Bugs, Worms & Others

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In this creative outdoor activity, learners invent populations of make-believe organisms and then investigate real populations living in the activity site. Learners explore the concepts of variation (small difference within a population), habitat and natural history, including predator/prey relationships and protective adaptations.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 30 or more shapes cut from index cards (for each team of 3 or 4)
  • colored pens (black, red, blue, green)
  • Inventor's Natural History Records (from PDF)
  • Observer's Natural History Records (from PDF)
  • 15-meter lengths of string
  • paper or plastic bags


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Biodiversity

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1980