5 Creative Ways to Teach Mitosis that Get Students Excited

Akanksha Saxena

The growth and development of living organisms and their bodies have always intrigued biologists. There are many pertinent questions about the underlying processes that ensure the circle of life for all of us. At the heart of this curiosity lies a fascinating biological phenomenon called “mitosis” which holds the key to understanding this mystery. 

The biological cells continue to multiply and divide through the process of mitosis. Educators dealing with this subject are often challenged due to the difficult nature of the Genetics subject itself and other teaching tools-related difficulties. We have brought 5 creative strategies that can help you turn the table!

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

To facilitate a comprehensive understanding of mitosis, educators can rely on different types of models and simulations. These tools hold the power to promote better scientific inquiry into the ‘different stages (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase) and their significant characteristics’ as compared to conventional teaching tools. You can also use 3D model-based animations to demonstrate how ‘DNA is tightly packaged’ in the form of chromatin within the nucleus of a cell. 

Using Labster’s simulation, your students can dive into an immersive Cell Animation where they can witness the world of blood cells and find for themselves how DNA packaging happens. With options to zoom chromosomes up to the nucleotide level and visualize the double helix structure of DNA, this simulation can be a beacon of light for developing a better understanding of the subject!

Preview of MIL 2 simulation.

2. Learning with Games and Activities

By utilizing game-based elements in teaching about mitosis, educators can provide a more engaging learning environment than traditional classroom teaching can. To clarify the idea of DNA replication that precedes mitosis and is essential for error-free mitotic division, you can create a puzzle game where students assemble the pieces (denoting different nucleotides) based on ‘base pairing rules’. 

Alternatively, you can use Labster’s interactive quiz questions that educate students about the ideas underlying ‘cell cycle, replication, and mitotic phase’. There is also an option of a computer model-based game that allows students to virtually prepare onion tissue samples to study the key characteristics of the ‘different stages of cell cycle like the interphase (G1, S, and G2)’.

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

If we want to deliver insightful points on complex topics like mitosis for our students, we must be relying heavily on the tools with which students are more comfortable. Yes, we are talking about technological tools!

Research has shown that when students feel indulged in classroom teaching, they can gain more as compared to passive lectures. (1) You can use molecular visualization software and online platforms that enable students to explore the ‘functioning of different proteins, enzymes, cell cycle checkpoints, cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases’ in mitosis.

Virtual lab experiences will also be tremendously beneficial as they explore the power of different microscopes to immerse in an interactive world of ‘microscopic changes associated with the different stages of mitosis’. 

Preview of MIL 3 simulation.
Discover Labster's Mitosis virtual lab today!

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

Educators can inspire learners by highlighting the importance of mitosis in the professional world. By emphasizing the relevance of its intricacies in various fields as listed below, we can change the trend of students opting out of genetics and related courses.

  • Genetic Counseling (by correlating mitosis, the study of diseases, their inheritance patterns, genetic tests, and importance of informed guidance for patients)
  • Biomedical Research (by highlighting investigations of the molecular mechanisms underlying mitosis to develop new treatments for diseases like cancer)

Labster’s simulation provides a wonderful opportunity for educators to engage their students in a Virtual Clinical Drug Analysis of paclitaxel on cultured cells where students get to learn the effect of the compound on mitotic cell division.   

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Educators can make mitosis more meaningful for students by emphasizing its real-world applications. You can discuss how clarity of mitosis and DNA replication is crucial in biotechnology and genetic engineering. For this, you can introduce them to novel and interesting ideas that scientists use to manipulate DNA during cloning, gene therapy, and genetically modified organism (GMO) production. All of these applications rely heavily on accurate DNA replication and mitosis processes to achieve desired outcomes. You can also introduce them to the medical significance of accurate mitotic divisions. Labster’s simulation can come in handy here as students can join our virtual cell biology research group to investigate how a toxic compound extracted from yew trees and study if it can be used in cancer therapy as it specifically affects mitotic events.

Preview of MIL 4 simulation.

Final thoughts

Teaching mitosis in the modern era requires the integration of technology, the use of multimodal resources, and a focus on problem-based learning to engage students effectively. 

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and teach with the Mitosis simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!


  1. Huizenga, J. C., Ten Dam, G. T. M., Voogt, J. M., & Admiraal, W. F. (2017). Teacher perceptions of the value of game-based learning in secondary education. Computers & Education, 110, 105-115. 
  2. Sadler, B. J. (2004). How important is student participation in teaching philosophy?. Teaching philosophy, 27(3), 251-267.

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