4. Pond Water

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Delve into a micro-habitat that is the size of a drop of water. This lesson allows students to explore the plankton (organisms that drift with the currents) that exist in a drop of pond, lake, or bay water. A microscope is required to view most organisms although some are observable with a hand lens. If possible, this is a fantastic opportunity for students to collect the pond water themselves using pantyhose and a small bottle. If you are pursuing a restoration project, collecting water might be an excellent excuse for an initial visit (as long as the creek/body of water has regions of relative calm where algae can grow on the rocks). Plans for both an initial creek visit activity and a classroom investigation of the water sample are included in this lesson plan. If it is not possible to bring students to the creek or pond, then you can collect the sample ahead of time and skip the creek visit and sense of place activity.


Plankton photo by Jerry Prexioso. From NOAA


Creek visit:
Develop a sense of place.

Pond water investigation:
Can define organism, habitat and microhabitat.
Can identify organisms using a key or field guide.
Can use a microscope.


Objective lens
Focus (fine and coarse)

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4pond_water.doc 57.5 KB
pond_water_ID.doc 132 KB