Fibers Lesson Plan


1. To introduce students to the use and care of microscopes.
2. To provide students with an opportunity to solve a problem using a microscope.

Student Objectives:

1. Students will be able to explain how to use a light microscope.
2. Students will be able to describe how to care for a microscope.
3. Students will be able to use a microscope to analyze data and draw conclusions.

Materials Needed:

1. Lecture notes
2. Lab Handout
3. Homework
4. Light Microscopes - at least one per pair
5. Fiber Samples - can include cotton, wool, polyester, nylon, rayon, spandex, etc. BUT all samples should be the same color - I recommend using three samples for most classes. More advanced classes or higher grade levels may use up to four or five samples.

Anticipatory Set:

1. Journal entry or Warm-up question: "Why is a microscope helpful to scientists? What does it do? How does it work?"
2. Set up crime scene scenario - "Eric was attacked and robbed in the boy's locker room this morning. His lunch money was stolen. Eric did not see his attackers; however, he managed to tear one of his assailant's shirts. This evidence will be evaluated and compared to the shirts worn by the suspects.


1. Complete anticipatory set as described. (Day One)
2. Handout class notes.
3. Discuss microscopes and fibers.
4. Handout lab worksheet. (Day Two)
5. Explain lab procedures.
6. At the end of class, handout the homework.


1. Class notes can be adapted for learning support and lower ability students by providing them with notes that are more filled out. Higher ability students may be required to write more of the class notes.
2. The lab does not require adaptations because the lab groups are cooperative and mixed ability.


1. Day One: Toss a koosh ball to a student. Have this student explain the first step in using a microscope. That student will then toss the ball to another student who will explain the second step. This will continue until every student has had a turn. Once all the steps have been reviewed, you can either begin with the first step or ask students to list ways to care for a microscope.
2. Day Two: Review the scientific method. On a piece of paper, students will list the steps of the scientific method and then describe how this lab fits into the steps of the scientific method.

Reinforcement Activity:

1. Students will conduct a lab that will reinforce the lecture information.
2. Students will have a homework assignment that uses information obtained from the lab.
Student Evaluation:
1. Students will be evaluated by their lab handout and homework.
2. Students will be evaluated by the final unit project.
Lesson Evaluation:
1. Students will be expected to receive an 80% or higher on their lab and homework.
2. The lesson will also be evaluated at the end of the unit. Students will be expected to receive an 80% or higher on the final lab report.