Pond Scum: Investigating Microorganisms

Sometimes things can be hidden in plain sight. Assist your young biologists as they explore the hidden lives of microorganisms surviving in water. Pupils bring samples of water to class and view these under the microscope to witness the living microorganisms in each sample. They draw visuals depicting what they witness in each sample and discuss the similarities and differences, based on the type of water sample they test.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have your class create a story about a day in the life of a microorganism surviving in the water; they should be creative and be prepared to read this in class
  • Locate video segments of microorganisms in water sources and show in class as a supplemental tool
Classroom Considerations

  • Ensure the class understands how to use a microscope and make certain no one drinks the water
Pros

  • Engaging activity that fosters imagination as the class wonders what life could be like for the organisms living inside the molecules of water
  • Activity requires minimal cleanup because the main material is water
  • Exercise becomes more diverse by using multiple water sources to conduct the experiment
Cons

  • None