A young masculine-presenting kid with a red hoodie jacket blows air from their mouth onto the cover of a book, dust flying.

What do home dust, growing in height, and cancer all have in common?

All of these involve a process called mitosis.

GIF animation image that shows 3D cell division of cells with confocal microscopy. Chromosomes are red and protein is green.

As a high school teacher, it might be hard to make dry, dusty biology topics into something interesting. But mitosis might grow on you and your students in 4 steps! 🙂

Step 1. Become a mitosis master 👩🏿‍🔬

A sitting woman-presenting scientist in a lab room with plant cell poster is using forceps on a plant leaf in a test tube. Image by storyset on Freepik

Be the mitosis expert that your students need by:

If you have these or can make a purchase, here are some slide examples for your class:

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PlantCell Slide Mitosis Examples

  • Cultivated onion root tips

  • Other Allium spp. plant root tips, such as chives, garlic, leeks, scallion, or shallot

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Animal Cell Slide Mitosis Examples

  • Whitefish blastula (embryonic stage)

  • Roundworm eggs, such as Ascaris spp.

  • Human cervical cancer

Step 2. Try new learning strategies 👨🏽‍🏫

3 diverse BIPOC young adult humans are dancing to music in-sync with choreography while smiling and looking to the right.

Image by storyset on Freepik

If you or your students have a passion for poetry, music, or moving body cells, try:

3 diverse relaxed human beings are each meditating with face masks, crossed legs on mats in a room with plants and windows. Image by storyset on Freepik

Meditation with deep breathing is known to slow down your cells' dividing or aging.

Practice slowing down cell division together by:

Step 3. Share effective mitosis study tools 📓

3 students are smiling in a room with a computer while high-fiving, raising one arm each to touch hands above head in unison. Image by storyset on Freepik

Share the PMAT acronym along with the "Please Make A Taco" mnemonic:

  • Prophase— chromatin condenses to chromosomes, spindles form, and centrosomes begin to move to opposite Poles

  • Metaphase— chromosomes line up at the Middle of cell

  • Anaphase— chromosomes pull Apart and move to opposite ends of cell

  • TelophaseTwo new cells start forming nuclei and nuclear envelopes

Note: depending on your class needs, you may have to add information about interphase and late prophase in your lesson.


Let's see if you've reviewed mitosis! After mitosis, the resulting cells:

Step 4. Show real-world mitosis examples 🌏

A restful person with a headwrap, genes and no shirt on is missing one breast next to

Image by storyset on Freepik

Breast cancer is a disease where cells divide uncontrollably and form a tumor mass on the breasts of a person.

A smiling mother is hand-patting the top of smiling masculine-child's head next to a giraffe-shaped height chart in a class.

Image by storyset on Freepik

Many living beings, including human beings, are constantly going through mitosisin order to repair old cells and to grow into adulthood. When your students are growing in height, that is also mitosis!

Take Action

GIF animation image of real-time 3D cell division occurring in various colored cells under a confocal microscope.

Help your students grow and learn about mitosis!


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