ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Earthworm Behavior

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Stephanie Carver
System: Blount County
School: Hayden Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35754

Title:

Earthworm Behavior

Overview/Annotation:

This is an inquiry-based lesson that allows students to investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses, process that information, and respond to it.  Students will place earthworms in a lighted area and see if they move toward a dark environment or stay in the lighted environment.  Students will observe the behavior of the earthworms and use data from the investigation to conclude how an earthworm uses its senses to affect its behavior. 

This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
11 ) Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses, process that information, and respond to it in different ways (e.g., skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses.
  • Investigate different ways animals process the information they receive and how they respond to it.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • investigate
  • evidence
  • transmit
  • perception
  • receptors
  • senses
  • sensory information
  • process
  • memories
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Different types of sense receptors detect specific types of information within the environment.
  • Sense receptors send information about the surroundings to the brain.
  • Information that is transmitted to the brain by sense receptors can be processed immediately as perceptions of the environment and/or stored as memories.
  • Immediate perceptions or memories processed by the brain influences an animal's actions or responses to features in the environment.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Identify evidence of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information to be investigated.
  • Plan ways to Investigate different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Collect and communicate data of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Sensory input, the brain, and behavioral output are all parts of a system that allows animals to engage in appropriate behaviors.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Animal Studies

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.4: When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.11- Identify the sense organs and the information they receive (eyes/sight, tongue/taste, ears/hearing, skin/touch, nose/smell).


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will investigate different ways an earthworm receives information through its senses, processes that information, and responds to it in different ways.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

For each group of students:
plastic pan
2 damp paper towels
2 sheets of black construction paper
tape
spoon
3 earthworms (in a covered cup so they do not escape)
flashlight
stopwatch
science journals

For each student:
Earthworm Behavior lab sheet

For the class:
chart paper (optional)

Technology Resources Needed:

 

Background/Preparation:

Teacher preparation: It is suggested that the teacher build one of the earthworm pans before the lesson so that students have a visual example.

Student background: This is an introductory lesson on how animals use their senses.  Students will need to know the 5 senses--taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing.  Students will need to be able to use their background knowledge on animal behavior to make predictions on the behavior of the earthworms when placed in the light.  

  Procedures/Activities: 

Essential Question:  Will an earthworm move toward a light or dark environment?

Engage:
Ask the students to think about animals they have observed--perhaps a pet or other outdoor animals.  Ask the students to discuss with a partner how animals use their senses to help them survive.  Write these behaviors on the board or chart paper.  Next, allow the students to predict what they think will happen when an earthworm is placed in the light.  Will it try to find a dark environment or stay in the light?  How will its senses affect its behavior?

Explore:
Explain to the students that now each group will build a dark and light environment for the earthworms. They will investigate whether the earthworms will move toward a light or dark environment.

The students will:

  1. Lay the damp paper towels on the bottom of the plastic pan.  
  2. Cover half of the plastic pan with black construction paper.  Use tape to hold the construction paper in place. 
  3. Use the spoon to place 3 earthworms in the center of the pan. 
  4. Make a prediction on the lab sheet to which part of the pan the earthworms will move.
  5. Turn off the classroom lights.  Shine the flashlight directly over the uncovered side of the pan.  Use the stopwatch to time 3 minutes.  Then observe the location of the earthworms.  Record your observations.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 three more times.  Record your observations.

Explain:
Facilitate a class discussion using the following questions:

  • Did your results support your predictions?  Will an earthworm move toward a light or dark environment?
  • How was the earthworm's behavior affected by its senses? Sight: Earthworms have no eyes, but they do have light receptors and can tell when they are in the dark, or in the light. Touch: Worms have a brain that connects with nerves from their skin and muscles. Their nerves can detect light.
  • Why is being able to detect light so important to a worm?  How does it help it survive?

Elaborate:
Have students create a list in their Science journals of other animal behaviors that are affected by the use of the animal's senses.  


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative:  The teacher will use the Earthworm Behavior lab sheet and class discussions to informally assess student learning throughout the lesson.

Summative:  The students will create a list in their Science journals of other animal behaviors that are affected by the use of the animal's senses.  

Acceleration:

Students may create a list of other animals that use their senses to survive. The students will use their list and research several animals that use their senses to survive.  Challenge them to find an animal for each of the five senses.  Allow them to present their findings to the class.  They may make a poster or create a slide show.  

Intervention:

Students needing extra assistance may be paired with a peer tutor or receive one-on-one help from the teacher during the explore activity.  Students may give oral predictions and orally describe their observations.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.