Divide students into groups of three or four. Provide each group with a sheet of large chart paper (or poster paper) and one colored marker. Instruct them to create a graphic organizer of their choice on their paper with three sections. Write the term Reproduction in the center circle or base shape, and the terms Sexual Reproduction and Asexual Reproduction in the other two sections. See examples below.
On the chart paper, have students write as many words and facts as they can come up with that relate to reproduction. Allow students to exchange their posters with two other groups. The groups must review and add additional information using their original colored marker. Once the chart paper has been returned to the original group, there should be writing in three different colors.
Observe students throughout the activity to keep them on task and assess whether they understand the concept of reproduction.
Tell students that one of the most important things an organism can do in its lifetime is reproduce. Ask, “What is the result of reproduction?” and “What would happen to a species over time if every member suddenly lost its ability to reproduce?” Allow time to discuss students’ responses.
Have students take notes on vocabulary and concepts as you explain the outcomes of and differences between sexual and asexual reproduction. Reinforce that:
- in asexual reproduction, the offspring receives all of its genes from only one parent and is genetically identical to the parent.
- in sexual reproduction, the offspring receives half of its genes from each of two parents and is genetically different from each of the parents.
Have students identify examples of organisms that reproduce sexually and asexually and write them on a T-chart on the board; correct misconceptions as needed. Prompt students to include organisms like bacteria, amoebas, plants, worms, fish, and mammals on the chart.
Close the lesson by having students revisit the poster from the beginning of class. Have student groups record new information they have learned about reproduction onto the poster. Also, have students strike out any information that they have found to be false or incorrect during this activity.
Ask students to play The Mating Game online activity (see Related Resources) in pairs or small groups. Have students play two rounds of the game and then choose four of the species highlighted in the activity’s Dating and Mating Gallery. See Related Resources for The Mating Game and several other suggested Web sites, or if computers are unavailable, use print resources for student research.
Tell students that they will be researching types of reproduction in various organisms. Have small groups research and create a three-column chart on sexual and asexual reproduction in various types of organisms. The columns should be: Type of Organism, Sexual/Asexual/Both, and Description of Reproduction (S-8-2-1_Reproduction Chart.doc). Assign some of the organisms and allow students to choose one or two additional organisms to research. Close the lesson by having each student write a meaningful sentence that includes any three of the following terms: asexual, sexual, egg, sperm, gamete, offspring, and gene.
- For students who require extra support, provide students with a template for the Reproduction Chart and model the activity by filling in a row for one or two types of organisms (S-8-2-1_Reproduction Chart Template.docx).
- For students who are working beyond the standards, have them research animal cell division instead of types of reproduction, and create a sequencing map that outlines what happens to the chromosomes in a human cell as it divides.