Magnify It!

Physical Science


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Core Learning Experience

+ Supplies and Equipment

Possible/Expected Discoveries

Extended Learning and Other Curriculum Areas


  • Set out as many magnifiers as you have access to – toys, real ones, those with handles, container with magnifier in the lid, telescope, binoculars, microscope, pairs of glasses etc. Have available items to look at – small toys, stickers, beads, fingers, insects, dust, spider web, leaf veins, texture on a wall, sidewalk, tree bark etc
  • Cut a 1” hole in a piece of paper for each child. Place the hole on different surfaces, and describe what you see. E.g. your skin, wood grain, a hairbrush, buttons on a telephone etc. Look at the same areas with a magnifier. What looks different?
  • Magnifiers help people see things they could not see without them.
  • Compare looking at an object with a magnifier very closely. Now further away. Is there a difference it what and how you see?
  • Compare looking at the same object with different kinds of magnifiers.
  • A microscope is a strong magnifier, and makes very small things look bigger. (show photos)
  • Explain that there are some magnifiers so strong that they can help us see things so small that we can’t see them at all with just our eyes.   The names of some things that are very small are atoms, molecules, cells, bacteria, and viruses. Scientists use strong magnifiers often to understand more about our world
  • Story starter: “I can’t believe it! I looked carefully into the magnifier/microscope, and I saw something amazing! It was a…”
  • Draw a large circle on paper for each child. Have them imagine and draw what they saw in the magnifier. Use vocabulary such as enlarged, enormous, transformed, huge, unbelievable etc
Packs and Printables :


You Can Use a Magnifying Glass (Rookie Read-About Science) by Wiley Blevins  
Looking Through a Microscope (Rookie Read-About Science) by Linda Bullock
Is It Big or Small? (Looking at Nature) by Bobbie Kalman


Websites: (microscopic images – check out the insects and plants)

Theme activities and printables for preschool and kindergarten

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Homeschooler -