Microscope: How to Use It and Enjoy It
There are many things you can see only with a microscope. Some of these things
are microbes. Microbes are living things
that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Some microbes cause colds or
different strains of the flu while others are fungi that can make bread and other
foods moldy. There are many different types of microbes. But if you can't see
them, how can you tell them apart? The activity below will help you explore the
mysterious world of microbes and learn to recognize a few of these creatures.
- First visit the Stalking the Mysterious Microbes Web site at
and explore Case #1 to learn about
different microbes. Print out or save the microbe pictures. If you do not have
access to the Internet, visit your local library to learn about microbes.
- Fill in the World of the Microscope crossword puzzle. Use the microbe
descriptions and the names of microscope parts to fill in the puzzle. Use the
information from the story summary, the Stalking the Mysterious Microbes Web
site, or your library research to help you complete the puzzle.
World of the Microscope
2. I am a single cell. I am a source of food in the ocean.
7. I must enter other cells before I can become active.
8. A microscope's _______________ reflects light to illuminate the specimen.
9. A microscope's ocular lens is also called an ____________.
10. I am a type of microbe that makes bread moldy.
1. I can cause Strep Throat.
3. Some microscopes have more than one ____________ lens.
4. You can turn the ___________ knobs of a microscope to see an object more clearly.
5. I am a single cell, but I move and catch food.
6. Object being viewed through a microscope.
- With a friend, research one particular microbe. Describe its features, shape,
color, and what it does. Present your microbe to your classmates. If a microscope
and prepared slides are available, share slides of your microbe with the class or
use pictures saved from the Stalking the Mysterious Microbes Web site.
- As a class, compare and contrast different microbes, such as virus versus
bacterium. Share how a microscope helps you differentiate the microbes and to
find out more information about them.
Go to the Microbe Zoo Web site at
discover the hidden world of microbes. Pay close attention to the shapes and
functions of each microbe. Then compare these microbes to things you see in the
world around you. Create a list of microbes that can be compared to familiar
objects and explain their similarities. For example, algae can be compared to a
factory because both have hard walls with machines inside that use energy to
make products and waste.