Don't let your microscope gather dust in a corner! Start making your own slides to view at home.
There are two different ways we homeschoolers can mount our samples for microscope slides - wet-mount or dry-mount.
In this article, we are going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options along with how to make these slides and a free microscope printable for you to use!
Let's dig in . . .
Like I said, in the homeschool setting, we typically only the dry-mount or the wet-mount method of securing samples on slides for viewing.
But before we go into detail about these two methods, let's chat about how to handle slides. Here are a few essential tips:
Whew, with that out of the way, let's chat about making some slides!
A dry-mount slide is when the sample is simply placed on a slide . . . simple, huh?
You can use a coverslip or another slide to flatten the sample or hold it in place if necessary.
You should use this type of slide when viewing samples such as pollen, feather, or hair.
When making your own dry-mount slides, you will want to follow these directions:
Once you view your slide, wipe it off thoroughly with 70% ethanol and a clean lens cloth to reuse the slide for another sample.
A wet-mount slide is when the sample is placed on the slide with a drop of water and covered with a coverslip, which holds it in place through surface tension.
You should use this type of slide when viewing living samples such as saliva, blood, and other cells.
When making your own wet-mount slides, you will want to follow these directions:
Once you view your slide, you can gently separate the coverslip and slide. Then, clean both thoroughly with 70% ethanol and dry with a lens cloth to reuse the slide for another sample.
As you view the slides you have made, have your students describe what they are seeing. Then, take the time to point out any of the interesting features you want them to notice.
After that, have the students make a notebooking sheet to record the experience. Here's a free printable you can use:
I hope you enjoy looking at the microscopic world as you study science!
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