Today I got out a microscope for the boys to play with. It was one of those very inexpensive screen microscopes that I bought for Katie to play with when she was little. It really does not show much and what it does show is not clear, and I would not reccommend getting one, but it does serve it's purpose of giving the boys something to play with that I do not have to worry about them breaking. We had borrowed a microscope from the local college when I did high school biology with Katie, so I haven't needed one yet enough to justify the price. So until then, this one will do.
|They looked at salt, Kosher salt, sugar, sand and paper. This is salt.|
|I showed them some of my prepared slides.|
|We looked at and compared fibers...wool, nylon, cotton and silk on prepared slides.|
If you have a microscope and you would like to get it out and compare fibers, hairs (human, dog, cat, if you can) and grass, as well as anything else that is interesting to you, this would be a good time to do it. Our microscope was not high powered enough for us to determine which fiber was our mystery sample, however, and we went to the links below. You can too.
Go to this link and scroll down to under the heading What are Fibres? and compare the first sample picture to the photographs there and decide whether they are cotton or wool fibers.
Hair and Grass
Go to this link and look to see whether the second sample picture is grass or dog hair. Be sure to scroll down and look at the samples there.
Once you have decided what the two samples are, look back over the first pages in the folder and decide who these clues point to and make note of it on your worksheet.
A great follow-up book for the youngest students is this book, which talks about how things look under a microscope and has nice sketches. Here is a post from couple of years ago about this book.