Progress in cell biology is closely linked to technical advances in microscopes. The following table summarizes types of microscopes available today, their advantages and disadvantages.
For many years, being able to draw microscopic sketches used to be an essential skill for biologists and medical doctors as it allowed them to document their microscopic observations and findings.
Today, we are able to take digital pictures of microscopic samples. They allow for a much greater reliability, much more detail and a much higher comparability of results. However, being able to draw microscopic sketches is still a very useful skill as it demonstrates acuteness of observation, attention to detail and the ability to adhere to a very specific set of rules. And even more than that, it is kind of fun. Just put on your favorite kind of music, and start sketching...
The virtual lab "Drawing Microscopic Sketches" offers advice on how to draw microscopic sketches and gives an example of how microscopic sketches might be graded in a classroom setting. But most importantly, it offers pictures of nine microscopic samples which can be used as a template for a microscopic sketch. Each sample comes with optional hints on what to pay attention to, and a sample student sketch. These sketches aren't perfect by any means, but they are pretty darn good for student work.
The following slideshow offers a glimpse into the virtual lab:
Parts of a Light Microscope
The interactive PowerPoint Show "Parts of a Light Microscope" gives an introduction to the components light microscopes consist of.
Click the button to download the file.
Here's a link to a very instructive article on how to prepare different types of microscope slides, written by AnneMarie Helmenstine, Ph.D.
Materials for Language Support:
A list of 25 vocabulary words related to this chapter ("Microscopes") as well as a set of 25 matching vocabulary cards for activities are available in our Online Shop.
(CLIL - Vocabulary - Microscopes,
CLIL - Vocabulary Cards - Microscopes)
A template document for conducting the A-B-C - activity with the vocabulary on "Discovery of Cells" is available here. Click the button to download.
A crossword puzzle practicing 15 vocabulary words on "Microscopes" is also available in our Online Shop. It includes the solutions to the puzzle.
(CLIL - Vocabulary - Microscopes -
Crossword Puzzle and Solution)