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Explain the Cell Cycle

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know that humans are made of trillions of cells?!  All living things are made from cells. Organisms are able to grow because cells can multiply.  Organisms always need new cells. Cells get damaged through wear and tear or maybe through disease. These cells need to be replaced. They have to be replaced with cells that contain the exact same genetic information. The process of producing new cells is called the cell cycle and can be divided into two processes- growth and cell division or mitosis which is the scientific name.

Image of chromosomes

Did you know that humans have around 21,000 genes? These genes control everything about us and they are found in the nucleus of our cells. In our body cells, the nucleus holds 46 chromosomes (or 23 pairs). We call these diploid cells. We inherit 23 chromosomes from our father and 23 chromosomes from our mother (46 in total). That means there are 23 chromosomes in egg cells and 23 chromosomes in sperm cells. These are called haploid cells. These combine during fertilisation and contain all our genes which instruct our body to do all sorts of jobs. After fertilisation, the zygote formed goes through the cell cycle lots of times. This is how an embryo will eventually form.  Read on to find out more about the cell cycle.

The Cell Cycle

Cell Growth -The first phase of the cell cycle is called cell growth. Here the cell accumulates nutrients and grows larger. The organelles of the cell are copied, like ribosomes and mitochondria. Then the chromosomes are copied and the nucleus too.

Mitosis - Once cell growth has occurred, the cell can divide into two. This is called mitosis. During mitosis, the chromosomes are lined up in the centre of the cell and pulled to opposite ends of the cell. Two new nuclei will form and then the cell splits into two forming daughter cells. The chromosomes in the daughter cells are genetically identical to the chromosomes in the parent cell, they are clones. You can see a picture of the process of mitosis below:

Image of cell undergoing mitosis

It's through this amazing process that organisms are able to grow. 

In the following activity, you will be explaining the key features of the cell cycle.

Cheek cells are a type of body cell. Before cell division occurs the cell grows. What happens during cell growth? Tick two boxes. 

Organelles replicate

Cell divides into two

Chromosomes replicate

Living organisms need new cells all the time. Fill in the blanks explaining why new cells are needed.

Organelles replicate

Cell divides into two

Chromosomes replicate

Image of cell undergoing mitosis

Explain what parent and daughter cells are by matching up the sentences below. 

Column A

Column B

A parent cell is the original cell that will ...
...the cell they came from
The daughter cells are identical to each other and...
...as each other and the parent cell.
They have the same number of chromosomes...
...undergo mitosis and will divide by splitting in...

Image of a strawberry plant and runner

The picture above shows a strawberry plant. The parent plant grows side shoots. New plants grow on the side shoots. The new plants will all have the same inherited characteristics as the original parent plant. Complete the sentences below to explain why.

Column A

Column B

A parent cell is the original cell that will ...
...the cell they came from
The daughter cells are identical to each other and...
...as each other and the parent cell.
They have the same number of chromosomes...
...undergo mitosis and will divide by splitting in...

During mitosis the chromosomes line up across the centre of the cell, like in the picture below.

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

What happens to the chromosomes next? Select one correct answer.

All the chromosomes move to one end of the cell

One complete set of chromosomes moves to each end of the cell

The chromosomes don't move

Image of a lion cub

A lion has 19 pairs of chromosomes in its body cells. If a lions parent cell has 19 pairs of chromosomes how many individual chromosomes will the daughter cells have after mitosis? Select one answer below.

19

38

23

46

Describe the features of daughter cells by answering true or false below in each row.

Human body cells have a cell cycle which is divided into two processes. The table below shows some observations of cells during each process. The processes have been labeled as process X and Y.

Observation  Process X Process Y
 Number of cells 1 2
 Number of chromosomes  46 chromosomes doubled to make 92 chromosomes  46 chromosomes in each cell

Look at the table and identify process X and Y.

X - Cell Growth

Y - Mitosis

X - Cell Division

Y - Cell Growth

Before mitosis occurs the chromosomes line up in the centre of the cell. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell in the picture below. How many chromosomes will there be in the daughter cells?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Select one correct answer.

2

8

16

4

The cell in the picture below is going through mitosis. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell. How many chromosomes were there originally in this parent cell?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Type one answer below.

