Lesson 3 - Page 4


Slide Preparation

Materials:  permanent mount, stiff cardboard slide, glass slide, coverslip, eye dropper, thin piece of tule and cattail (or other appropriate material), white glue, transmitting and reflecting light microscope,


  1. Look at Permanent Mount with both a transmitting and light microscope.  Which one has the ability to see in more detail?


  2. Dry Mount - Comparing tules and cattail structure.  Use a cardboard slide and use white glue to attach them.  Label and draw what you see below.  Use a reflecting light microscope.











  1.  Make a Wet Mount

    1. Place slide on a flat surface.

    2. Place a drop of water on the slide, including the organism that you are using.  If  what you are looking at is inanimate, put the object down first than put water. 

    3. Hold the coverslip by its sides and lay its bottom edge on the slide close to the specimen.  You may want to use a forcep for better control.  Holding the coverslip at a 45E angle helps.

    4. Slowly lower the coverslip so it pushes air bubbles out as the water spreads under the coverslip.  If you get air bubbles (looking like little black doughnuts), gently press on the coverslip to move them to the edge. If there are dry areas under the coverslip, add a little more water at the edge of the coverslip. Too much water can be dabbed off with a piece of paper towel.

Use a transmitting light microscope.  Describe what you see, especially the clarity of the slide.  Are there air bubbles? 

Are there void spaces?  This might be because you don’t have enough water. 

  1. Make a Live Mount using both the “well” and the demoslide.  When you put material in the demoslide you will need to remove the air bubbles by snapping your finger along the side several times.    Use a reflecting microscope to view the well, and transmitting light microscope for the demoslide. 


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