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The Case of the Dividing Cell

Mitosis and Meiosis in the Cellular Court



Author:

Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
herreid@buffalo.edu

Abstract:

The Honorable Judge Cellular is presiding over the case of The State vs.Egg Cell Number 6624223. As the prosecuting attorney calls each witness to the stand and the courtroom drama unfolds, students learn about the stages of mitosis and meiosis and their particular characteristics, and how cell division in prokaryotes differs from that in eukaryotes. The case is suited to an introductory biology course and would also work well in high school biology classes.

Objectives:
  • To learn the stages of mitosis and meiosis and their particular characteristics.
  • To learn how cell division in prokaryotes differs from that in eukaryotes.
  • To learn how somatic cells produce diploid clones of themselves whereas germ cells produce haploid gametes.
  • To learn how variation is achieved in gamete development.
Keywords: Cell division; meiosis; mitosis; interphase; prophase; metaphase; anaphase; telophase; diploid; haploid; prokaryote; eukaryote; chromatid; germ cell; gamete
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Cell Biology  
Date Posted: 10/27/03
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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Answer Key


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I modified one of your cases titled, “The Case of the Dividing Cell: Mitosis and Meiosis in the Cellular Court” by Clyde Freeman Herreid and used it while discussing mitosis and meiosis with first year students of medical school. The total number of students was 90. The students found the case interesting and enjoyed the teaching session. At the end of the session, I collected a “feedback proforma,” the results of which I wish to publish in a medical journal along with a discussion of the use of case methods for teaching anatomy.


Huma Musarrat Khan, Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy
Foundation University Medical College
Rawalpindi-Pakistan
huma.anat@gmail.com
2/14/2010
I loved this! I used this in class, and had the students who had a dramatic flair read for each of the characters. I then assigned the questions for homework. I think it really helped my 10th grade biology kids understand the concepts better. Thank you, Dr. Herreid, for writing this and letting me use it!


Katherine Griffith, Teacher
Science
Christian Heritage Academy
Rocky Mount, VA
kagriff@swva.net
1/11/2006
I used this case as an introduction to mitosis and meiosis. The only alteration I made was to place the names of the characters next to their speaking parts. My students seemed to like it. I had my principal in observing me and he also liked it and thought it was a good intro. I had the jury members act like real jury members and take notes so that if they had to render a decision they had notes to work from.

Over all it was well received and I will use it in the future!


Carrie Griffith, Teacher
Department of Science
Red Creek High School
Red Creek, NY
cgriffith2@rccsd.org
4/7/2004




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