Teaching Life Cycles with Mealworms

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I’m the last person who wants anything to do with worms.  I know they’re good for the environment, but I have no desire to do anything but avoid worms at all costs. As a child, I always got far away from classmates who loved to pick up worms off the sidewalks after a rainstorm, and today as a teacher, I’m no different! So, you can imagine my horror when my teammates wanted to teach life cycles with mealworms. I knew my kiddos would be so disappointed though if they were the only class without their own mealworm, so I caved.  Each kiddo got their own mealworm. They had a special container with bedding and food for their mealworm. After everyone got their new pet, they named their mealworm and got some time to play with them.

Throughout the study the kiddos kept a journal where they kept record of their mealworm’s appearance, activities, etc. On some occasions, they responded to a prompt.

We also did activities/studies with our mealworms. One day we did an experiment to see which color (red or yellow) a mealworm liked best, while on another day we tested to see what type of food they prefer best.

Shortly after moving to their new home, the mealworms begin to change. After the pupa stage, they turn into a beetle. The kiddos don’t know this beforehand, so it is very exciting for them to guess and eventually see what the mealworm becomes. Yes, there were many butterfly predictions!

After the mealworms turn into a beetle, they go home with a student if they have parental permission (and a parent comes to pick them up!) or they go into a class mealworm box for more room.

My kiddos loved this!