BrainPOP BrainPOP Jr.
Control of the Cell Cycle
SUBJECT: Science GRADES: 3-5, 6-8

Cell Structures
Genetic Mutations

OBJECTIVES Students will:

  1. Define and explain mitosis and the stages of the cell cycle.
  2. Explore the cell cycle through a digital simulation.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Projector and/or interactive whiteboard
  • Class set of photocopies for either the Graphic Organizer or the Activity


Make sure students have some background knowledge on mitosis: use our Mitosis Topic Page for teaching resources in this area.

Preview the Cell Structures Topic Page which is used in this lesson plan, as well as the Control of the Cell Cycle Game and plan for their use with students. During game play, students will play the role of a "cell division supervisor." Inside the cell nucleus, they are to steer the cell division process to make sure everything happens in the right order. They also have to make controls now and then to make sure nothing happened with the genetic material on the way. If they make too many mistakes, the energy level in the cell will drop and the cell division will not be able to proceed. The challenge is to complete the game and to make sure that the cell was correctly divided. You can find more information about this game on the website.


  1. Review the stages of mitosis with students. Challenge students to work in small groups to create corresponding hand motions for each stage. Allow each group to present their movements to the class.
  2. Show the Cell Structures movie to the class and have students listen as each stage of the cell cycle is explained.
  3. Display the Control of the Cell Cycle game for the class and talk about the basics of game play.
  4. Give students class time to explore the game with a partner. Encourage them to point out each stage of the cell cycle as it is being shown.
  5. Talk about the game with the class. What did they learn about the cell cycle? What strategies did they use in the game? How did their knowledge about the cell cycle help them be successful?
  6. Use either the Graphic Organizer or the Activity for students to review what they learned. Have them switch papers with a partner and discuss the answers.
  7. Use the Quiz as an assessment tool and to plan future instruction.


cell membrane; regulate; nucleus; cytoplasm; organelle; mitochondria; lysosome; vacuole; protein; ribosome


Check out our Cell Command game and Lesson Plan for related and activities and resources for this unit of study, as well as the other Health Games and Science Games featured in GameUp.

See More Free Lesson Plans