I wanted my 7th graders to make cell models this school year, but I didn’t want everyone just making the same thing so I searched the internet for a variety of labeled pictures so that the students could make a variety of cell types.
Send me an email at email@example.com if you’d like more information about how I did this activity, including a rubric.
Studying aquatic microorganisms is engaging and very educational.
Here I share how I teach a 7th grade lab on finding protists and microscopic animals in pond water. This may seem daunting if you are not familiar with the organisms or haven’t had the time to organize the activity. I hope that I’ll give you all the information you need for a successful lab.
Why take the time for this lab? Well, no one is going to be excited about algae by looking at a picture of it. Algae in the macroscopic world is called POND SCUM, but under the microscope it’s BEAUTIFUL.
Also,many standards can be addressed in a pond dip lab:
modeling ecosystems and ecosystem interactions
food chains, food webs and trophic levels
nonliving and living factors within an ecosystem
taxonomy and evolutionary relationships among species:
algae – single-celled organisms with plant-like characteristics
protozoans – single-celled organisms with animal-like characteristics
microscopic animals – all multicellular
crustaceans, aquatic worms and rotifers
single-celled organisms are microscopic, but have all of the characteristics of living things
microscopic multi-celled organisms such as microscopic crustaceans and worms
Using dichotomous keys and technical language – meet Common Core standards for using “key terms” and “domain-specific words and phrases” used in a “scientific and technical context”.
The supplies are simple and usually found in the typical middle school or high school biology classroom. The only things you will need to gather otherwise is the microorganism-rich water and organism keys; I provide you with information on both.