Mitosis Lesson Plan + Free Music Video, Worksheet, Activity


Grade level: 5th-9th


Total lesson time: 45 minutes

This lesson consists of:

  • 3-minute opening
  • 8-minute introduction of material
  • 12-minute guided practice
  • 17-minute independent practice
  • 5-minute closing

At the end of this lesson:

  • Students will be able to explain the process of mitosis.
  • Students will be able to visually model mitosis.
  • Students will be able to discuss the process of mitosis in a creative manner.
  • Students will be able to relate key terms with the appropriate steps of mitosis.


1. Opening (3-minutes)

Begin the lesson by asking students, “How do living organisms grow?”

Have the students think through their answers and share with the partners or in groups. Allow students to talk and respond to the question of how living things grow. Have students share their answers.

Sample dialogue: “Those are all parts of maintaining and growing a living organism, but if we zoom in closer we can see cells reproducing to keep a living organism healthy, thriving, and growing. When most body cells reproduce they go through a process called mitosis. Today we are going to learn about mitosis.”


2. Introduction to Mitosis (8-minutes)

To introduce the topic, you will show the Mitosis Song and Music Video to your students two times.

For the first playthrough, have the students simply watch and listen. 

Sample dialogue: “Let’s start by watching a music video to introduce you to mitosis. While you are watching see if you can come up with one sentence to summarize what mitosis is. Let’s watch!” 

During the second viewing, pass out the Mitosis Song Activity Sheets and have students work to complete the sheet during the second (and if necessary third) viewing of the music video.

Sample dialogue: “Take a minute to write a sentence on a piece of scrap paper to summarize what mitosis is based on what you learned in the video.”

Give students a minute to write their sentences and then have them share out their answers.

Sample dialogue: “We are going to watch the video again, but this time as you watch it try to complete the note sheet about mitosis. You should be able to find all of the answers somewhere in the song.”

Based on students needs, teacher should determine if the video needs to be played a third time.


3. Interactive Mitosis Activity (12-minutes)

Transition to new activity with sample dialogue: “Good work on your activity sheets. We will go over those in a little bit, but first we are going to explore mitosis a little more.”

Mitosis Questions To Ask The Class:

  • Based on the video we know that mitosis is the division of one parent cell into how many daughter cells? (Answer: Two)
  • How do the daughter cells compare to the parent cell? (Answer: They are identical to each other.)

Sample dialogue: “So mitosis is the process of a parent cell splitting into two identical cells. We are going to model that process to give us a better understanding of mitosis.”

Teacher will guide students through each step of mitosis. As the teacher describes each step, students – working as partners – will model mitosis on their desks with the supplies provided.

Suggested Supplies For Activity:

  • Pipe cleaners (2 colors)
  • String (several strands each)
  • Paper plates (2 each)
  • Erasers (2 each)

Sample dialogue: “Right now each of you are in pairs, and have some supplies lying on your table. We are going to model mitosis with these supplies. Set up your paper plate so it looks like step one of mitosis – interphase.”

Give students a moment to recall what this should look like and model on their plate.


Sample dialogue: “So what should interphase look like? Can a volunteer tell me, so I can draw it on the board?”

DNA doubles and swirls together. Make sure students understand the DNA is copied, but isn’t organized.

Sample Question: What do the centrosomes do? Answer: Centrosomes help pull the DNA apart later.

Teacher illustrates interphase on the board before moving onto the next stage. 


Sample dialogue: “Good, so we have copied DNA represented by our pipe-cleaners, and two centrosomes all in the same cell.What is the next phase called?”

Prophase. Using their supplies, allow students to work together to model prophase.

In prophase, the DNA/chromosomes will be formed into X shapes; with centrosomes at opposite sides of the cell; and the string should be used to show the mitotic spindles coming from the centrosomes.

Sample Question: What do the mitotic spindles do? Answer: Help pull the chromosomes apart.

To finalize prophase, show that the cell’s nuclear membrane dissolves.


Similar to prior steps, have students model metaphase with their supplies. The X-shaped chromosomes should be in the center of the cell. They will each have a string attached to them leading back to the centrosomes.

Sample Question: What do strings attached to the spindle poles represent? Answer: Microtubules

Teacher illustrates on the board being sure to label the parts as well.


Sample dialogue: Next is Anaphase. What will happen to our cells in anaphase?”

Motor proteins help pull apart and separate the sister chromatids, pulling them toward opposite spindle poles.

Have students model Anaphase with their partner and their supplies. X-shaped chromosomes should separate to opposite poles.


Sample dialogue: We are almost finished. What is the final step of mitosis?”

Telophase. Give students time to model telophase with their supplies. The spindles disappear and a nuclei is created. Cells separate completely. The cells finish dividing.

Sample Question: Withing Telophase, what is the specific process of cells dividing called? Answer: Cytokinesis

As you finish the activity, make sure that students understand that the end product of mitosis is two identical cells.

Have students clean up their model materials, and review their Mitosis Song Activity Sheets. After a few minutes, go over the answers as a class.


4. Independent Practice (17-minutes)

*depending on time, you have the option to turn this into a multi-day project or homework assignment

For students to demonstrate their understanding of mitosis and continue practicing the process, students will create a Mitosis Comic Strip.

Sample dialogue: “Now that we have learned about mitosis and demonstrated the process, you are going to show your understanding of mitosis by drawing a mitosis comic strip. Be as creative as you want to tell the story of mitosis, but you do need to include the proper name of each step of the mitosis process and an illustration of what happens in each step. You will have 15 minutes to work on your comic and then we will share.”

Give students the Mitosis Comic Strip Template and 15 minutes to work on their comics. While students are working, teacher circulates to monitor progress and verify that students are understanding the process of mitosis. Teacher will address any misunderstandings they notice.

After 15 minutes, have students stop.

Sample dialogue: “When the Mitosis song starts stand up and walk around the room. When the song stops find a partner near you and share your comic strips.”

Play the Mitosis Song and pause it for students to stop and share. Repeat two or three times so students can share several times.


5. Closing (5-minutes)

Briefly review the key points of the lesson, by having students answer a few questions about mitosis.

  • What type of cells does mitosis occur in? Most body cells in plants and animals
  • How would you describe the two daughter cells made in mitosis? Identical; Diploid
  • What happens in interphase? DNA is replicated
  • What are the steps of mitosis? Interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase
  • What is it called when the two daughter cells seperate? Cytokinesis
  • What pull the paired chromosomes apart? Spindles; spindle poles
  • In which step do the chromosome pairs line up? Metaphase


Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2: Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.5: Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.7: Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.

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