The Senses of "Unknown Creatures"

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In this activity, learners use earthworms as "unknown creatures" from the South American jungle to find out how animals use senses. Learners are given supplies to devise their own experiments and test the response of the earthworms to light, touch and chemicals. Learners collect data and draw conclusions based on this data. Learners return the earthworms to their natural habitat (a flower or garden bed) when they are finished with the experiments.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Shoebox top
  • Aluminum foil
  • Soil/sand
  • Chemical (vinegar) acid
  • Desk lamp
  • Creature (earthworm)
  • Stopwatch
  • Data sheet


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Human Senses and Perception
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Chudler Ph.D., Eric


  • All rights reserved, Eric H. Chudler, 2009