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How Mistakes in Meiosis Can Result in Down Syndrome or Death of an Embryo

In this minds-on analysis and discussion activity, students learn how a mistake in meiosis can result in Down syndrome. Students also analyze karyotypes to learn how other mistakes in meiosis can result in the death of an embryo. Finally, students consider how a health problem can be genetic, but not inherited.

The Student Handout is available in the first two attached files and as a Google doc designed for use in online instruction and distance learning. The Teacher Notes, available in the last two attached files, provide instructional suggestions and background information and explain how this activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Meiosis Mistake SH.docx1.15 MB
Meiosis Mistake SH.pdf380.18 KB
meiosis mistakes TN.docx70.74 KB
meiosis mistakes TN.pdf117.79 KB


iwaldron's picture

2020 revision

Both the Student Handout and Teacher Notes have been entirely updated and revised to enhance student learning.


Serendip Visitor's picture

Alternative Title for this Unit

Instead of: How "MISTAKES" in Cell Division Can Result in Down Syndrome and Miscarriages maybe we can say:

How VARIANCES and/or IRREGULARITIES in Cell Division Can Result in Down Syndrome and Miscarriages. We want to avoid spreading the notion that individuals with Down syndrome are "mistakes". Same goes for other individuals with congenital conditions. Also, this lesson presents a great opportunity to invite individuals with Down syndrome to the classroom to ultimately help our school communities become a more inclusive and companionate educational institutions. (Human Diversity and Genetic Variances)
My humble opinion....

Patel's picture


thanks for the answers! really needed something to double check my answers!

Serendip Visitor's picture


post answer key to the worksheet!!!

iwaldron's picture

Answers to Questions in Student Handout

We do not have an answer key for Genetics Supplement. However, I believe that the information in the Student Handout and Teacher Notes should make it relatively easy to prepare a key. If you have any additional questions beyond the information in the Teacher Notes, please let me know ( and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Serendip Visitor's picture


first time visitor - haven't done it yet

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