Amoeba This!!!! Amoeba That!!!!
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Pathways College Preparatory
Course: Living Environment or
Grade: 8th & 9th
Unit of Study: Ecology
- Students will be able to
identify and classify different types of protozoa using different ecological
samples using Protozoa chart and previous notes.
- Students will compare and
contrast the key characteristics of Protozoa found in each sample. (This
should be done with other group members)
- Students will design inquiry
base experiments that test a number of ecological problems. I.e.
how do different species share or compete
for resources to permit survival? How do social amoebae partition their
niches? Do different species have different food preferences? Do different
mating strains influence each other's feeding?
- Extended - Students
will design an experiment utilizing the Protozoa found in their water sample
and measure the affects of pH, temperature, and light intensity on the
growth process of their organism.
will produce a sample of pond water or soil from their neighborhood. They will
then discuss the importance of Protozoa to the environment and what effects they
would have on the environment if they were non-existent. Students would have to
complete pre-reading and research prior to class)
- Students will watch a video
from Google Video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7593803924505341772&q=Amoebae&hl=en),
are both good starter videos for students to watch what an amoebae looks
like and how to observe it on a microscope. These videos give information
about how to observe an amoeba under a microscope.
- Students will analyze their
water or soil samples using a compound microscope and record their findings
on the Protozoa worksheet.
- Students will use their
resource keys to identify what organism where found in their sample.
- Students will create a
description chart describing the area where they collected their sample,
date, time, and location of their sample. In addition students will also
compare, shape, locomotion, cyst formation, and feeding traits. This
information will be shared and compared with other source samples.
- Discussion- why were certain
organism found in a particular sample? What are some of the factors that
contribute to these types of organism growing in this area? What is the
relationship to your organism and the ecosystem it lives in?
- Students will then design an
experiment using altered variables to see the effects on Amoebae.
Methods & Materials
- Students will be in groups
of four. Each student will prepare a wet mount of soil or pond sample, using
a compound microscope they will observe sample for organisms.
- Each student will record
their findings using the worksheet provided to depict what is seen on low,
medium and high magnification.
- Once students have observed
their findings each group will create a chart using large chart paper. The
chart will include the location where the sample was found, the date,
whether it was a soil or pond, and what types of organism were found.
- Each group will share out
- The entire class will then
discuss why different organism was found in different locations and what are
some possible explanations for this data finding.
- Students will reflect as a
group by choosing one organism in their samples and its importance to the
ecosystem. ( DVD “The Branches of the Tree of Life”, and internet access
will be available)
- Extension- each group will
then design an experiment using the Amoeba kit from Carolina to determine
ecological characteristics. For example,
how do different species
share or compete for resources to permit survival? How does social amoebae
partition their niches? Do different species have different food
preferences? Do different mating strains influence each other's feeding?
- Each group will be given a
water sample that contains different species of Protozoa. Students will then
prepare a wet mount on a microscope slide to prepare for observation.
Suggested Discussion Points
– Students can discuss how energy is transferred in ecosystems and the
importance of Amoebae. Students can also study the Hardy Weinberg Population of
one species and the survival strategies Amoebae’s use to sustain life.
1) Why are some kinds of protozoa
found in certain samples and not others?
2) What might happen to the pond
if a quantity of antibiotics were accidentally dumped into the pond killing all
the existing protests?
3) One summer is very dry and
hot, a certain pond dries almost completely. The city Park’s Department, in an
effort to save the pond refills the pond with water from the city’s drinking
supply. What predictions would you make about the protozoa population of the
pond before and after the refill with drinking water?
4) What roles do you think
Protozoa play in an aquatic ecosystem?
http://www.biology-resources.com/amoeba.html (This is a website that allows
you print worksheets about Protozoa. You can use this as a reference key for
Amoeba kits assist in designing the experiments.
Key Idea 1
Beyond the use of reasoning
and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations
involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually
requiring considerable ingenuity.
1.1c in all
environments, organisms compete for vital resources. The linked and changing
interactions of populations and the environment compose the total ecosystem.
interdependence of organisms in an established ecosystem often results in
Approximate stability over
hundreds and thousands of years. For example, as one popu-
lation increases; it is held
in check by one or more environmental factors or another
1.1f Every population
is linked, directly or indirectly, with many others in an ecosys-
tem. Disruptions in the
numbers and types of species and environmental changes can
Upset ecosystem stability.
Key Idea 6
Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical
6.1f Living organism has the capacity to produce
populations of unlimited size, but environments and resources are fine. This has
a profound effect on the interactions among organisms.