Teacher Corner -Lesson 3


LESSON 3.  Slide Preparation

Objective:  Students learn different methods of slide preparation for transmitted and reflected light microscopes.


transmitting light microscope
reflecting light microscope
live mount slides
glass slides
glass coverslips

Teacher Notes:

 Slide preparation is a skill that takes months to perfect.  In this lab we are introducing just 3 techniques in which students make slides including a dry mount, a wet mount, and live mounts.    They will also look at a permanent mount. 

 A dry mount will allow students to observe wetland plants (cattail and tule) so they can compare the difference.  If these are not available you might look at other plants that might be available in a pond situation.  We suggest that you cut the plants prior to the lab so the students do not have to use a razor.  However, if you have a small group you might want them to make their own.  Follow the directions on the worksheet.  You will need a reflecting microscope to observe these types of mounts. 

A wet mount uses about 2-3 drops of pond water with a coverslip.  Make sure students put the coverslip as directed on their worksheet. 

A live mount can either use a demoslide or pre-made plastic cubes that you drill small wells.  These wells act as a way for the animals to restrict their motion, but allow them to be viewed in their natural state. 

ANSWERS:  depends on specimens and types of microscopes used


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