Saturday, 21 April 2012

one small snail

Thank heavens for Yanis.  He brought a plastic container to school on Wednesday.  In it, he assured me, there were ‘two big snails and three small ones.’

Well, I spotted the big snails.  Or to be more precise, the two big – but somewhat empty - snail shells.

But where on earth were the three small snails?

I even put on my glasses!

It took Beatrix’s eagle eyes to spot them, variously tucked into the tiniest crevices in the damp bark that Yanis had thoughtfully provided for them (along, if you are interested, with a bit of soil and some leaves from the plants near where he found them).

Well, of course there was great excitement when Beatrix gently (they really were terribly small) prised one out and let in slide along her hand.  There was even more excitement (if that is possible) when hand lenses were provided, for a closer look.


We got to see the shell of course (with its spiral shape – more of which later) and the tentacles (and snails, as you may just be able to see from the photo, have two sets; a long pair with eyes on the ends and a shorter pair, which we later discovered, are for feeling).  We learned that the slimy part along which the snail moves is called a foot

Later we looked at a different photograph of a (similarly small) snail to see if we could spot those same body parts.


I wonder; can you point to those body parts?  Can you see two sets of tentacles?  The shell is quite easy to see, isn’t it (but the spiral, in case you were wondering, is on the other side!)  The foot?  That’s the bit that is ‘sticking’ to the bamboo shoot.  And what about those eyes?  Remember; they are on the ends of the longest pair of tentacles.

Later still, and following further research, we talked together to remind ourselves just how much we had learned about snails and their cycle of life.  And then we wrote down at least two facts about snails.

Here are just some of the ones we came up with:

‘Snails hide in shells when they are scared.’

‘You can find snails under leaves.’

‘Snails have tentacles to feel.’

‘On their tentacles they have eyes.’

‘While the snail grows, his spirals get more.’

‘Snails lay eggs.’

‘Snails stick together.’

‘Snails are slimy.’

‘Snails lay their eggs in the ground.  They cover them up with earth.’

Then (most of us) using the photo of Yanis’ small snail as the ‘recently-hatched’ stage of the life cycle we had a go at completing the circle.  Take a look….

IMG_5995   IMG_5996 

and see…

IMG_5997   IMG_5998

how we did.


Finally, just to make sure you have it right, here is the solution to the problem I set earlier about the body parts of a snail.  Courtesy of someone in 1b (sorry, but in editing the photo, I inadvertently chopped off the name!)


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