Phytoplankton: photosynthetic plankton that are usually microscopic and are also called “algae"... more
Plankton: a group of free floating organisms living in water that includes many kinds of plants and animals... more
Zooplankton: small, sometimes microscopic animals that live in water and feed on phytoplankton (algae), other zooplankton, or detritus (dead material)... more
This is an interdisciplinary lesson that integrates science and math. This activity can be done using the “Plankton Zoom Gallery” or by collecting your own samples of pond water. You decide what is best for your students.
Tips for Classroom Implementation
Time Required: 50 minutes (2 50 minute class periods if you plan on collecting your own pond water and sketching them as you view them under a microscope.)
Speaking and Listening
Reading Literacy and Technical Subjects
EXTENSION: 6-8.RST.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
EXTENSION: 9-10.RST.9. Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
Colleen Miks. (2013, July 16). Plankton Sketch Activity: For Teachers. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved March 30, 2023 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/experiments/sketch-plankton/for-teachers
Colleen Miks. "Plankton Sketch Activity: For Teachers". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 July, 2013. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/experiments/sketch-plankton/for-teachers
Colleen Miks. "Plankton Sketch Activity: For Teachers". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 16 Jul 2013. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 30 Mar 2023. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/experiments/sketch-plankton/for-teachers
This activity has a companion article on Plankton. Discover an Invisible Watery World in water full of creatures too small to be seen!
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