Sponges and Hydras - Porifera and Cnidaria Lab

Amy Brown Science
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  1. This bundle Includes everything you need to teach a unit on Phylum Porifera and Phylum Cnidaria to your life science or biology students. Most resources are available in BOTH printable and digital formats.The bundle contains a 64-slide PowerPoint presentation, lecture notes for the teacher, a guide
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This lab covers two phyla of invertebrates, Phylum Porifera and Phylum Cnidaria. Specifically, students will carry out a detailed examination of the sponge and the hydra, and will make comparisons between these two groups of invertebrates. Students will dissect a preserved sponge, make observations of living hydras, and will use preserved slides of both the sponge and hydra to view anatomical structures. Daphnia will be used as a food source for the hydra so that the feeding behavior of hydra can be observed.

Purpose of the Lab:

  • To observe the characteristics and various structures of sponges and hydras.
  • To observe living specimens of hydras to determine how they behave and respond to various stimuli.

Materials List:

  • Prepared slide of the sponge
  • Preserved sponge specimen
  • Hand lens or dissecting microscope
  • Dissecting tray or small dish
  • Scalpel or razor blade
  • Dissecting scissors
  • Dissecting probe (teasing needle)
  • Microscope
  • Microscope slides
  • Medicine droppers
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Toothpick or similar
  • Coverslips
  • Prepared slide of Hydra
  • Depression slides
  • Living culture of Hydra
  • 2% acetic acid solution
  • Living culture of Daphnia
  • Methylene blue solution

What will the students be doing?

  • Students will examine and dissect a preserved sponge specimen to locate body features such as the ostia, osculum, and spicules.
  • Students will use prepared slides of the sponge and hydra to make labeled drawings of body structures.
  • Students will enjoy observing living hydras under the microscope to examine their tentacles, cnidocytes and nematocysts.
  • Students will observe feeding behaviors in hydras by exposing them to small Daphnia.

What is included in this product?

  • Two versions of editable lab handouts that are ready to be printed and passed out to your students. In version 1, students will write lab reports on their own notebook paper. In version 2, students will write on the lab handouts.
  • Complete instructions.
  • 8-page Teacher Guide containing lab preparation instructions, tips, and suggestions.
  • Complete Answer Key containing all answers.
  • Everything you need for the successful completion of this lab.

Related Resources Include:

Phylum Porifera and Phylum Cnidaria PowerPoint and Notes

Phylum Porifera Task Cards

Phylum Porifera Jeopardy-Style Review Games - Set of 2 Games

Phylum Cnidaria Jeopardy-Style Review Games - Set of 2 Games

Porifera and Cnidaria Homework Assignments and Study Guides

Invertebrate Phyla Card Sort Game

Phylum Porifera Quiz

Phylum Porifera Crossword Puzzle

Phylum Cnidaria Crossword Puzzle

Phylum Cnidaria Task Cards

Phylum Cnidaria Quiz

Porifera, Cnidaria and Ctenophora Warm Ups and Interactive Notebook Pages

Porifera and Cnidaria Unit Test

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Total Pages
20 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


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