illustrated graphic of the mitosis cycle

Meiosis vs. Mitosis Using the APH Life Science Tactile Graphic Set

This activity, appropriate for a warm up, has students with visual impairments compare the final results of mitosis and meiosis and can be played as a competitive game.

Ideally this activity should occur after instruction on mitosis but before instruction on meiosis.  I used it as a warm-up to the lesson on Meiosis. Students should use their critical thinking skills to determine the difference in the products of these two processes. 



APH Life Science Tactile Graphics



  1. As students walk in the room, set out for each student the mitosis page and the meiosis pages from the Life Science Tactile Graphics kit. Mitosis on the left side of the desk and meiosis I and meiosis II  (connected) on the right. It may be useful to temporarily tape the 2 meiosis pages (meiosis I and meiosis II together  so that students can decipher the stages in order. Tape the meiosis I page on top of the open meiosis II page in the middle.
  2. Tell students that they will compete to answer a question using these graphics. Explain that students (either alone or in groups) will compare the results of the 2 processes by looking at the chromosomes in the beginning of each process and at the end. 
  3. Have students find the prophase stage of mitosis and the prophase stage of meiosis I.  Ask students to consider this stage and the final stage of each process as they compare the result of mitosis with the result of meiosis.  Make sure that they are considering telophase II (from  meiosis II) as they look to the final stage of the entire meiosis process (and not telophase I from meiosis I  ) 
  4. Students will compare the processes.  The goal is that students will understand that the process of mitosis produces cells identical to the original with the same number of chromosomes but that meiosis halves the number of chromosomes.  Only give guidance as necessary.  I always tell my students that I like for them to struggle a bit.  Hopefully students will experience an “Aha!” moment as they figure this out themselves.
  5. Have the student(s) who has figured it out raise their hand to be acknowledged but give all students enough time to consider the question before the discussion. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. We will learn today that Meiosis is the process by which sex cells are produced.  Why would this process produce cells with only half of the DNA? 
  2. Before both the process of mitosis and the process of meiosis the DNA is replicated.  How does the process of meiosis end up producing cells with only half the DNA while the process of mitosis produces cells identical to the original cell?

Students can work alone or in groups. 

NGSS Standards:

High School – Inheritance and Variation of Traits

LS1.A: Structure and Function

LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

By Laura Hospitál

Collage of meiosis vs. mitosis

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