Big Idea: Meiosis –The study of genes throughout generations
VCE BIOLOGY: Unit 4: Continuity and change – Area of Study 1: Heredity.
What you
That meiosis occurs through sexual reproduction.
intend the
Occurs in all eukaryotes (including singular cellular organisms)
students to
That meioses involves the division of a single parent diploid cell (both
learn about
homologous chromosomes) to produce four daughter haploid cells (one
this idea.
homologous chromosome of the pair)
That meiosis is a reduction in the amount of genetic material –that is one half
the original genetic content of the original cell.
During fertilization, there is a reciprocal process by which two genomes
(gametes of 23 chromosomes – in humans) join and a zygote is formed
containing 46 chromosomes (in humans).
The zygote then has its own unique blueprint that is encoded in DNA.
The Stages of meiosis:
Prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.
As generations forms, the genetic material greatens in variation to produces
gametes that increases genetic and phenotypic variation in the population of
The differences that affect offspring from the same parents and the interplay
between genotype and environmental factors.
Why it is
Be able to trace patterns of inheritance.
Students need to have a fundamental understanding of cell division. A base
understanding will then allow students to learn and create further
for students
understanding of evolutionary processes and genetic faults.
to know
Students will be able to follow and understand relationships between
genetics and DNA and RNA from the concept of meiosis.
In accordance with VCAA Unit 4 – AOS 1 –Heredity; , students will
conceptualise the changes in genetic makeup over a evolutionary process as
well as consider great debate and open up discussions of these issues and
consider implications from a variety of perspectives.
What else
The role that science is playing in modifying genetic makeup. Designer babies
you know
(Movie ; My sister’s Keeper) , cloning – Dolly the Sheep. Ramifications of both
about this
and open for discussion at a later date. This will obviously be an interesting
idea (that
subject on debate on not only from a science point of view, but from a moral
you do not
and other perspective view. This will lead to a more thorough understanding
from AOS 1
students to
know yet).
Generation of stem cell development and the idea of creating ‘replacement
parts’ such as kidneys, ears and the like regeneration of nerve cells.
Transplants and organ donations – why is there rejection rates?
These are some ideas which are built from understanding how meiosis occurs
and then the transitional phases of cell development. Students should be able
to formulate ideas on these concepts gained from their accrued knowledge of
genotypes, genetic predisposition and cellular makeup.
This idea is a concept which is a difficult one to understand particularly when
teaching the different phases of meiosis. There is a great deal of phrases and
concepts to learn and difficult to link initially.
There is a lot of belief in the science rather than the seeing in the science.
Particular care will need to be taken to demonstrate the stages of meiosis and
the effects of genetic changes though same parent offspring to offer the
students a real conception of idea.
this idea.
The idea will need to be fully explored at the cellular level in order for the next
level of understanding that formulates genetics and heredity. Students will
need to understand the links of molecular genetics and genes as units of
Think, pair and share concept of how we develop as people. Introduce the idea
of genetics and genetic transfer. Incorporate ideas such as where our colour of
eyes come from, or why we look more like one parent or another. This will give
an understanding of the student’s awareness of genetics and idea of heredity.
reasons for
using these
to engage
From this introduce the concept of cells, cell division with specific reference to
meiosis. This will become the building block knowledge of heredity.
Pictorial representation of the stages of meiosis. It can be useful so that a
with this
visual representation is available as well as the theoretical background behind
the pictures. Links such as the following could be useful:
Demonstrated understanding of concept through handouts with thinking
questions such as from:
Not only can these raise discussion questions, they are also information which
can be cut out and pasted into workbooks for future reference.
Use of ICT resources and interactive whiteboards to develop concept maps that
all students can have discussion and add to in regards to the meiosis, cell
division and change, genetic information and makeup, and perhaps
evolutionary concepts.
Use of practical demonstration and microscopes to look at cells and their
microscopic changes as cell division occurs, or alternatively through the use of
internet and images that can be shown to demonstrate cell division. Also the
use of humour to help remember difficult concepts.
Have students work in four small groups where they are required to work on a
ways of
different stage of meiosis. They are then required to provide a demonstration
to the class in a manner which is understood by their peers.
Have students develop their own concept maps to enable them to understand
the process of meiosis, how DNA is constructed and how genetic traits are
ng or
inherited. This could be as an extended experimental idea whereby they may
look at genetic traits that have evolved over time, breaking down to the cellular
around this
Open up key discussions about meiosis, genetics, DNA and heredity and ask
questions in class, looking for the correct answers and correct terminology
likely range
which would show understanding of concept.
Use of worksheets or flow charts to show application of ideas and knowledge.
Example from:
POE (Predict, observe, explain). Have students look at a range of genetic
comparisons from evolution to demonstrate understanding of concept.
Biology: Victorian Certificate of Education Study Design, VCAA 2005, accessed 12 August 2010.
Loughran, J., Berry, A. & Mulhall, P. (2006). Understanding and Developing Science Teachers’
Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Sense Publishers: Monash University, Victoria Australia.

CoRE Big Ideas Meiosis - EDF4402-Unit4-AOS2