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This is an online simulation activity to explore how quickly different types of cells divide. Students complete the activity and collect data, then create a bar graph of the data and explain it. Then, students watch a short 3-minute TED-Ed Talk that explores the basics of how cancer happens from cell division and how current treatments such as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells. Students combine that information with what they learned from the online simulation to explore one facet of the relationship between cancer and cell division.
This activity works excellently in the early parts of a mitosis/ cell division unit, or a human body unit for upper elementary grades. Students are required to know any mitosis/ division terms or steps, and need only a passing understanding that there are different types of cells in the body. This activity would be a great segue into a cancer-focused mitosis unit. This product is also an awesome no-prep sub plan, especially if you combine it with a current event article on cancer for students who finish early! This activity takes an average 8th-grade student about 30-45 minutes to complete.