Websites current as of August 6, 2012

This WebQuest covers the following Utah 6th Grade Science Standards:

Objective 1:  Observe and summarize information about microorganisms.
a. Examine and illustrate size, shape, and structure of organisms found in an environment such as pond water.
b. Compare characteristics common in observed organisms (e.g., color, movement, appendages, shape) and infer their function (e.g., green color found in organisms that are producers, appendages help movement).
c. Research and report on a microorganism’s requirements (i.e., food, water, air, waste disposal, temperature of environment, reproduction).

Objective 3:  Identify positive and negative effects of microorganisms and how science has developed positive uses for some microorganisms and overcome the negative effects of others.
a. Describe in writing how microorganisms serve as decomposers in the environment.
b. Identify how microorganisms are used as food or in the production of food (e.g., yeast helps bread rise, fungi flavor cheese, algae are used in ice cream, bacteria are used to make cheese and yogurt).
c. Identify helpful uses of microorganisms (e.g., clean up oil spills, purify water, digest food in digestive tract, antibiotics) and the role of science in the development of understanding that led to positive uses (i.e., Pasteur established the existence, growth, and control of bacteria; Fleming isolated and developed penicillin).
d. Relate several diseases caused by microorganisms to the organism causing the disease (e.g., athlete’s foot -fungi, streptococcus throat -bacteria, giardia -protozoa).
e. Observe and report on microorganisms’ harmful effects on food (e.g., causes fruits and vegetables to rot, destroys food bearing plants, makes milk sour).


There is a world we can’t see.  This world is all around us.  There are thousands of different organisms.  We can’t live without them.  They make us healthy.  They help us digest our food.  They make us sick.  This is the world of the microorganism.  Let’s explore their world.

The Good

Explore-a-Pond Worksheet

What lives in a pond?  You might say fish, frogs, and plants, and you'd be right.  But, there’s a lot more to a pond than meets the eye!  Using your worksheet, explore a pond.  Click below to get to your pond:


Passport to Pond World Assignment

After you have completed the Explore-a-Pond worksheet, it's time to complete your Passport to Pond World. Select a microorganism below and use the websites to complete the Passport to Pond World.


Enchanted Learning - Amoeba

The Amoebae


The Euglena

Euglena's Home Page


Science 101 - The Paramecium (scroll to the bottom of the page to the table "Relationships in Nature")

The Paramecium


Microbus - Stentor

The Stentor

Stentor Being Eaten

"My Job" Worksheet

What role do microorganisms play in our environment?  They play a very important role.  Let’s investigate what they do.  Get your My Jobworksheet.

ZooFirst, visit the Microbe Zoo to learn about bacteria.

Next, learn about fungi. Go to the Fun Facts About Fungi website.  Did you know that fungi help cure disease?  Read about penicillin.

The Bad

bugWhat diseases are caused by microorganisms?  Read the Organisms that Bug Yousheet.

What about fungi?  What diseases to they cause?  Click here and find out!

Back to The Good 

Microbe Shopping Worksheet

Your probably getting hungry about now. Make a menu that is made only from foods made using microorganisms. (if you need a worksheet, click here!) Use a food advertisement to select your food. Go to the Harmons, Your Neighborhood Foodstore website. You will see instructions on your worksheet telling you how to get the advertisement. Where do you get a list of foods made by which organism? Easy. Click here for a list!.

The Ugly

The Ugly

(Just thought I'd throw that in!)


You have reached the end of the WebQuest.  Repeat after me:


I am so good I can hardly stand it!
I am a microorganisms monster!



Image Source: Gordon Vrdoljak


Photo from the University of Maine


Photo from Clinton Community College


Photo from Clinton Community College


Photo from Clinton Community College

Foraminiferan (Protozoan)

Photo from Clinton Community College


Photo from Clinton Community College

Photos are used with permission.