Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Microscope: Investigate and Explore

When introducing activities to children it is important that the child has a concrete understanding of what is being introduced. I love scaffolding it allows the child to dig deeper at their own pace, and it allows for self exploration which leads to meaningful work. There are many concepts that can be explored or introduced at various levels, one being the microscope.

When I first introduced the microscope to my children I stated what the purpose of the microscope was and why I like to use it. After they were hooked by the fascination of seeing something so small  magnified, I went on to introduce the parts of the microscope. This step by step method allowed them to build confidence with this science tool and take ownership of  their own knowledge. After observing them closely and seeing that they were properly using and caring for it we went on to making microscope slides. The next step is learning the proper names of the tools used to make the slides and the solutions involved. Again I observed and when these skills were mastered they were able to make microscope slides without assistance or waiting on my permission. All three of the children were so called to this work that we eventually ran out of slides as often as we ran out of bread. They were looking at dog hairs, mud, each other's germs, etc.  Fun Stuff!


In the Studio we have the "Make Your Own Microscope Slide" work available. For the child who has yet to be introduced to the microscope this is a nice introductory lesson that will need some assistance and perhaps just using the microscope to view the prepared slides may be enough. I am positive that which ever direction you take it would lead to nice follow up work at home/school or by spending more time at the Studio. For others who are familiar with the microscope I see new discoveries being made, extensions created to this work leading to great child led projects.


  1. What kind of microscope did you purchase for this work? We have not been pleased with ours::(

  2. It is so difficult to find a reasonably priced microscope to get the job done! After reading plenty of reviews I decided once again to purchase another microscope. All of the reviews raved about the Thames& Kosmos which is the microscope above. The best price is on Amazon for $70.00. I am very pleased with this microscope and highly recommend it. I heard good things about the Brock microscope as well, but wanted the kids to be familiar with all of the parts of the microscope at the same time.