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Mealworm Adventures

Posted by on June 15, 2015

“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.”

~Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

I’m not touching it! This is what could be heard around the classroom the very FIRST day we began our inquiry into mealworms and animal life cycles. My how things have changed in just a few short weeks!

These ADORABLE little larvae have become TREASURED additions to our classroom!

These ADORABLE little larvae have become TREASURED additions to our classroom!

What follows are just a FEW of our reflections:

“When Mrs. Renton told our class that we would get a mealworm I was really excited. At the same time I was wondering what mealworms were. Once I saw my mealworm I knew exactly what I would name him. That name was Spiky. One of my friends named his mealworm Viper. The first few times I was observing Spiky I discovered he liked to race around my paper towel. We did lots of experiments with our mealworms but this was my favourite experiment. That experiment was when we brought food like cheese, carrots and stuff like that, and we would tally how many times our mealworm went to that food and hung out there a bit. There are four stages: egg, larva, pupa and beetle. I wonder how many times mealworms shed. I hope my mealworm turns into a beetle soon.” ~Colby

“My favourite experiment was the food experiment because when you set it up your mealworm would at least crawl under things and you could see the food moving as the mealworm moved. My favourite mealworm stage is every one but, I don’t have a Darkling Beetle yet. My lowlight was when I dropped my mealworm once and then WEEKS later I dropped Mani’s AND mine but my mealworm fell on my thigh. Unfortunately, Mani’s fell on the floor. My highlights are that I have two mealworms but not for long, sadly! I wonder if you put a mealworm on a pupa, will it rot?” ~Faith

Our food experiment was a HUGE hit! There was LOTS of excitement in the room and tallies were growing like CRAZY!

Our food experiment was a HUGE hit! There was LOTS of excitement in the room and tallies were growing like CRAZY!

“What will we be learning about THIS time? Suddenly my teacher said we will be learning about mealworms! A few days later someone had a pupa. More days later, someone had a darkling beetle. Today, I have three pupas so I will have three darkling beetles. I wonder how long a mealworm can stay a mealworm. I wonder how long until I will have a darkling beetle. Someone in my class dropped their pupa and white goo came out. In my classroom we have a red tin. There are five black mealworms which means they have passed away. Now I have a darkling beetle. Did you know that darkling beetles have four stages?” ~Thomas

“My favourite stage of the mealworm was the larva because I like to hold my mealworm and play with it. But, I don’t like the pupa a little and if I touch it I feel a little shaky. My highlight was that my mealworm is still the same every single day. Phew! My lowlight is I don’t want my mealworm to change! I wonder how mealworms breath? I learned that my mealworm likes the light because she likes to escape. My favourite experiment was working with the blocks and building a house and miking one side light and the other dark. My other highlight was when my mealworm shed with his legs there. My wonder is do mealworms drink? My next lowlight is I really don’t want to set my mealworm free!” ~ Luisa

It took SOME of us a WHILE to warm up to our mealworms. Others jumped in with BOTH feet!

It took SOME of us a WHILE to warm up to our mealworms. Others jumped in with BOTH feet! Let’s play Where’s Waldo … can you SPOT the little mealworm?

“As I sat down on the carpet, ready for the next activity, I noticed Mrs. Renton grinning from ear to ear. When everyone was seated, Mrs. Renton began to speak. In a minute you will get your very own mealworm, she announced. The class cheered. Then I suddenly realized that I fed mealworms as a treat to my pet hedgehog! I also remembered that my older brother did the same thing in school when he was around my age. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when one of the classroom helpers came to me with a plastic see-through cup. Once everyone had a cup, Mrs. Renton came around with mealworms. When I got mine I said to myself I am going to have so much fun with my new pet mealworm! My favourite part with my mealworm was watching him change from larva to pupa to beetle.” Aleah

“Hop, hop! You hear that hopping noise? That is the wonderful mealworm that our teacher Mrs. Renton gave us. You might be wondering how can my larva staged mealworm jump. Actually, it is NOT a larva. My long caterpillar-like creature has changed to a pupa. That is how far my mealworm has gone in his adventure. I’ve learned lots while my mealworm was growing. I discovered that mealworms are pests. I even know what they turn into. They will turn into beetles. We had many experiments. Many of them. One of them is the food test. My favourite experiment is seeing if our mealworms prefer dark or light spots. Right now I’m ready to tell you my wonders. Here is one of them. I wonder when does a mealworm die?” Bryan

Holy CROW … just LOOK at that mealworm climb a VERTICAL wall … good thing they CAN’T do that on PLASTIC!

