Clam Hooping

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In this two-part outdoor activity, learners conduct a population census of squirting clams on a beach or mudflat, and investigate the clams' natural history. During the Clam Hooping activity, learners use giant hoops to take a population census of squirting clams. From the results of this census, the group considers the task of setting up Fish and Game regulations. During the Clam Digging activity, learners gather evidence to answer several questions relating to the natural history of the clams.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 data board and marking pen
  • 4 boundary markers (flags)
  • 1 meter tape
  • 1 10 meter length of heavy string or twine marked off in 1-meter intervals
  • 1 "Clam Hoop" Equipment Card
  • 1 "Use of the Tide Table" Technique Card
  • 1 Census Card
  • 1 copy of a tide table
  • 1 copy of local Fish and Game Regulations
  • towels
  • Clam Hoops (instructions in PDF)
  • Census Cards
  • 5" x 8" index cards
  • pencils


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
      • Tides
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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