Adding by Dividing

Cell-ute the cell! Examine how surface-to-volume ratio relates to cell size through hands-on exploration, observe cell division under the microscope, and collect data on the stages of cell division in an onion root tip. Learners pull it all together in a laboratory report with a histogram generated in Excel.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Before using the microscope, show a diagram of a root tip with the different zones
  • Demonstrate what cells in interphase look like so learners can easily identify which cells are dividing and which cells are not
  • Spark interest by reinforcing the concept  that cancer (tumor formation) is simply uncontrolled cell growth
Classroom Considerations

  • Contains components for the classroom, laboratory, and computers, but it could be modified for use without computers

  • Allows for self assessment through pre/post anticipation guide
  • Provides two hands-on activities to connect knowledge
  • Includes a rubric for lab reports with histograms

  • Learners will need to recognize the stages of cell division and parts of an onion root tip, but the lesson does not provide this preparation


Common Core