“Oh! Hi there! Do you want to hear about mealworms? Well, let me tell you. Just one handful, my teacher told us. Oh, now I can go, so I went to the little box with lots of shapes in it, (pattern blocks). And, I grabbed a handful and went to my desk. I took a piece of paper and put it on my desk. Then I went to get my mealworm. Wait. Is this too boring? Well, if it is, now I’m gonna try not to be so boring. Okay. Hey, did you know that mealworms have eggs? I discovered that mealworms shed more than one time! I think my favourite stage of the mealworms was the larva because you could play with it and it was not so fast. Remember I was talking about the handful of shapes? We were going to make a maze with them and I think that was one of my favourite experiments!” ~Sofie

“Oh, hello! Are you reading my reflection? Well, let’s get to it. One of my wonders are how many eggs to they lay? How old can darkling beetles get? My favourite experiment was bringing little bits of food to test what they like to eat. My highlight is one out of the four that are beetles! My lowlight is that I couldn’t see mine shed because he did it at night. (My mealworm did it at night.” Hmm. My favourite stage of a mealworm is probably the larva because they’re more active and I’m not worrying that they’re going to fly out!” ~Shaye

Hmm. The mealworm climbed over the MOUNTAIN ... it MIGHT make a GREAT song! LOOK at him go!

Hmm. The mealworm climbed over the MOUNTAIN … it MIGHT make a GREAT song! LOOK at him go!

“A month ago, Mrs. Renton said we’re gonna have a mealworm. I thought it was gross but when I saw them they weren’t slimy … they were clean. I was loving it. A few weeks later my mealworm turned into a pupa. I was sad, but Mrs. Renton gave me another mealworm. I was happy. When I came to the bucket it was full of mealworms but I saw a black mealworm. That means it’s dying. My heart was broken but that’s what happens. At home I rushed to the computer and began to draw a mealworm. I wonder what will happen to my mealworm. When I came back three mealworms were dying … then four. The days passed but now my mealworm turned into a darkling beetle. Now it can run faster than before. I hope my mealworm will be okay and can survive.” ~

“A mealworm. What is that? Oh. Okay. I will try to hold it. Wow! It is very tickly. But, you know what is very sad? My mealworm died. The whole tiny body was black and it was a larva. The mealworm I have right now is a larva and she is very sleepy. She has 13 lines.” ~Saadia

“My top highlight with the mealworms was when we used blocks to make mazes, shelters, open areas, etc., and I liked examining what they like and if they chose the right path. I also enjoyed watching it turn into different stages. My favourite stage is the darkling beetle stage because I haven’t seen a darkling beetle before. My lowlight was when it was in the pupa stage because it didn’t do anything but it was the easiest to sketch. My favourite experiment was when we brought in food to see which food our mealworms liked the best. Mine liked the watermelon a LOT! I discovered that if you put a mealworm egg in a cold environment, (cooler), it will take longer to hatch. I wonder how big the biggest darkling beetle is? I also discovered that a darkling beetle’s life span is about one year!” ~Riley

Riley is RIGHT ... the EASIEST stage to sketch WAS when our mealworms were pupas!

Riley is RIGHT … the EASIEST stage to sketch WAS when our mealworms were pupas!

“Aww! That’s so cute, I said softly, and sure enough, I had a little mealworm in a plastic see-through cut. He was SO cute! I’ll name it Bob, I said, as I put it in a clear small petri dish. Look at him. He’s so happy, I said happily, but quietly. The little mealworm roamed the petri dish. As the teacher told us to put things away, I slipped Bob in the cup, feeling super happy. I could not wait until day #2 with Bob! My sad part was that Bob tried to escape EVERY time! Oh, and if you’re wondering, mealworms aren’t worms. They are the larva stage of a darkling beetle!” ~Anita

“Yes! We’re having mealworms today! I love when we do different things with them like making tunnels and mazes by building blocks and letting them go through. Our mealworms have four stages. They are: pupa, larva, darkling beetle, and eggs. My favourite stage is … well, I don’t have one because I liked all the stages. My highlight was all of it. My lowlight was nothing because I loved it all. I learned that darkling beetle’s eggs are 2 mm! I wonder how mealworms can get out of eggs that small? I loved getting grass and things like that and letting our mealworms play. I wonder how long it takes for an egg to hatch?” ~Robert

IMG_5990

Hey, they’re pretty FAST … and they TICKLE … JUST a little, then they crawl over our hands!

