Microscope: How to Use It and Enjoy It Activity
Teacher Guide Grade 6 Summary
Story Summary
Microscope: How to Use It and Enjoy It

Microbe Puzzle

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.

  1. First visit the Stalking the Mysterious Microbes Web site at http://www.microbe.org/microbes/what_is.asp 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.

  2. 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
    Crossword Puzzle

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Home Connection

Go to the Microbe Zoo Web site at http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/dic-me/zoo/ to 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.

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