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ARTICLE

Characteristics of living things

When you look at the world around you, how do you categorise or group what you see? One of the broadest groupings is 'living' and 'non-living'. This may sound simple, but it is sometimes ...

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ARTICLE

Earthworm adaptations

Adaptation is an evolutionary process whereby an organism becomes increasingly well suited to living in a particular habitat. Natural selection results in helpful traits becoming more common in a ...

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ARTICLE

Earthworms’ role in the ecosystem

Charles Darwin is well known for his work on natural selection. He published widely on topics ranging from barnacles to geology to plants. He travelled the world and saw many unusual animals ...

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ARTICLE

The role of observation in science

Observation is something we often do instinctively. Observation helps us decide whether it’s safe to cross the road and helps to determine if cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven ...

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ARTICLE

Bioindicators

A bioindicator is a living organism that gives us an idea of the health of an ecosystem. Some organisms are very sensitive to pollution in their environment, so if pollutants are present, the ...

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ARTICLE

Niches within earthworms’ habitat

Asking where earthworms live may seem like a silly question. Doesn’t their name say it all? Soil may appear to be a homogeneous place to you or me, but not to earthworms. There are two ways to ...

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ARTICLE

Charles Darwin and earthworms

Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution as set out in his book On the Origin of Species. He was a naturalist – an expert in geology, botany and biology – whose interest in all ...

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ARTICLE

What is in soil?

What’s in soil? When you pick up a handful of soil, what do you see? All soil is made up of inorganic mineral particles, organic matter (including living things), air and water. Inorganic mineral ...

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ACTIVITY

Observing earthworms

In this activity, students use observation to explore earthworm anatomy and the nature of science. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: identify various physical ...

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ARTICLE

Soils are all different

If you dig a hole in your school playing field, will the soil there look the same as the soil in your home garden? Is soil the same all over New Zealand? All soils have some things in common ...

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ACTIVITY

Observation in science – three-level reading guide

In this activity, students use a three-level reading guide to locate information about the role of observation in science from the text of an article. They interpret what the text means and then ...

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ARTICLE

Investigating earthworms – introduction

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 ...

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ARTICLE

One website - many uses

Greta Dromgool of Berkley Normal Middle School uses the interactive Label the heart as an alternative to dissecting a sheep heart. The interactive appeals to students’ natural play tendencies ...

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TEACHER PLD

Earthworms (lower primary) – unit plan

Earthworms are of interest to most children, are easily accessible and are an animal species easily kept in the classroom for short periods of time. This makes them ideal subjects for exploring ...

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ARTICLE

Alternative conceptions about soil

Students do not arrive in the classroom as blank slates. They’ve been exposed to the world around them and may have created their own explanations for how the world works. Educational research ...

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ACTIVITY

Caring for earthworms in the classroom

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 ...

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ACTIVITY

Wormface – social networking for earthworms

In this activity, students research an earthworm of their choice before completing a Wormface profile for their earthworm. This activity is designed to replicate the creation of an online social ...

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ARTICLE

Native and introduced earthworms

New Zealand has over 200 known species of earthworms, with new species being identified as they are discovered. Of these, the majority are both native and endemic, meaning they are found in New ...

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