T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

The Magical World of Microorganism! Introduction to Microorganisms

mbeall Add to My Content  Add this lesson to My Content  
CHIN, Gatineau, Quebec

Introduction to Microorganisms
In this lesson, you will introduce your students to the concepts and terminology involved in the study of microorganisms. This lesson plan provides brief descriptions of some important topics and examples, including a number of supporting visual aids. Suggestions for activities and forms of assessment/evaluation are also provided.

This lesson should cover 1 - 2 class periods and should be supported by any additional class references (textbooks, teacher notes, etc...). It is best suited for Grade 11/12 or Secondary 5 Biology, but it may also be incorporated into classes on Human Health and Food Nutrition.

Enjoy!
Terms and Concepts
The following information is a series of basic characteristics of microorganisms and serves as introductory material for this lesson.
Bacteria
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus
The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.




© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Fungi
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
The fungus Aspergillus ustus
The fungus Aspergillus ustus

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.




© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Viruses
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Influenza virus
Influenza virus

Photo : Robert Alain




© Robert Alain, SME, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Yeasts
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Lallemand




© Lallemand
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Algae
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
The algae Spirogyra
The algae Spirogyra

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.




© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Protozoa
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
The paramacium Paramecium multimicronucleatum
The paramacium Paramecium multimicronucleatum

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.




© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Learning Object: The Microscopic World
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microorganisms and the Environment
This next section explains how microorganisms interact with their environment. The example of the diatom links the concept of how shape and function relates to environmental conditions. Finally, the carbon, sulphur, and nitrogen cycles are used as descriptions of the greater context within which microorganisms interact with their surroundings.
Diatom
Unicellular aquatic microorganisms whose cell walls are composed of silica.

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.




© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microorganisms in the soil
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Carbon cycle
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Sulphur cycle
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Nitrogen cycle
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Microorganisms and the Living World
Now that we've seen how microorganisms exist in nature, we can relate the ways in which they interact with other living things. This section will briefly describe the impact of microorganisms on other organisms, including both land and aquatic creatures. The following information overlaps somewhat with the information provided in the previous section on nutrient cycles, so a link between these two topics wil be easy to form.
An intimate relationship between a plant and a microorganism
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Aquatic microorganisms: useful decomposers
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Guests settle in!
Armand-Frappier Museum
© Armand-Frappier Museum, 2008. All rights reserved.
View the complete media file

Learning Object Collection: Zoom in on Microorganisms
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Suggested Activities
This is a pretty thick topic, full of terms and concepts. So, it might be best to provide a more informal and interactive activity at this point.

One suggestion would be to assign each student or small group of students with a specific microorganism. Students could research information on their particular organism and present it as a 'superhero' on an index card or poster, with a drawn picture on one side and main characteristics on the other. These could then be presented orally and displayed around the class room.

A second suggestion would be to have students pick a microorganism and write a first-person narrative on the 'day in the life of my organism'. Students would incorporate into their narrative information on where the organism is found, under what conditions it thrives (you could add microbes that live in extreme environments!), what cycles it is part of, and so forth. You may wish to provide students with other options that would include a graphic narrative (such as a comic strip), a monologue, or even a performed dialogue between students. The focus here is on accuracy of information and creativity of expression.

Here's an idea! Go to http://audacity.sourceforge.net to download software that will allow your students to record their narratives and upload them as podcasts (http://podcastmachine.com)! Upload them to a class website and have fun sharing them with other students and teachers! This is a great way to learn how to use the Internet in communicating scientific knowledge.

Learning Objectives

Students will
- understand the appropriate terminology used to describe microorganisms and its study
- investigate different types of microbes and the distinguishing features of each
- explain how microorganisms interact with their abiotic and biotic environment