Reflection: Student Ownership Scientists Use Tools to Observe~ Hand Lenses - Section 3: Warm-up


In the past, I have just handed out hand lenses and walked out the door.  But, I realized last year with a child who had vision issues that I really should explain how to use the hand lens.  And, I figured it is better for classroom ownership and culture to have students themselves both figure them out and explain them.  

About half of my students walked around with the hand lens right at their eye, and they were saying, "It's blurry, I can't see anything!"  (See video #1.)  They came to the comclusion on their own that you can't hold them too close to your eyes.  The other half figured out that if you were too close to something, it didn't magnify it.  (See video #2.)  Together, we figured it out!  A student explained to his friends how you need to move the lens closer and farther away until it is in focus.  We practiced on the rug, looking at our fingers and shoes, and maybe some gross scabs on knees, before going outside.  I am so glad that I took the time to complete this activity, and did not assume students were naturals.

PS-- In other news, they all called it a magnifying lens (and one called it a spy glass).  They looked at me like I had two heads when I said it is called a hand lens.  So, we will now call them magnifying lenses.

  Hand lenses reflection
  Student Ownership: Hand lenses reflection
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Scientists Use Tools to Observe~ Hand Lenses

Unit 1: Wiggly Scientists and Wiggly Worms
Lesson 2 of 13

Objective: SWBAT make observations of nature.

Big Idea: "Wow! Look what I found!" Today your first grade scientists will use hand lenses to make observations in the schoolyard.

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  30 minutes
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