To most of us, one earthworm resembles another. Although earthworms do have common characteristics, species differ widely in their size, skin colour and in the roles they play in the soil ecosystem. In New Zealand, we have over 200 known species. Most of our earthworms are endemic - found nowhere else on Earth - but the earthworms we are most likely to encounter are introduced species. This unit is designed to introduce students to a variety of earthworm species and show how they are adapted to live in specific niches within the soil habitat.

Overarching learning outcomes of this teacher resource integrate:

  • understanding the relationship between niche and earthworm physical characteristics and behaviours (scientific knowledge)
  • investigations into adaptations and observation (scientific practice)
  • engagement with a range of science text and media and use of a range of scientific vocabulary (nature of science).

Students will meet these learning outcomes by:

  • identifying and grouping things according to common characteristics
  • identifying earthworm adaptations
  • discussing the relationship between niche and earthworm physical characteristics
  • observing and/or researching earthworms.

Download the unit plan below.

    Published 14 August 2012