Microscopes are essential for young students to explore the world around them and learn valuable skills in a variety of disciplines. Bring inspection microscopes into your classroom and engage your students in these fun lessons.
The Skinny On Skin
The majority of animal cells are invisible to the naked eye, measuring only between 0.001 and 0.003 centimeters in diameter. A human’s skin cells are similarly small, but by using a handheld microscope for inspections of the skin, your students can see the tiny cells up close. This lesson is suited for grades two through four. Have a volunteer come to the front of the classroom. Using a digital microscope, get a close look at the student’s skin on the back of their hand. Take pictures with the microscope and discuss as a class what they observe. Ask students if they think the palm of the hand would look different under the microscope, and discuss reasons why they might differ.
A great classroom lesson for grades two to three, this idea involves exercising students’ skills in measuring. Use a digital microscope to look at a ruler and have the students observe how a full centimeter appears. Remove the ruler and replace it with a paper clip. Ask students to predict if the paper clip will measure less, the same, or more than a centimeter. Once they’ve all guessed, place the paper clip next to the ruler under the microscope so that students can see the result. Repeat this lesson with other small objects in the room.
As an exercise in learning about the scientific world and applying it to the everyday worlds of students, this lesson is great for fifth grade students. Under an inspection microscope, have students observe the structures of salt crystals. Have them take notes on the structures and take pictures for later with the microscope. Then, have them observe common food products with salt grains, such as pretzels, potato chips, and popcorn. Students can then compare the pictures of the salt crystals with the food that they snack on every day.
A good classroom lesson helps students apply what they’re learning to familiar objects and concepts. With these lesson plans and the ones explained in Part One, you will be able to connect the new and the familiar with inspection microscopes.