skip to main content

Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Exploratorium: Mitosis

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

Computer, Internet access, PDF reader software

Activity Description

In this activity, students use printable images from a time-lapse movie to make flipbooks—handheld animations. This series of images depicts the process of mitosis in the early embryo of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. In this stage of Drosophila development, nuclei divide very rapidly without cell division and the divisions are synchronized. The mitosis shown took about 10 minutes from start to finish.


  1. Download the flipbook pages. There is a link on the right going to the downloadable PDF files.
  2. Print each of the five PDF pages onto a sheet of 8.5 x 11" heavy paper (the files are in color, but you can print them in black and white, too).
  3. Gather scissors and a medium-sized binder clip for each group.
  4. Download and review the activity instructions (.doc).


  1. Teach a lesson on Mitosis .
  2. Divide the class into groups.
  3. Have students cut the flipbook pages on the dotted lines, including the blank pages on page 5. (Tip: To save time, cut the edges off of each sheet first; then cut down the center line, stack the two halves on top of each other, and cut out the individual "frames").
  4. Stack the pages in order; add at least five blank pages to the end (this helps the book "flip" well).
  5. Tap the stack of pages on a tabletop to make sure the right hand sides are lined up.
  6. Use the binder clip on the left side of the stack to hold your book together.
  7. Have students flip the pages noting the changes that are taking place.

More Ways

Select subjects and subcategories


  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Health and Life Science
Scroll To Top

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.