygote does not contain more than 46 chromosomes (the normal diploid number for humans).

4. The teacher should give each student a copy of “A Survey of My Traits”. The student should check off applicable traits. Next, the teacher should allow students to discuss their responses with a partner and lead a class discussion about the most common traits among the class members.

During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 100  minutes (Days 2 and 3)

For the next portion of the lesson, the teacher should divide students into eight collaborative groups.

1. The teacher should give each student a copy of the Student Lab Sheet I Meiosis and the Answer Sheet Student. This lab sheet will provide detailed instructions on setting up the cell and genome, as well as modeling the stages of interphase, prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, telophase I, prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II, and telophase II. The students will answer questions included on the lab sheet on their answer document. 

2. After students have completed the first lab activity, the teacher should give each student a copy of the Student Lab Sheet II Gamete. The students will record their answers on the same Answer Student Sheet that was previously distributed. This lab sheet provides detailed instructions on modeling the formation of egg and sperm cells.

After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 50 minutes

1. After all groups have completed the lab activities, the teacher should lead a class discussion among all of the groups to compare each group’s observations and data collected during the lab activities.

Note: If the teacher identifies that students need additional review before the summative assessment, the teacher may show students the Modeling Meiosis presentation to review the concepts demonstrated during the lab activities.

2. The teacher should give the students the Pre-/Post-Test – Meiosis, that students completed as a pre-test at the beginning of the lesson. The teacher should explain to students that this post-test will allow students to demonstrate the knowledge they acquired during the lab activities.

Assessment Strategies

Formative: The teacher will informally assess student’s background knowledge by administering the Pre-/Post-Test – Meiosis prior to teaching the lesson. The teacher should carefully monitor students as they complete the lab activities with their groups to certify that students are correctly following the lab procedures. The teacher should review each student’s Answer Sheet to ensure students are collecting accurate data during the lab investigations.

Summative: The teacher will administer the Pre-/Post-Test – Meiosis as a summative assessment at the end of the lesson.


Students can expand their understanding of the concept of mitosis by completing the Miscues in Meiosis-Karyotyping Activity. This activity will require students to examine human chromosomes to identify potential chromosomal abnormalities.


Students who require additional preparation prior to the lesson or review after the lesson can view the Modeling Meiosis Presentation which succinctly summarizes the concepts demonstrated during this lesson’s lab activities.

Students who need extra assistance learning the vocabulary words associated with this lesson can play the Taboo Vocabulary Review Game. This game will allow students to practice identifying the meaning of scientific terms associated with meiosis.

Total Duration

Greater than 120 Minutes


Student Background Information: Prior to beginning this lesson, students will need basic background knowledge about how genetic information is passed from parent organisms to offspring. If students do not possess background knowledge on this concept, the teacher should prepare to provide instruction on this topic prior to beginning the lesson. This lesson requires students to work collaboratively with their classmates to model two cellular processes.

Teacher Background Information: The teacher should preview the Teacher Pre-Lab Guide prior to teaching the lesson to ensure that the student lab activities are prepared for students prior to beginning the lesson’s activities. In addition, this preparation packet includes the expected outcomes of the hands-on activities included in this lesson. As written, the activities included in this lesson will require at least four class days to complete. The teacher can view the Modeling Meiosis Presentation for additional background information about the concepts taught in this lesson. Although no materials in the lab activities are hazardous, the teacher should review lab safety precautions with students and ensure students follow these procedures for the duration of the lesson.

Materials and Resources

Student Materials (per student)

Pencil or pen

Pre-/Post-Test Meiosis 

A Survey of My Traits 

Student Lab Sheet I Meiosis

Student Lab Sheet II Gamete

Answer Sheet Student-answer sheet for reflection questions during lab activities

Student Lab Guide Meiotic Microscope Observation

For Acceleration Activity: Miscues in Meiosis-Karyotyping Activity

For Intervention Activity: MMF Taboo Cards for Meiosis 

Student Materials (per group)

Modeling Meiosis Lab

4’x 2’ bulletin board paper

100-inch piece of black yarn

60-inch piece of purple yarn

2 32-inch pieces of green yarn

Pipe cleaners

Scotch tape


Colored Beads:  

Red – 10

White – 10

Navy Blue – 21

Orange – 21

Lime Green – 6

Yellow - 6

Turquoise – 4

Hot Pink – 4

Baby Blue – 12

Pink – 12

Peach – 6

Mint Green – 6

Modeling Gamete Formation Lab

2 colors of Playdough in a Ziploc bag

4 2-inch pieces of red yarn

Teacher Materials

Teacher Pre-Lab Guide

Pre-/Post-Test Meiosis with Answers 

Modeling Meiosis Presentation

For Before Strategy: Questions to Ponder

For Intervention Activity: Teacher Notes for Mitosis, Meiosis, and Fertilization Vocabulary Review Game

Meiosis 5-E Lesson Plan

Technology Resources Needed

Teacher computer with interactive whiteboard or projector 

Approved Date