  • Question 1

Cheek cells are a type of body cell. Before cell division occurs the cell grows. What happens during cell growth? Tick two boxes. 

CORRECT ANSWER
Organelles replicate
Chromosomes replicate
EDDIE SAYS
Cell growth is an important part of the cell cycle. Before mitosis can happen, all the organelles inside the cell have to replicate, this way you get two copies of everything. These copies will end up in their own cell later and are called daughter cells.
  • Question 2

Living organisms need new cells all the time. Fill in the blanks explaining why new cells are needed.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
New cells are needed for growth and repair. Without the cell cycle, organisms would die out with no new cells replacing old ones or diseased ones. Phew, that was a challenge.
  • Question 3

Image of cell undergoing mitosis

Explain what parent and daughter cells are by matching up the sentences below. 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

A parent cell is the original cel...
...undergo mitosis and will divid...
The daughter cells are identical ...
...the cell they came from
They have the same number of chro...
...as each other and the parent c...
EDDIE SAYS
The parent cell refers to the original cell that is doing the dividing. The new cells that form are called the daughter cells, no 'son' cells I'm afraid!
  • Question 4

Image of a strawberry plant and runner

The picture above shows a strawberry plant. The parent plant grows side shoots. New plants grow on the side shoots. The new plants will all have the same inherited characteristics as the original parent plant. Complete the sentences below to explain why.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Most organisms will use mitosis to grow like the strawberry plant above. Because the genes are identical, the same type of plant will grow. The strawberries might look different from one another but that could be to do with other factors like not getting enough water or nutrients.
  • Question 5

During mitosis the chromosomes line up across the centre of the cell, like in the picture below.

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

What happens to the chromosomes next? Select one correct answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
One complete set of chromosomes moves to each end of the cell
EDDIE SAYS
Once the chromosomes have lined up across the centre of the cell they are pulled to either end of the cell and the nucleus divides. The cytoplasm and cell membranes divide and two new cells are formed. Remember, mitosis gives you to (two) daughter cells.
  • Question 6

Image of a lion cub

A lion has 19 pairs of chromosomes in its body cells. If a lions parent cell has 19 pairs of chromosomes how many individual chromosomes will the daughter cells have after mitosis? Select one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
38
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky question as the question gave the chromosome number in pairs and wanted the answer as the number of individual chromosomes. So 19 chromosome pairs are the same as 38 individual chromosomes (19x2=38). In an exam question try not to get thrown off if you get asked about other organisms and their chromosome numbers, just apply what you know to the situation- that parent cells and daughter cells will have identical numbers of chromosomes after mitosis.
  • Question 7

Describe the features of daughter cells by answering true or false below in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Daughter cells are the product of mitosis, they are the cells formed from cell division. They will have the exact same number of chromosomes as the parent cell and will be genetically the same as the parent cell.
  • Question 8

Human body cells have a cell cycle which is divided into two processes. The table below shows some observations of cells during each process. The processes have been labeled as process X and Y.

Observation  Process X Process Y
 Number of cells 1 2
 Number of chromosomes  46 chromosomes doubled to make 92 chromosomes  46 chromosomes in each cell

Look at the table and identify process X and Y.

CORRECT ANSWER
X - Cell Growth
Y - Mitosis
EDDIE SAYS
The biggest clue that process X is cell growth is the number of chromosomes. During cell growth, the number of chromosomes will always double. This is because the chromosomes replicate and will eventually separate out into new daughter cells. Process Y is mitosis because the number of daughter cells formed is always two. Great focus, that's another activity completed!
  • Question 9

Before mitosis occurs the chromosomes line up in the centre of the cell. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell in the picture below. How many chromosomes will there be in the daughter cells?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Select one correct answer.

CORRECT ANSWER
4
EDDIE SAYS
Once the chromosomes have lined up across the centre of the cell they are pulled to either end of the cell and the nucleus divides. Remember, daughter cells will have the same number of the chromosomes as parent cells.
  • Question 10

The cell in the picture below is going through mitosis. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell. How many chromosomes were there originally in this parent cell?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Type one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
4
Four
EDDIE SAYS
Before a cell can divide the chromosomes have to replicate. The picture above shows a parent cell with double the number of chromosomes, which have lined up across the centre of the cell. These chromosomes will be pulled to either end of the cell and then will divide.
---- OR ----

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