Part of Lesson Plan: Characteristics of Life
Activity Overview / Details
At the beginning of the lesson, I take a petri dish with some tap water inside of it and place a drop of Duco cement inside. The acetone in the Duco cement reacts with the water and causes the drop of cement to move around the petri dish. (Special note: make sure to put the tube of Duco cement into a brown paper bag so that it is hidden from view to keep its identity secret.) At this point, I pose the question "Is this thing alive?" Students will give some responses -- some will say yes, others will say no. Then, I open up the package that comes with the Sea-Monkey kit and add the contents to the water. (This is an important step so that the students see that the Sea-Monkeys start as dry material. However, you will want to do this step a few days earlier to allow for the Sea-Monkeys to hatch and begin to grow. If you forget this step, students won't be able to draw the same conclusions from the activity.) After students have a chance to examine the Sea-Monkeys, I pose the same question -- "Are these alive?"