miscellaneous slide












by Greg Crowther


Several songs have been written on the topic of mitosis; here's mine. An advantage of this one, originally written for a GEAR UP minicourse at the University of Washington, is that it's a call-and-response number, promoting interactivity between the teacher and his/her students. The teacher or song leader sings a line, and then the students or chorus members echo that same line.


Mitosis is a process (mitosis is a process)
By which you split your genes (by which you split your genes).
It happens in four phases (it happens in four phases)
Of one extended scene (of one extended scene).

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.
(Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.)
Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.
(Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.)

Now prophase is the first phase (now prophase is the first phase):
The chromosomes appear (the chromosomes appear).
In metaphase, they line up (in metaphase, they line up)
In the middle of the sphere (in the middle of the sphere).


The chromosomes are split up (the chromosomes are split up)
As anaphase goes by (as anaphase goes by),
And telophase then seals 'em (and telophase then seals 'em)
In brand-new nuclei (in brand-new nuclei).


Other Files

sheet music (with melody play-back)

Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.

Study Questions

(1) Why do the chromosomes "appear" during prophase? Were they invisible before that?

(2) During metaphase, the chromosomes line up "in the middle of the sphere." What is the sphere?

(3) Is the splitting of the chromosomes into the two daughter nuclei a random process?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)