The science curriculum I’m using this year suggests letting the kids observe and work with mealworms. This is part of our discussion of what makes something living or not living. I purchased some from a local pet shop and came up with a few activities for the kids to do as they observe and learn about their mealworms.
Before I even uttered a word, I simply handed the kids their own mealworms and a magnifying glass. They were enthralled for a good hour! I just sat back and listened to them talk to each other and make observations.
Note: If you plan to work with mealworms, do not release them into the environment. They are a non-native species and are considered pests. Perhaps you can find a friend with a lizard or bird that eats them. Or you can ask the pet shop if you can return them. One source suggests placing them in the freezer for 48 hours to dispose of them properly.
We spent a full day just watching and observing the mealworms. Here are some of the activities we did later in the week:
What do mealworms like to eat?
We placed a sliced apple, ground oatmeal, rice and raisins in a container. Most of the mealworms wound up in the ground oatmeal.
Wet or Dry Conditions:
We placed a wet paper towel and a dry paper towel in a container. Most of the mealworms actually wound up under the dry paper towel. Maybe this says more about light/dark!
Wet Food-Damp Food:
On a similar vein we placed an apple on top of ground oatmeal and had plain oatmeal in another corn. The majority of mealworms wound up in the plain oatmeal.
How do mealworms react when you lightly touch their antenna with a toothpick?
Note: Just a few years later, we again studied mealworms in conjunction with our Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Unit. If you have kids who are in late elementary or middle school, you might want to check that unit out. There are more details below:
Age range: My kids were ages 9, 12, and 14 when we did this unit. I recommend the Scientific Classification and Taxonomy Packet for upper elementary and middle school. Before doing this unit, my kids were pretty familiar with the different types of cells and cell organelles. It is not necessary, but useful to go over that information before starting this unit. (You can check out our Cell Unit here (or with the link at the end of this post).
This packet is well over 60 pages.
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your PayPal email address, which will have a link you can click on to download the Scientific Classification and Taxonomy unit. Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form.
This packet is included in the Biology Bundle (see below).
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1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2) Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities 4) Cells Unit 5) Botany Unit
There is also a Biology BUNDLE of 3
$18.00 Biology BUNDLE of 3: 1) Biology Unit (Biomes, habitats, food chains/webs, feeding relationships) 2) Scientific Classification & Taxonomy Packet 3) Ocean Unit & Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone Activities
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Ocean Packet (Click here to visit the post): Ocean Unit – Layers of the Ocean/Ocean Zone
Ocean Unit on the Hydrosphere: Marine Habitats, the ocean floor, salinity, surface vs. deep sea currents, tides & the moon, ocean life, fish shape, bioluminescence, and more.
Here’s what one Homeschool Mom said over on TpT about the Ocean Unit in Feb. 2020:
Awesome product! Highly recommend! One of my kiddos’ favorite units and this product helped with layers of ocean, animals, and made it fun, hands-on, something she looked forward to working on! Used with supplementing home school curriculum.
$5.99 Botany Packet — Plant Classification, Life Cycle of the Moss, Fern, Conifer, Angiosperms, Parts of a Flower, Parts of a Seed, Seed & Fruit Development, Monocots vs Dicots – plus Carnivorous Plants Mini-Unit Botany Packet – Quick Preview (Growing! Look for Future Updates… we’ll be studying Botany again soon.) View Botany post and view the carnivorous plants mini-unit (included in this packet) or view parts of a flower/parts of seed image, view image 2 – carnivorous plants unit
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