7. View Common New Zealand earthworms PowerPoint. Students make a chart with the headings epigeic, endogeic and anecic and place the earthworms in the appropriate niche group and note common characteristics.
1. View the image Tiger worms. Students list the adaptations/special features that enable the tiger worm to live in the soil (i.e. streamlined body).
2. Watch the video Physical adaptations for life underground. Add adaptations/special features to the list.
3. Read the article Earthworm adaptations. Group the class list of earthworm adaptations according to structural, physiological or behavioural.
4. View the Earthworm niche groupings image. Look at the blue lines representing earthworm burrows. Discuss possible explanations for the different burrow widths and depths.
5. Read the article Niches within earthworms’ habitat. Discuss how living in a niche affects an earthworm’s location in the soil profile, burrowing behaviour, pigmentation, muscle strength and diet.
6. Watch the video Not all the same. Watch a second time, pausing the video to discuss physical characteristics and how these relate to the soil niche.
8. Assess student understanding of adaptation and niche with the interactive Wormface – social networking for earthworms. Print the activity for student portfolios.