“My lowlight is that my mealworm is still the same. By now it should be a pupa or a darkling beetle! I was sad that Saadia’s mealworm was dead. But, she got a new one. My highlight is we got to look at them. My favourite part of the mealworm was seeing how much they eat, and putting tallies! I learned that mealworms can climb steep stuff sometimes. I learned that mealworms love grass and dirt. I wonder what age they are, (how they tell). I wonder how they name them. Is it like how you name a pet?” ~Alvin

“I discovered that mealworms don’t turn into worms. They turn into beetles. But, then they turn all wide after. Also, I wonder why mealworms start white then they turn black. My favourite stage is the beetle because they can walk on the ground. My favourite experiment we did with the mealworms was making mazes for them because it was fun building the cool mazes for them. Also, because it was fun seeing the mealworms trying to get through the maze. My least favourite stage was the pupa because you can’t play with it. I did not like that I had to get a new mealworm because my mealworm was not active. My highlight was that I got to do lots of cool experiments with our mealworms. I hope we get mealworms in Grade Four!” ~Carter

If you look VERY closely ... you can see some of this mealworm's SHED skin ... they do that SEVERAL times as they grow ... just like ... SNAKES!

If you look VERY closely … you can see some of this mealworm’s SHED skin … they do that SEVERAL times as they grow … just like … SNAKES!

“I’ve learned a LOT about mealworms, like how they turn into darkling beetles. My favourite experiment with them was making mazes for them to escape or prisons that they have to escape. My mealworm is really good at climbing upside down. Bobby Joe is very adventurous and not that smart once in a while. Bobby Joe even jumped off of my desk twice. That was my lowlight. Right now he can’t do anything naughty because he is in the pupa stage. I discovered quickly that pupas look ooogly! I wonder how people even find the eggs of mealworms because the eggs are 2 mm big and 0.9 mm wide. It is incredibly amazing!” ~William

“Dear readers. Ready? Alright! It’s time for … mealworm reflections! My highlight for working with mealworms is how fun it is to play with them. I have a wonder. What does the mealworm look like inside the pupa. My lowlight for working with mealworms is … NOTHING! I loved, and I mean LOVED, working with mealworms! Did you know that mealworms turn into pupas in six to seven months? My favourite stage is the larva, (mealworm), stage. My favourite experiment with mealworms was when we built mazes out of blocks. Well, I hope you enjoyed this!” ~Mani

Our magnifying glasses help us to see EACH of our mealworm’s segments … and their VERY tiny little legs! AMAZING!

“Did you know that mealworms aren’t worms? Wow, cool right? I know this because our class got our own mealworms to learn about. So far, mine is a pupa. Yep, a pupa. My favourite stage is the darkling beetle because it looks tough and its name is unique. My favourite experiment was when we got to bring in healthy foods to see how our mealworms reacted because it was very interesting to see the mealworms eat. I like seeing my mealworm when it shed and when it turned into a pupa. I didn’t like when my mealworm was very inactive because I couldn’t make him roam in the habitat I made with plants. Also, I wonder when mealworm eggs hatch. Thanks for reading! Bye!” ~Marcus

“Hi! I’m Olivia and in the past few weeks I’ve learned about mealworms. If you’re wondering what mealworms are … it’s like a worm but mealworms turn into a, a … b.e.e.t.l.e. Okay, let’s get onto my highs and lows. My highlight is that when my mealworm was in it’s pupa stage a week later it was a BEETLE! My lowlight … wait … I don’t have one! In June my class did an experiment. We made a maze for our mealworms. My mealworm only made it out of four times. I really, really wonder if a mealworm can swim.” ~Olivia

Just LOOK at how adorable this little dude is … ya … they’re BOTH adorable … but … I’m talking about the MEALWORM at the moment!

“My favourite stage my mealworm has been through was the larva stage because he was always so active. My lowlight was that one time I dropped my mealworm from my desk all the way to the floor. My highlight was my mealworm really enjoyed playing with me. My favourite project I worked on with my mealworm was when we were testing if they liked the light or the dark better. I also really liked when I first got my mealworm because it really tickled. When he turns into a beetle I hope he can live for a long time.” ~Liam

“When Mrs. Renton was first going to give us mealworms I was disgusted and I didn’t want a mealworm AT ALL! I was even scared to hold mine. Well, to be honest, they still make me shiver, but now I’m really comfortable around my mealworm. I almost forgot. Did you know that mealworms turn into darkling beetles? I also know that mealworms have 13 lines on their backs! I wonder what darkling beetles eat? Do they still eat the food that they were eating when they were mealworms? Or, do they eat something else? I also wonder if there is a way to tell the difference between a female beetle and a male beetle? Anyways, I am going to miss my mealworm when I release it into the wild! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I named my mealworm Ella Squirmy Darkling Beetle. Well, I guess I should go check my beetle now, so BYE!” ~Marah

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“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

~Linda Hogan

One Response to Mealworm Adventures

  1. Stacie

    I love how you all tried different types of food like real biologists doing experiments! I also had no idea that mealworms turned into beetles! My first guess was that they would turn into moths, but I was wrong! That is what learning and science is all about…wondering, thinking, guessing, and then finding out by actually observing! Way to go Blogging Hawks!

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