User tools

Ethics of keeping earthworms in the classroom

Activity idea

In this activity, students consider some of the ethical issues involved with keeping earthworms (and other animals) captive in a classroom setting.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • list the five freedoms that all animals should be able to experience
  • describe the optimal conditions for keeping earthworms in the classroom based on the five freedoms and their knowledge of earthworm life processes
  • review the conditions under which the class is housing, handling and studying their earthworms.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension ideas
  • student worksheet.

Useful links

Online version of the teachers’ guide Caring for Animals. link

Activity idea

To more fully explore this issue or to explore other ethical issues, check out these Hub resources.

Ethics thinking tool – an interactive tool to help students decide what is right or wrong, and why.
Ethics thinking tool

Conservation of native frogs.
Ethics in conservation science

Conservation of native birds.
Ethics in bird conservation


Science Learning Hub Survey 2014

Dear Hub visitor,

You're invited to participate in an online survey about the New Zealand Science Learning Hub. This survey was designed to help Hub staff enhance and develop further the site. This is different from our November 2013 survey, so even if you took part in that survey, we would appreciate you taking this survey as well.

Take the survey