Diatoms: Microscopic Jewels

Grade 5

Karen Stomberg, FNSBSD Art Specialist

Students are introduced to the 17th century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the microscope he developed, his discoveries and his methods of recording those discoveries. They create a colorful microscopic view of diatoms using watercolors and black crayon 'resist.'

Objectives and assessment criteria

Students will:

  1. be introduced to the early microscopic discoveries of Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.
  2. discuss the role of art and technology in recording scientific discovery.
  3. look at and discuss the structure and beauty of single-celled diatoms from photos of the microscopic plants.
  4. create a microscopic view of diatoms, incorporating: cell walls, a nucleus, patterns and symmetry.
  5. learn wet-on-wet watercolor technique using analogous colors.