Basic microscopy is frequently taught using prepared specimens and monocultures of ciliates. I suggest that using “fish poop” to teach microscopy not only accomplishes the same goals as traditional methods but is also advantageous because (1) students become excited about finding novel organisms, (2) it offers many links to other material covered in the course (e.g., ecosystems, niches, and phylogenetics), (3) it is adaptable to student skill level, and (4) it is free. Once the basic procedure is established, a biology teacher can easily modify the microscopy lab to meet their specific needs.
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Vol. 72 • No. 8