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
- 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.