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Lesson Plan

What's Under the Slide? Making Inferences Using Microscopes

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What's Under the Slide? Making Inferences Using Microscopes

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes
Lesson Author

International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • A leaf and other mystery objects that students are able to identify, such as dog food, sugar, or cinnamon

  • Five or six microscopes

  • A Birthday Mystery PowerPoint presentation

  • LCD projector and computer

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  1. Review the A Birthday Mystery PowerPoint presentation, and prepare the projector.

  2. Choose five or six mystery objects, including a leaf. Prepare the mystery objects as necessary and place each one in a microscope slide.

  3. Set up five or six microscopes around the room, and insert the slides with your mystery objects under the microscopes for viewing.

  4. Using the Making Inferences Case File booklet, prepare information booklets written from the point of view of the mystery objects. In the booklets, leave clues about the identification of the mystery objects, but do not directly come out and say what each object is.

  5. Place each booklet beside the corresponding microscope.

  6. Print out the Detective Recording Sheet, and make enough copies for each student.

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