Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Hand Lens Introduction


In this Exploration Routine, students learn how to most effectively use their hand lenses. They practice finding the “sweet spot” – the distance to hold the lens between eye and object so the object comes into focus. Without this introduction, students may become frustrated or distracted by hand lenses because they don’t understand how to use them. With this quick activity, students develop a healthy fascination with this transformational tool and feel empowered to use it like a scientist. This activity is also an opportunity to invite your students into inquiry. By modeling how to use a lens, how to say observations out loud, and by encouraging students to check things out and share discoveries, you can begin to set a tone of collaborative inquiry for your group.

Students will:
  • Learn how to use hand lenses effectively to investigate a natural object.
  • Begin exploring, observing, sharing and communicating about finds in nature.
Download Full Instructor Guide:
Hand Lens Intro-screen shot
Watch Activity

Note: This video was edited to focus on how the instructor leads the activity; the actual activity is much more student-focused, and students spend most of the activity exploring and discussing ideas with their peers.