|This humane and wiggly GEMS unit goes to the heart (and circulation) of the common
earthworm, and explores this creature's critical role in the cycle of decomposition
and soil renewal. Without dissection or harm of any kind to the animal, students
study the movement of blood through observable vessels, assess
its pulse rate in response to modest temperature changes and graph the results, and
in learn of its marvelous adaptability to environmental conditions.
In discussing why earthworms respond as they do, students learn about cold-blooded (poikilothermic) animals, the concept of adaptation, and circulatory systems. Background sections include concise biological information on earthworms and guidance in their care. A lovely essay highlights the interconnectedness of all life. Makes a wonderful complement to the GEMS guides Terrarium Habitats and Ant Homes Under the Ground.
Time: Three 45-minute sessions.
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