Fourth grad classes began lab by reviewing the parts and the care of microscopes. To quiz yourself on the parts click here.
This is the third year my fourth grade biologists have used microscopes in lab. In second grade, they observed plant parts and invertebrate body parts and they looked at vertebrate body parts in third grade. So, they had the necessary background knowledge to make their own slides and stain them to improve contrast.
First, we made a wet mount slide with a leaf specimen. Click here for more information. Then we peeled off the thin layer of onion skin, prepared our slide, and observed the cells under the three objective lenses. Click here for a video explaining the process. Vocabulary included forceps and pipette.
Wet Mount of Leaf Specimen:
Peeling off the thin epidermal layer of onion skin:
Staining the specimen:
Observing the cells:
Taken with an iPhone over the ocular lens:
Nothing like a swim after a breakfast of crickets!
My youngest scientists continued to investigate properties of magnets. Why are the magnets “dancing”? Hint: The same poles are near each other.
We tried to maneuver items through a maze with a magnet placed under the tray. A fun eye-hand coordination activity!
Wow, paper clips can be moved with magnets placed under the lab tables. The magnetic force can move through solids.
Can you remove the paper clips from the bottle of rice without spilling any of the rice?
What can you make with a variety of magnetic objects?
How can you make the snowflake fly without touching it?
First grade scientists investigated snow that we made with a super absorbent polymer. They described it as wet, fluffy, cold, and squishy. Cars, cups, spoons, figurines, animals, and cookie cutters were available for them to play with in the snow. Below are some of their Georgia snow people. Click here to find out more about instasnow.