Investigation Overview:

Students will take water samples from a pond. They will observe and document the different cells and life forms under a microscope. The students will create experiments to see how these different organisms are effected by various factors (i.e. chemicals, temperture, light).



*Sample jars with lids.

*Microscope & Slides.


*Science Text and Lab Journals.

*Various other equipment depending on the experiment.


Time Required:

Two class periods for student planning and initial part of the investigation. The investigation will occur over a six week period. A certain period of time will be devoted to the investigation every other day. Students will be responsible for the for making observations and analyzing their data during this time. One class period will be given for students to present the results of their findings.



1) Discuss with the students what type of organisms they may find in their pond water. Start asking students what type of factors would effect these organisms. Also discuss with students the scientific method and scientific inquiry.

2) Students will be divided into groups of four. Each group will collect pond water samples and observe the samples under a microscope. Each students will record their observaions in their laboratory journal.

3) After students have made observations of the organisms in the pond water, they will be asked to devise and experiment around how and why these organisms are effected by different factors (e.g. light, temperature, chemicals). The students will need to develop a hypothesis and then test it. The collecting and analyzing of data will occur over several weeks.

4) Once students' experiments are completed they will confirm or reject their hypothesis and share their findings with the class.



Handle the microscopes with care.

Advise students on safety procedures.



*Observe eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms.

*Identify a problem and develop a testable hypothesis.

*Understand and take part in the process of scientific inquiry and experimental design.

*Distinguish between dependent and independent variables.

*Write-up a formal scientific laboratory report.



Laboratory Journals and Presentation of findings.