The Early Years: Counting a Culture of Mealwormsby: Peggy Ashbrook

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Math is not the only topic that will be discussed when young children are asked to care for and count “mealworms,” a type of insect larvae (just as caterpillars are the babies of butterflies, these larvae are babies of beetles). The following activity can take place over two months as the beetles undergo metamorphosis from larvae to adults. As the children care for and count the insects, they will make observations, think what defines an insect, begin to understand life cycles and life spans, and gain big vocabulary words that they love to know and use to feel like “real” scientists.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:16 AM

Mealworms are simple organisms to take care of and keep in a classroom. This activity, which can take over a two month time period, allows students to apply math and science skills. Children count and sort organisms, observe changes in body forms, gather and record data over time which can then be used to make generalizations. Using simple safety techniques students can handle these organisms and learn by watching changes over time.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:46 PM

This engaging activity involves using mealworms as a way to collect data while making scientific observations and learning about metamorphosis. Article gives specific directions for the care and raising of mealworms and directions for carrying out a 2-month activity of observing the life cycle of an organism that undergoes complete metamorphosis.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:42 AM

I like how this activity uses more than just science in it. It includes math and having the students think about questioning. The students come up with so many questions to learn about the mealworms. This makes me think of problem based learning, I love watching kids have to think through their problems!

Kaylee Buck
Kaylee Buck

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