Observation is the first step in the investigation process and this lesson really got the students observing. Take almost any object and magnify it to get a new perspective on it. Look closely at a pine cone, weed, or rock and find new beauty all around you.
Collecting trips on our campus brought samples we viewed through a projecting scope ($30.00). Homework that week was to collect a sample for class. Three quarters of the samples came from our campus but home brought in polished rocks and butterflies. One student forgot his “homework” and reached down for a leaf on the sidewalk outside the classroom door upon entering class. I was underwhelmed as you’d expect – it was a torn leaf with a diseased mark. But once we viewed it under the scope it was amazing. Now it is the central tile (above) in our permanent display of photos. I built a trifold to display our remarkable observations.