Looking at Living Things: Volvox
Students will observe living/moving things. They will be looking at Volvox.
4-5 INQD Investigations involve systematic collection and recording of relevant observations and data.
4-5 PS3A Energy has many forms, such as heat, light, sound, motion, and electricity.
4-5 LS1A Plants and animals can be sorted according to their structures and behaviors.
4-5 LS1B List parts of an animal’s body and describe how it helps the animal meet its basic needs.
4-5 LS2B Plants make their own food using energy from the sun. Animals get food by eating plants and/or other animals that eat plants. Plants make it possible for animals to use the energy of sunlight.
- Students will learn the best way to handle living, moving creatures, on slides.
- Students will use their microscopes to observe them.
- The living materials must have arrived for you to complete this lesson. In Appendix E, there are directions for care of all three of the living organisms.
- If you want students to pick up their own Volvox, you may want to divide the specimen into more than one container for quicker distribution.
- Make sure the students and teacher use a clean dropper for picking up the Volvox.
This student used the observation
organizer to write about Volvox.
- Make sure students do not pick up their microscopes during the rest of the unit, while looking at their specimens. Everything will be in liquid. The specimen will slide off of the slide.
- Students need to make sure they don’t get too much of the liquid on their slide. When they adjust the focus, they may get it wet. Students would then need to use a lens cleaner to dry it off.
- Students should have a drawing and observations in their notebook. Have a circle pattern available to them to trace. This gives them a place to draw the organism to scale. They can write their observations beside it.
- Volvox are the slowest of the living organisms they will be looking at in this unit. If students are having trouble seeing or tracking the Volvox, provide them extra practice before going on to Blepharisma.
- Instead of having students read the information on Volvox first, have a brief discussion about how observing something living might be different from the nonliving things that they have observed in previous lessons. Students should have the experience of looking at the specimen before doing the reading.
- Once students have their slide with Volvox, encourage them to try and see them with their naked eye. They are usually visible in the light. If students don’t see anything, you may need to get them a different sample. (Their sample may only be liquid.)
- After students have made their observations and drawings, read the selection on Volvox together. Allow plenty of time for students to go back and make observations – trying to identify the properties and behaviors of Volvox from the reading.
- Make sure you discuss how the Volvox travels (its flagella), and how it gets energy (the sun).
This is an example of a paste-in that
can be added to the students’ notebooks.
- There is a very good article in the STC Reader from Microworlds on Volvox.
- The Discovery Deck in some STC kits has a card that provides a lot of information on Volvox.