8.L.1 Understand the structure and hazards caused by agents of

Basic Characteristics of Microorganisms

Microorganism / February 26, 2015

1. Ask students what they know about bacteria. Record their responses on a piece of newsprint. Do not be surprised if they know very little about this topic, or if their only familiarity with bacteria is as the cause of illnesses like strep throat. Put away the sheet of newsprint until the end of the lesson.
2. Explain to students that they will be learning about bacteria, their characteristics, helpfulness, and harmfulness. During the first day of the activity, students will focus on the basic characteristics of bacteria: what they look like, where they live, how they move, how they breathe, and how they reproduce. Students should work individually or in pairs. Students should use trusted websites to conduct their searches and gather information. Review the characteristics of a trusted website (hosted by a university, is peer-reviewed, etc.) if necessary. Questions
  1. What do bacteria look like?
  2. What are the three basic shapes?
  3. How are bacteria classified? Name the two large classes.
  4. Where have bacteria been located? Name as many places as possible.
  5. How many bacteria live on Earth? (The third Web site listed above has information on this.)
  6. How quickly do bacteria reproduce? Try to show this pattern as a graph or other visual display.
  7. What do bacteria eat? How do they take in their food?
3. On the second day, divide the class in half. Working again as individuals or in pairs, half of the class will focus on helpful bacteria, and the other half will focus on harmful bacteria.Students should use trusted websites to conduct their searches and gather information. Review the characteristics of a trusted website (hosted by a university, is peer-reviewed, etc.) if necessary..Questions
  1. Name some helpful bacteria.
  2. How are bacteria helpful to humans? Give at least four examples.
  3. How do bacteria help keep ecosystems healthy?
  4. What do bacteria do that is especially helpful to plants?

Questions

  1. What are pathogenic bacteria?
  2. Where do these harmful bacteria usually live?
  3. Describe how bacteria can cause food poisoning.
  4. Give two examples of bacteria that cause disease. Include their names and how the bacteria spread.
  5. How can these diseases be prevented?
4. To display the results of their research, have students (as individuals or pairs) design a poster that teaches about helpful or harmful bacteria. Each display should include at least one micrograph, a photograph of bacteria taken under a high-powered microscope. Encourage students to organize their displays as creatively as possible...

Source: www.discoveryeducation.com