Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Microscopes Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Microscopes, and supports an understanding of how technology and tools help to extend the ability of humans to observe scientific processes. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display images of an object as seen under a microscope, like the following of an elodea leaf. Or, if you have access to an actual microscope, have students observe an actual plant or other object.



Ask students:

  • What do you observe?
  • How is a microscope a helpful tool for scientists?


  • Read the description on the Microscopes topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • AssignRelated Reading and have students read one of the articles, then partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Microscopes Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about microscopes while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a commercial for a microscope, explaining how it works and advertising its benefits. 
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying and explaining the main components of a microscope.
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring artifacts and figures to represent the history and impact of microscope technology.

More to Explore 

Science and Industry Unit: Continue to build understanding around engineering, technology, and the applications of science by exploring more BrainPOP topics.

Virtual Labs: Using the Microscope: ​​Players observe small objects by handling the parts of a compound optical microscope in this lab simulation.

Teacher Support Resources: