Students will observe and read about microorganisms so that they can create an information book on microorganisms.
Main Curriculum Tie:
Science - 6th Grade
Standard 5 Objective 1
Observe and summarize information about microorganisms.
- Kids Discover
Magazine—Microbes (one per student)
Words/Phrases (cut out
and in an envelope, one
set per group)
- Books on
- Protozoa (from pond
water, hay infusion, or
purchased in advance)
- Depression slides
- Cover slips
- Eye dropper
- Kids Discover Microbes Magazine; ISBN 1054-2868
- Slime Molds and Fungi, by Elaine Pascoe; ISBN 1-56711-182-3
- Single-Celled Organisms, by Elaine Pascoe; ISBN 0823963128
- Fungi, by Elaine Pascoe; ISBN 0-8293-6313-6
- Microorganisms: The Unseen World, by Edward R. Ricciuti;
- A World of Microorganisms, by Robert Snedden;
- My Health—What Are Germs?, by Dr. Alvin Silverstein, Virginia
Silverstein, and Laura Silverstein Nunn; ISBN 0-531-16640-6
Background For Teachers:
Microbes are small living forms of life that cannot be seen without
the help of a microscope. As a result, these tiny one-celled organisms are
known as microorganisms. Microorganisms are as real and alive as you
are. They eat and grow; they reproduce and die.
Microbes can be found everywhere. They live in almost all natural
conditions where moisture is found. They may be found in fresh water
ponds, soil, salty water, hot springs, or snow drifts. They are present on
animals, people, and even in the air we breathe.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
Ask students what they know about microorganisms. What are they?
How do they move? What do they eat? Where do they live? What is
their purpose? Create a class cluster on the ideas the students give you.
(Display the cluster throughout the unit so students can refer back to it
and see what they might change or add.)
- Divide students into groups of four to five.
- Hand each student a copy of the Kids Discover Magazine—Microbes and an envelope with the cut out Microorganism
- Have each group read the magazine pages and create their own
- Collect clusters so groups can add more details later.
- Collect protozoa from local pond water by making a hay infusion,
or order them in advance.
- Using an eyedropper, suck up some protozoa and squirt it into a
depression slide, then cover with a cover slip.
- Have students use a microscope to observe protozoa.
- Ask students to draw what they observe and add drawings to their
clusters in the appropriate area.
- Look at bacteria slides under the microscope and draw
observations; add to cluster.
- Have students get back into their groups.
- Pass out a different microorganisms book to each group.
- Have groups read through the books and add details to their
clusters. Have them look for characteristics of organisms (e.g.,
color, movement, appendages, shape, size, etc.) and requirements
of microorganisms (i.e., food, water, waste disposal, temperature
of environment, reproduction, etc.).
- After about 15 minutes, have groups exchange books and see if
they can find more details.
- Exchange books until each group has enough information to
create a detailed cluster.
- As a class, discuss how group clusters compare to the class cluster
made the first day. What are the similarities? Differences?
- Have students use their clusters and drawings to create an
information book on microorganisms.
- Integrate with social studies and the Black Plague.
- Use Venn Diagrams to compare characteristics in observed
- Create a PowerPoint presentation on microorganism requirements.
- Have students quiz family members on what they know about
- Have students read their microorganisms book to their family.
- Look in a grocery store advertisement and write down all the
foods in the ad that have a relationship to microorganisms.
Remember foods like spaghetti sauce may contain mushrooms
and foods containing dough have yeast.
- Informal assessment includes the clusters, drawings, and
observations of groups during the activities.
- Formal assessment is the microorganisms book.
Created Date :
Nov 05 2004 12:48 PM