Lesson idea: Earthworm adaptations

Learning outcome: earthworms have adaptations to suit their soil habitat.
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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.

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.

2.	Watch the video Physical adaptations for life underground. Add adaptations/special features to the list.

2. Watch the video Physical adaptations for life underground. Add adaptations/special features to the list.

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).

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).

3.	Read the article Earthworm adaptations. Group the class list of earthworm adaptations according to structural, physiological or behavioural.

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.

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.

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.

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.

8. Assess student understanding of adaptation and niche with the interactive Wormface – social networking for earthworms. Print the activity for student portfolios.


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This is an extensive wiki that has over a thousand members. Keep in mind that is how many folks can add and edit content. You don't have to be a member to download all the material--- word docs, powerpoints, excel docs, pdfs, jpegs etc. Hands down one of the best and most extensive useful- 'in the trenches' differentiation resource sites out there.

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