Sunday, July 21, 2013

Science Mentor Text, Loupes and ProScopes

Happy Sunday everyone! Sunday means Stacia and Amanda over at Collaboration Cuties are having their fabulous mentor text linky. This time... science! (This is my day of crazy pinning of all the great books that teachers share!)

There are so many great books for science, but this one is perfect for the beginning of the school year to introduce science tools. It is also great for a conversation about making observations.

This book is full of detailed photographs of common objects. It introduces the concept of perspective and scale. Each object is photographed in unbelievable color from 3 different perspectives. On picture is of a leaves on a tree against the sky; next to that is a closer view of one leafy branch; opposite is a big, full page microscopic view of a small piece of a leaf. 16 fairly common objects are enlarged twice to show details that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Friendly warning: Proceed with caution when using the phrase, "naked eye" with your students. They will probably not hear anything you will have said from that point on, except the fact that you just said naked! Hee-hee!

This is a great book to use when introducing science tools. I ask students how the author was able to capture these pictures.  The discussion begins!

I put together tubs of various items. We start off exploring with one tool at a time.
Day 1: Using a magnifying glass

Day 2: Using loupes/Private Eyes. Loupes are the tool jewelers use when analyzing gem stones. We talk about the correct way to use them and then cleaning the loupes after we are finished.

 Day 3: ProScopes! Students love these! They are attached to the computer through a USB plug. Our team wrote a grant for a several ProScopes. I'm so excited to see that they are now wireless and can be used with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches.

The first thing student use the ProScope for is to see their skin....then, their hair...and finally, if they have a willing participant, inside the ear! It really is kind of disgusting, but cool!

Once students are comfortable using the tools, I use the book and tools as one of our literacy station. 
I set out a tub of new items and have students complete the observation sheet. 
The great thing about the ProScopes, is that it has video capability as well as the capability to capture a picture. I have had my students create a Guess the Object-2 slide presentation with PowerPoint. 
(Picture of the up close item, some descriptive words and finally the answer on the next slide.) 
I combine all the slides for one presentation.

 Here is a picture of the sheet that I put at the station. It really helps if you draw an example so students can see what is expected in the circle.

I revived it a bit and created these sheets to go with the book. 
You are more than welcome to download it. Click on the picture for a free copy.

Found this cute site that will allow you to guess the mystery picture. Click on the picture to take you to the link.

Head over to Collaboration Cuties to check out all the other fabulous mentor texts related to science!


  1. This book looks great. It would be perfect for my microscope mini-unit. Thanks for sharing!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

    1. Oohh! Would love to know more about your microscope mini-unit please!

  2. Thanks for sharing this book and the free resources! I can't wait to leave this with my class!

  3. Ooooo! This looks awesome! I can imagine how excited and intrigued they will be to use the proscopes on themselves!! I am going to have to do more research to find more out about these!!

    Thanks for linking up,
    Collaboration Cuties

    1. They are so cool! I wonder if there is a way to do a Donor's Choose grant.

  4. Wow! What a great book and very cool activities you have. I think I would be just as excited as my students to try out the proscopes. Thank you for sharing!


    1. The excitement level always rises when the ProScopes are used! It is so fun to watch the excitement!

  5. Okay, I don't teach science and I'm not usually very interested in it but those ProScopes caught my interest. I can see how much the kiddos would love these. Awesome. :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners
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  6. I see this as a total writing connection!
    There is a story waiting in a close, closer, closest picture !

  7. I love the whole post! That book looks great, pinning it! And thanks for sharing the website-I know the kids will love guessing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    1. Thanks! A few tools to engage students!