Cell Unit Study - Week 10 - Cell Division

Week 10: We made cells then sent them through mitosis.

The cells in our body are constantly dividing to produce new cells. As we journey through life cells wear out and need replacing. We also need new cells to grow. We are continuing to follow chapter 1 in The Way We Work by David Macaulay to learn about cells.

This week we built cells from craft supplies and then modified our cells and split them into two the same way our bodies do. In addition to being a lesson about mitosis, this lesson served as a good review since several organelles were included in the cells.

These are the materials we used to build our cells:
Golgi Apparatus - beads
Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum - beads
Mitochondria - foam hearts
Neucleus (DNA) - yarn
Cytoskeleton - pipe cleaners
Enzymes - marbles
Ribosomes - pom-poms
Membrane Sacks - balloons
ATP (energy) - fuse beads
Cell Walls - plastic bags

The kids twisted the pipe cleaners together to create simple cytoskeletons, then added a few of each organelle into their cells.
Once that was complete, they increased the number of organelles in their cell, the amount of energy it contained and duplicated the 46 chromosomes of DNA.

To duplicate the DNA -
When it was added to the original cell, the yarn was cut into 46 short pieces representing the 46 chromosomes. Each chromosome was untwisted (only one-half of the yarn strands) in the original cell. When the DNA was duplicated the mate yarn had to be found and matched up.

All the previously mentioned steps happen before the cell begins to divide during interphase.
To divide the cells the cytoskeletons were broken into two halves and the 46 chromotids were lined up between the two halves of the cells.
The organelles were divided between the new cells.

Finally the cell walls were pinched off into two separate cells.
Mitosis Complete

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  1. What a great project! We did something similar with pipe cleaners...

  2. Good for you! Taking a challenging topic to HANDS ON!

  3. I can just imagine how long it took to unravel those 46 pieces of yarn.

    1. Yep. After they figured out what was going on we let that one slide and didn't quite unravel them all. :)

  4. I love it! My college degree is in biology, so this is a topic I studied a thousand times. I don't think any of my teachers ever had me physically go through the steps like this. Great idea! Thanks for sharing it with us at Trivium Tuesdays!


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