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ERIC Number: EJ1157663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0269-2465
Life under the Microscope: Children's Ideas about Microbes
Allen, Michael; Bridle, Georgina; Briten, Elizabeth
Primary Science, n136 p35-38 Jan 2015
Microbes (by definition) are tiny living things that are only visible through a microscope and include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protoctists (mainly single-celled life forms such as amoebae and algae). Although people are familiar with the effects of microbes, such as infectious disease and food spoilage, because of their lack of visibility, the appearance and behaviour of the organisms themselves are often not widely appreciated. Children especially tend to have only vague ideas about what microbes are and what they do. The Microbe Misconception picture cards described in this article are based on children's misconceptions about microbes that research studies have revealed over the past 30 years or so. The authors have found the use of picture cards to be particularly effective with children for stimulating discussion and eliciting their ideas in more detail before teaching a topic. Aside from elicitation, picture cards can also be used as a plenary exercise at the end of a lesson or topic to summarise/assess learning.
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A