Document Type


Grade Level


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Description / Abstract

This lesson is a collaborative effort between a student teacher and a cooperating senior teacher to design and implement an engaging and exploratory microscope lab for 7th-grade students. The goal of this lesson is to cultivate excitement, interest, and exploration in students who are new to using microscopes, aligning with the Virginia 7th Grade Life Science Standards of Learning on cells and cell theory. This lab incorporates two microscope stations—one focusing on fundamental skills and the other on inquiry-based exploration. By employing the 5E model of instruction, this paper details how students progress through engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation stages while fostering personalized interactions between co-teachers and students. This lesson integrates elements of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to offer inclusive strategies for student engagement and learning. As a result, the assessment strategies are primarily formative, emphasizing constructive feedback and teacher-student discussion. While designed to be co-taught, this exploratory lab is adaptable to different classroom designs but an emphasis should be placed on maintaining the exploratory nature of the lesson to allow students to benefit from inquiry-based learning.


Curriculum and Instruction | Science and Mathematics Education | Secondary Education


CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International