Classification of an invertebrate:Sponge
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Giles, Carol Collins High School
To become familiar with primitive animals.
A. Sample sponges-two authentic sponges, one synthetic sponge, a
large rock, a rubber band, a fish-like tank container (one gallon).
B. A picture of a knight in armor.
C. Dissecting microscope, dissecting needles, scalpel or single
edge razor blade, sponge; Grantia.
D.)Discovery Center-microprojector, spicules slides, a poster
displaying the geological time periods, a plant, a horny sponge,
loofah illustrating five types of sponges, a picture of a
finger sponge & a jellyfish.
1. Show the students a model of a knight in armor.
2. Ask the students, "What did the knight in armor use to insulate
his armor?" (expected response: sponge)
3. Show the students a synthetic sponge and an authentic one. Ask
students which of the sponges were used to insulate the knight's
armor (expected response: the authentic sponge). Inform the
students that the synthetic sponge wasn't manufactured until
4. State some historical background about the sponge. Include
various naturalist, zoologist & biologist points of view.
Discuss the uses of sponges.
5. Show the students an authentic sponge. Ask the students, "What do
you see?" (expected response: holes, pores). Explain to the
students that these pores caused the biologist to assign the
animal to the phylum Porifera (pore bearing).
6. Show the students a container filled with water. Insert a sponge
attached to a rock by a rubber band. Ask the students, "Can the
sponge move?" (expected response: No. It's sessile). Then ask,
"What does the rock represent?" (expected response: a substrate).
7. Ask the student how he/she thinks the sponge obtains its food.
8. Activity 1:
Pass out a handout depicting how the sponge feeds.
Discuss the handout in detail. (Use an overhead projector to
illustrate this activity.)
9. Activity 2:
Laboratory exercise. The lab consists of students viewing the
sponge, Grantia, under a dissecting microscope. In addition,
the student will answer eleven questions.
l0. Activity 3:
After the students have completed the laboratory exercise,
instruct them to view six exhibits & answer the questions in the
Have the students compare the observable characteristics of a sponge
to the jellyfish.
Students will write a short essay entitled Why Study The Sponge?
Send a self- addressed stamped envelope to Carol Giles Box l392 Chgo,