MAKING DRAWINGS FOR THE BOTANY LABORATORY:

 

CONTENT OF THE LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS Your laboratory notebook will consist of drawings you will make of the organisms you will observe in the laboratory. Most of the specimens will be viewed through compound and dissecting microscopes. Also included in your notebook will be your lab handouts, which provide information about the laboratory specimens, and your answers to a set of supplemental questions that will accompany each laboratory. GRADING OF LAB NOTEBOOKS AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS: Your "notebook" may be a notebook in name only, since you are not required to purchase a three ring binder for your laboratory materials. Instead you will turn in your drawings at the end of each laboratory and they will be graded and returned to you at the start of the next laboratory. You will have a week to complete your answers to the supplemental questions. They will be due at the start of the next laboratory period. Your lab work will be graded on the basis of accuracy, attention to detail, completeness, following directions, and the general quality of your work. After you pick up your graded drawings, you should collect them together in a notebook in proper order so that they are convenient and readily accessible to you when you are preparing for the exams. USING YOUR LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS TO STUDY FOR EXAMS: Lab handouts and your drawings together are the best way for you to get to know the organisms we will be studying. Each lab handout will contain a wealth of information about the organisms. Your drawings will help you to recall the appearance of the organism and its important structures. Remember that the lecture exams will have questions directly relating to the material you observed in the lab. ORGANIZATION OF THE LABORATORY STATIONS: In every lab, there will be approximately 20 to 25 stations of material for you to observe. The stations will be laid out in a logical order, beginning at the front bench nearest the door. You will have a handout in each lab that serves as your guide to the lab stations and tells you which stations you are required to draw. Most of you will not be able to start at station 1, but at whichever station you begin, proceed through them in the order they are presented, as best you can without waiting on others, and then return to the earlier stations. It is important for you to later review your lab handout and understand why the stations were presented in the order shown in lab. MAKING DRAWINGS OF LABORATORY SPECIMENS: Many of you will have little or no experience in making drawings of organisms. You do not have to be an artist to make good quality scientific drawings; you need only to make an accurate copy of what you see in the microscope. Making an accurate copy depends more on your powers of observation than your artistic skills. THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THE LABORATORY IS CLOSE AND ACCURATE OBSERVATION of the materials you see through the microscope. It is expected that your drawings will improve noticeably during the course, so don't panic if your score is somewhat low the first time your drawings are graded. You will be given feedback on how to improve, if improvement is needed. In each laboratory, you will be asked to make about 10 to 12 drawings of selected lab stations. The lab handout will tell you which stations must be drawn versus those that only need to be observed. You must use plain, white, unlined paper for the drawings in lab. Place a maximum of two drawings per page and order them in the same order as the lab stations. For example, if stations 4, 7, 12, and 16 must be drawn, your drawings should be assembled in that same order. 1) Draw only what you see in the specimen and not what you think you should see. Your drawing should be an accurate representation of the specimen as it appeared. 2) If the lab handout indicates that you should be seeing something that is not visible to you, ask the Teaching Assistant for help. Whenever in doubt, ASK QUESTIONS! 3) At each station, note the overall appearance of each organism, then pay particular attention to: a) the shape of the cells b) the relative sizes of different cells c) the contents of the cells (if any are visible) d) the pattern in which the cells are arranged (in colonial, filamentous, or multicellular organisms). 4) In each drawing, label the following: a) any cell surface features, such as sheaths or flagella or spines, etc. b) the location of the cell wall as best you can determine it c) the cytoplasm (which you can just label as "cytoplasm") d) any cytoplasmic granules or bodies that may be visible (which you can just label "cytoplasmic granules" or cytoplasmic bodies" if you do not know what they are) EVERY PART OF YOUR DRAWING SHOULD BE LABELED! IF YOU HAVE DRAWN A STRUCTURE, GIVE IT A LABEL!! Complete and accurate labeling will be an important part of your laboratory grade. The labels you have placed on your drawing are an indicator of whether or not you understood what you were observing. 5)Always remember to indicate the total magnification at which you observed the specimen (objective lens magnification X ocular lens magnification).   EXAMPLE OF A DETAILED, WELL-LABELED LABORATORY DRAWING: SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS: In all but the final laboratory, you will be given a list of supplementary questions that pertain to the specimens in certain stations. BE SURE TO READ THESE QUESTIONS AS YOU GET TO EACH STATION FOR WHICH THERE ARE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND ANSWER THEM DURING LAB. Think about what the answer might be as you observe the specimen. Write the answers down, either on the supplementary question sheet, if there is enough room, or on a separate sheet of paper. You are free to ask questions of the T.A. (who will not answer the questions for you but can give you ideas on what to think about), or to discuss possible answers with your fellow students.