Cells -- Mitosis in a Bag

Lesson Plan

State Standards:

3. Compare and contrast plant and animal cell including major organelles (cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, mitochondria, vacuoles).

Essential Question:

How is the cell the basic unit of life? How do cells make more cells?

Lesson Question:

How do cells make new cells?


In the time that it takes you to read this sentence your body will have produced millions of new cells! Producing new cells allow you to grow and replace cells that have died. As you grow, you pass through different stages in life. Similarly, your cells pass through different stages in their life cycle. The life cycle of a cell is known as its Cell Cycle. How do cells make new cells? Let's look at one process of cell reproduction: mitosis.

Cells Dividing by Ayoung219 from Wikimedia Commons.



Today you will be creating a model of cell reproduction. Using Legos and other materials you will build one cell and then duplicate it. Afterwards you will view a video of the process, discuss what you have learned, and then show what you have learned by taking an online quiz.

Lesson Experiences:

Step 1:

Examine the final product. What have you created? What biological process does it represent?

Discuss what you have learned in the group and share the results with the class.

Please: At the end of this activity, assign a grade for your group based on the effort of your work described on these qualities. See rubric below.

Step 2:

Now you are ready for your movie!

Watch the following movie. Discuss the biological process it represents with the class.

Lego Animation of Mitosis
from MIT Tech TV

Mitosis in a LEGO Fish Cell

Step 3:

Let's show you know it! Go to Zoho Challenge for the quiz named “Mitosis in a bag.”

Take the quiz


Congratulations!! You have successfully demonstrated the process of cell division - Mitosis. At this point, you should have a better understanding of how a cell divides giving rise to two identical cells


Cell in a Bag Rubric


100-80 points

79-41 points

40-0 points

Effective use of class time for the activity

Used time well during the class period. Focused on getting the handout done. Never distracted others.

Used some time well during the class period. There was some focus on getting the handout done but occasional distraction of others.

Did not use class time to focus on the activity and/or often distracted others.

Group work

Every one in the group worked equally and shared responsibility.

Just some students worked and participate and others did a little bit of work.

Some students worked very hard and others did nothing.


Lines are clear and not smudged. There are almost no erasures or stray marks on the paper. Overall, the quality of the drawing is excellent.

There are a few erasures, smudged lines or stray marks on the paper, but they do not greatly detract from the drawing.

There are several erasures, smudged lines or stray marks on the paper, which detract from the drawing. Overall, the quality of the drawing is poor.

The final product

Structure functions extraordinarily well.

Structure functions pretty well.

Fatal flaws in function with complete failure.