Saturday, 11 June 2016

Studying Slugs and Snails

This Friday's Outdoor Science sessions were all connected with slugs and snails.

Years 3 and 4 started the day off by talking about the things they already knew about these creatures, things they thought might have been true and things they were uncertain about.  Following this a slug and snail collection was organised - but where to find them?

After a hard search in the woods attention moved to the school garden and from there to the Early Years playground, especially under and behind the castle.  This seemed to THE place to find slugs at Gresham Village School, the dark damp corners proved to be a snails favourite hiding place, at least during during daylight hours.

Next the slugs and snails were taken back for observation and investigation.  Digital microscopes allowed a closer viewing of snails skin and antennae.  Their eyesight was tested and proved to be poor. The recorder lesson next door gave the idea of investigating their hearing - which again seemed rather poor.  

After break, the Year 5 and 6 group continued the investigations, weighing each specimen before entering them into the Great Gastropod 'Gallop', a race to find the fastest slug or snail, investigating exactly how they moved.

Paris discovered a slugs 'breathing hole', meanwhile Luca decided to investigate the amount of slime his snail produced when climbing different slopes.  The idea of the group was that more slime would be produced when slugs and snails climbed steeper slopes, helping them to 'grip'.

After lunch it was the turn of Reception...

Together we read the story 'Slug Needs a Hug', before heading out to handle some slugs and snails.  Everyone was really brave and some even enjoyed the feeling!

We learnt the words 'Invertebrate' and 'Habitat' and then set about creating a habitat suitable for our slug or snail, which by now had become a good friend.  

We explored the woods and field, searching for materials that might meet a slug or snail's needs: food, shelter, egg laying, damp (and even recreation).

Finally the habitats were transferred back into the woods, along with their residents.

A great day of observation, investigation and learning across the school.

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