[Jamestown, NY] – What are we going to be looking at?” asked Ring Elementary School second grade teacher Carrie Davenport to her students.
“Yes, Mr. Foster and I have the microscopes all set up for you. I want you to look through the microscope by using your eyes and be like a scientist and investigate. If you were just using your eyes could you see what is on this slide? No. You’re going to use the microscope as a tool to see the details and body parts of the insects.”
As part of the second graders English Language Arts unit on insects, and their science unit learning about the different tools scientists use, Ring Elementary School second grade teachers set-up microscopes for the students to view different parts of insects. The teachers had the help of Doug Foster, JPS Instructional Science Coach, co-planning the lesson to help to extend the content of both their science kits and ELA unit, while providing a hands-on, engaging experience that was motivating to the students. The activity reinforced the body parts of an insect that they learned about during the ELA read aloud. They explored how a microscope helps scientists and how the different lenses impacted what they saw while making inferences on how these different levels of magnification might help scientists.
“I saw a fly wing and it had veins in it and I also saw spikes coming out of it,” said Ring Elementary School second grader Sahirys Santiago Torres. “I learned that insects have hair and every time they switched the magnification it had more detail in it. It’s fun to do this because you can see things that are really cool. Even things like germs that are invisible, if you put them in a microscope you can see them.”
Students drew the initial insect and labeled the body parts. Then, they changed magnifications to see how their view changed and added more detail to their drawings. After trying the microscopes, students choose to write either a compare and contrast paragraph or a descriptive paragraph to explain what they saw in the microscopes. In addition to the microscopes, students have also learned to use droppers, test tubes, scales and other tools for measuring, and magnifying glasses through their science kits.
“Our team thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce them to a different tool by extending on their knowledge of magnifying glasses while also giving them additional skills that help them build their understanding and working knowledge of science,” said Mrs. Davenport.