How to Observe an Elodea Leaf
- 1). Place a drop of tap water in the center of the microscope slide. Use small forceps to place an elodea leaf into the drop of water. Use the forceps to carefully cover it flat with a cover slip. Make sure there aren't any air bubbles under the cover slip.
- 2). Put the slide on the microscope stage and observe it at 40x and again at 100x. Make notes regarding the size, shape, color and pattern of the cells you see.
- 3). Take the slide off the microscope stage. Use the dropper to put two to five drops of the 5 percent salt solution on the left side of the cover slip. Be careful to keep the slide level. Place a piece of paper towel on the right side of the cover slip. Let the paper towel draw the tap water out, which in turn draws the salt water in from the other side.
- 4). Put the slide back on the microscope; observe it at 40x and 100x and make notes on what you see.
- 5). Repeat the process using two to five drops of the 10 percent salt solution and the paper towel; observe the leaf again at 40x and 100x and record what you see.
- 6). Repeat the process one last time, this time using two to five drops of distilled water and the paper towel. The distilled water should flush out the salt solutions. View it under the microscope at 40x and 100x to see what happens. Make notes on your observations.