Garden Science: Microscope Lab

Microscope Observation Lab


In this 7th grade science lesson, students deepen their understanding of pollen and pollinators by practicing the use of microscopes to observe pollen and bee species from the garden.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Use a microscope to make observations
  • Identify pollen as the carrier of genetic material for flowers
  • Recognize bees as efficient pollinators


During this lesson, students will:

  • Successfully prepare a wet mount slide to observe pollen.
  • Correctly draw and label pollen on the anther.
  • Observe pollen-catching adaptations in bee anatomy.


  • Microscopes
  • Slides
  • Cover slips
  • Pipettes
  • Tweezers
  • Specimens for observation (bees and flowers with pollen)
  • Towels
  • Clipboards
  • Pencils
  • Microscope Observation Lab worksheets


Before You Begin

  1. Copy the Microscope Observation Lab worksheet to hand out
  2. Prepare the specimens for observation
  3. Collect all the materials, then set them up to make an observation lab

At the Observation Lab

  1. Have students choose a partner and a microscope station. Each pair should have one microscope and 2 clipboards with worksheets.
  2. Explain to students that in this station each pair will use the microscope to observe pollen on the anther and observe a bee.
  3. Explain and demonstrate the following:
  4. Use tweezers to pluck an anther with pollen from a flower and review what an anther is.
  5. Observe the anther and pollen first on a dry slide
  6. Focus the microscope to observe and draw the pollen and anther
  7. Keep slide on stage, wipe off anther and pollen, and place bee box on the slide  
  8. Assist students with plucking out an anther and making a dry slide.
  9. Once students have observed and drawn the pollen and anther, assist them in observing the bee from the bee box.
  10. When observing the bee species have students look for pollen-catching adaptations.
  11. Have students clean off their slides and prepare their microscope station for the next group.

At the Closing Circle

Students participate in a seasonal tasting.






Coarse adjustment knob

Fine adjustment knob

Download: Microscope Observation Lab Worksheet

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