This month’s Poppins Book Nook theme of To The Laboratory gave us the perfect opportunity to get out the microscope and explore it. A microscope is right at home in a lab so we got it out and learned all about it – how to use it, its parts, and what it can do.
We started out with this little book titled Scientists Ask Questions by Ginger Garrett. It is simple enough for the youngest giggly girl but yet in depth enough with additional questioning on each page from me that the oldest giggly girl continued to have learning options. It helped us focus in on the various lenses that a scientist might use, including a telescope, binoculars, magnifying glass, and microscope. We compared each of them, looking at them and talking about the similarities and differences, what each of them was used for, and how they were used.
The girls spent some time then looking through various books that showed what a microscope could do. Just browsing and reading brought them a lot of information and interest. The books they looked through included:
- The Usborne Complete Book of the Microscope
- Microscopes and Magnifying Lenses
- Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientists Microscope
- Through the Microscope: Plants and Seeds
- Fun With Your Microscope
After that we got out the microscope and just talked about it, observing and making guesses about the various parts, what they were called, and what they might do.
I printed a picture of a microscope from About.com. The girls labeled it and it really made the next part easier. Having the right terminology for the parts of the microscope made it so easy to correctly instruct them.
I created this little printable for them to complete, getting used to various levels of magnification and how they changed what you see through the eyepiece when it changes. They each got to choose a slide from our sets and use it. If they wanted to do more than one, I printed more than one. All learning welcome! Here are the slides that we are using: Learning Resources Prepared Slides Combo Set (48 Specimens).
Another day, we used the microscope to compare two different slides. I asked them to choose two very different samples – a textile and an animal sample or a plant and an insect, etc. They then had to diagram each slide and write a comparison/contrast about the observations made.
This is the printable I made for comparing two slides. Feel free to use it and share it but please link back to here. Click this link to get the PDF.
We had fun with the microscope and To The Laboratory this month. At Home.
Clip art by MelonHeadz
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