Courtesy of
Madagascar hissing cockroach

Courtesy of USDA


In this activity students will work in groups to investigate two different organisms, a worm from the annelid phylum, and a cockroach from one of the insect orders. Each group will conduct their investigations using the Web as a resource, and a real example of the organism for comparison.

Note that there is a significant difference between the two organism examples provided. The worm will be dead and dissected. The cockroach will be alive and caged. Observations will be an important part of the group investigation, as will be a comparison of the real organisms to the technologic versions as presented on the Web.

Yuckiest Site on the Internet

Wendell Worm Here: "Did you ever wonder why I am important in nature?"

Rodney Cockroach: "Hey Wendell, what about me? I have a role to play too. You might say I'm an immigrant."

Wendell: "You're right Rodney. "

"Hey group, do you want to know more about our slimy, creepie, crawlie lifestyles and eating habits? Then join us in this hands-on interactive lesson. You'll be using the Internet and lab specimens to complete a fun project. So, let's get started."

Begin at the Yuckiest Site on the Internet

1. Click on Worm World
2. Click on Roach World

Explore as your group wishes, answering the questions below, and preparing a presentation for the other group(s). You will have about thirty minutes to work, and five to ten minutes to present your discoveries. Your presentation will need to use two or three different Web address links, and one sound or movie clip. Your presentation will have two parts.

First, for your organism: report on

Where do they live?

What do they eat?

How do they breathe, eat, digest, and reproduce?

How do they interact with their environment (including a food chain)?

Where does the organism fit into the ecosystem in which it lives?

How has the animal adapted to its enviroment over time?

How does the organism compare to others like it (likes and differences)?

How have discoveries been made and recorded through time?

What hazards exist for them as individuals and as a species?

What are benefits and disadvantages humans perceive about the organism?

What did you discover about them that seemed unusual or interesting?

What questions does your group still have about the organism?

Second, for your organism: report on

a comparison of the real animal to the Internet version

your group's attitude towards learning from the Internet

Science Standards

Science as Inquiry

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understanding about scientific inquiry

Life Sciences

Grades K-4

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Grades 5-8

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Reproduction and heredity
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms
Big6 Library Skills

Grades 6 - 8

Task Definition

Step 1: Formulate the central question

Step 2: Relate central question to prior knowledge

Step 3: Identify keywords and topics

Step 4: Develop questions to organize search

Information Seeking Strategies

Step 5: Integrate Concepts

Step 6: Explore general resources

Location and Access of Resources

Step 7: Locate resources of information

Step 8: Search for relevant information within resources located

Information Use/Interpretation

Step 9: Examine and evaluate information that is most useful in meeting the needs of the central question

Step 10: Interpret, infer, analyze and paraphrase information obtained


Step 11: Organize information for application (presentation/project/product)

Step 12: Present final presentation/project/product

Updated January 6, 2009
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