Keywords: ecology, microorganisms, soil communities, cellular respiration, carbon dioxide, indicators, lab lesson plan, soil bacteria.
The purpose of this lab is to determine whether there are microorganisms present in soil samples. Microorganisms give off carbon dioxide during respiration. Therefore, it is possible to test soil samples for the presence of microorganisms indirectly by determining whether or not carbon dioxide is being given off in the soil. Students will collect different soil samples and test them to see how much carbon dioxide is being produced by the microorganisms in the soil. The amount of carbon dioxide production would be an indication of microorganisms present.
PLEASE NOTE: This lab is also included in my Community Ecology Complete Lesson Plan Bundle
Note: This product is also included in my bundled unit lesson plan that can be viewed by clicking this link: Viruses and Bacteria: Complete Teaching Unit containing 14 products
1. To discover whether microorganisms are present in soil by determining if they have given off carbon dioxide gas.
2. To measure the amount of carbon dioxide in each sample.
3. To determine the relative abundance of microorganisms in soil samples.
Materials: Soil samples, 250 mL beakers, Water that has been boiled and cooled, Glucose, Phenolphthalien solution, Graduated cylinder, 0.01 M NaOH solution, Filter paper, Droppers, Funnels, 400 mL beakers, Aluminum foil, Masking tape
Your 5 page download will include a lab that is ready to be photocopied and passed out to your students. It will include: Title, Introduction, Purpose, Materials, Safety Precautions, Procedure, Observation Questions, and Data Tables. You can chose to have your students write their own lab reports or you can have them use the included Student Data Sheets on which they can record their data and answer the questions.
I have also included a Teacher Preparation Page. This will include pre-lab discussion, answers to all questions, teacher preparation, and post lab follow up ideas.
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