Snail Variations - Logistics

50 minutes to measure, quantify, and discuss variation in snail traits. The extension projects described in the Going Further section may last several months.

Teams of 3-4 students.

For each group of 3-4 students you need:

  • 1 plastic shoebox
  • wet paper towels
  • vegetables
  • 4-6 snails
  • 2 hand lenses
  • 1-2 clear rulers
  • 1 stop watch
  • Optional: 2 bottles of nail polish in different colors

Other supplies you may want on hand for groups to share:

  • scale or balance
  • Petri dishes
  • pennies or washers for students to measure how much a snail can carry
  • masking tape
  • paint color samples from a local hardware store in all shades of beige, brown and black
  • different textured surfaces (copy paper, mirrors, construction paper, overheads, sand paper, aluminum foil etc.)
  • pH paper

Initial measurement of snail traits can be done in the classroom. Extension projects should be done in a schoolyard, garden, creek, park or other local outdoor area that has a resident snail population – ideally, this is the location where the snails were collected.