This is a model of a chromosome.
Activity

Simple Model of a Chromosome

This is a simple model of a chromosome that is accessible to students who are blind or visually impaired.

This simple model allows the students to identify the parts of a chromosome.  The two identical chromatids and the centromere are clearly differentiated in this model.

Materials

Preparations

  1. Cut the pipe cleaner in half.  Press down the cut ends of the pipe cleaner with the point of a pencil so that they are not sharp.
  2. Place the two halves of the pipe cleaner together.
  3. Place both pipe cleaner halves though the bead.
  4. Move the bead approximately to the center of the pipe cleaner halves.
  5. Repeat  Steps 1 through 4 for each chromosome to be made.

Procedure

The simplest use for this model is in describing the structure of the chromosome.  Chromosomes appear only immediately prior to cell division and are made up of 2 exact copies of genetic material (chromatids). 

As students of biology are learning about the structure of the chromosome, present this model in addition to any raised lines that the text provides.  The chromosome is composed of two identical chromatids attached at the centromere. Ask the student the following questions:

Chromosomes line up during metaphase.
Chromosomes line up during metaphase

This model will be also be useful in describing the movement of chromosomes during cell division.  Following the stages of mitosis during instruction, this model can be set up to mimic the pictures in the book.  For instance the following picture is of the chromosomes during metaphase. 

A pair of homologous chromosomes
A pair of homologous chromosomes

This model can be used in 2 colors for low vision students to indicate homologous chromosomes.  These are chromosomes containing the same genetic content and that are the same size and shape.  Individuals receive one homologous chromosome from each parent.  

NGSS Standards:

High School – Inheritance and Variation of traits

LS3.A: Inheritance of Traits

Middle School

LS3.B: Variation of Traits

Pictures by Ditmar Hospitál

By Laura Hospitál

collage of simple chromosome model

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