1998 WWLPT Biology Institute:
PARAMECIUM RESPONSES TO STIMIULI
Target Age or Ability Group Audience
Teacher Instructions/Special Precautions
Materials & Equipment Needs
Background [Prior Knowledge
or vocabulary necessary to complete activity]
The Student Lab
Method of Evaluation/Assessment
To understand protozoan response to stimulus a common protozoan, the paramecium
is used as the example. The paramecium has specialized structures
for movement and feeding. The student will design the tests they
would use to examine, how the paramecium move, feed, and reactions to different
types of stimuli.
Target Audience or Age Group
Notes to the Teacher:
1. Preparation time needed 20 minutes.
2. One class period (40minutes) to do lab and take down data.
Second class period can be used for discussion.
3. [Hazards/Precatuions] careful using glass slides and chemicals.
Materials & Equipment
Needs to top
textbook or charts
slides and coverslips
acetic acid (vinegar)
protozoan slowing solution
carmine dye (or any other type of dye)
Students should have working knowledge of parts of cell and their functions.
Basic competences in microscope usage.
This activity helps students answer :
The student has studied the anatomy of the paramecium and functions
of their parts. Students can accomplish this by drawing , labeling,
and writing the functions of the paramecium. I also have them color
the parts according to a set key for each metabolic process. This
way they use the same key for each successive drawing thus learning the
evolutionary development of organ systems in higher animals.
How does the paramecia feed?
How does the paramecia move?
Do paramecia respond positively or negatively to chemicals, different
temperatures, or touch?
How does the paramecia adjust to living in a fresh water environment?
The Student Lab to
1. Introduction: Discuss
with the students methods of movement, feeding, and the environment that
Ask students what kinds of things could you use to test for reactions to
stimulus and to observe feeding.
Make a list of suggestions frome the students.
2. Purpose: To observe
the the specialization of the organism paramecium.
the Paramecium culture place a drop on a CLEAN slide and add a drop of
protozoan slowing solution apply
a coverslip and observe under 10x power. Students should make observations.
high power 40x to observe the cilia. Are they all the same size?
Do they all move in the same direction?
another slide with the paramecium and add carmine powder suspension using
the tip of the probe, then add
add drop India ink. Add a coverslip and view on low power.
This will allow students to view the movement of
water by the cilia.
more closely under high power and locate the oral groove through which
the organelle that helps the paramecium live in fresh water (hypotonic
solution) What is the name of this
a drop of vinegar at the edge of the cover glass and observe what happens.
Record you observations.
is the function of this action? What kind of substance is vinegar?
Do you think that paramecia tend to live
in acid or alkaline environments?
Methods of Evaluation/Assessment
Labs written using the scientific method
oral evaluation by teacher
Ideas to top
1. Follow the lab procedure using the amoeba and euglena
2. Design a controlled experiment to test the effect of light
References Including Web Addresses