A Study of Snails | Kindergarten Science Unit

March 25, 2021


Last year was the very first year I learned about snails alongside my students. I was excited for this unit - a part of our study of the garden/plants - because I had always taught about butterflies. Although fun, it's been done so many times and to have the opportunity to learn about snails was something new...even for me!

When I taught as a kindergarten English teacher for a French-American school, my French colleagues taught the science and French language aspect of this unit whereas I was responsible for teaching my ELA objectives, but through the theme of snails. You can read all about my lesson ideas and what I did in ELA for snails here.

But now that I'm back to being a SAHM I thought it would be fun to create something that other teachers could use or even parents who may be distance learning still or homeschooling. Although what my French colleagues came up with was so fun to observe, there would be no way I could get everything translated. So, I chose to create a workbook that covers the basics of this unit and the scientific skills that go with it!

Here's what's inside!

An introduction to snails!

Snails, turns out, are such fascinating animals - and the kids absolutely ate this unit up!

The first part of this workbook is a little introduction about snails. It's a quick guide for kinders to highlight their notes (I've bolded important words already) and use that information to fill out the next part: the flipbook style organizer of Snails CAN, HAVE, ARE. I've found that simple cutting and pasting activities keep my students engaged and makes the workbook a little more interactive!

Life Cycles & Anatomy

A big part of this unit is learning all about a snail's life cycle and labeling the important parts (i.e. the anatomy). Students will practice sequencing the order of the life cycle and demonstrate their understanding that living things go through a process called a life cycle. In addition, they will practice labeling using a word bank the parts of a snail.

Recommended Watching

This is a great time to introduce videos and other mediums of which to introduce these concepts. Non-fiction books are great (and a great way to blend ELA with science!!) to use as well as good 'ole YouTube. Here are a couple of videos I've found that are great for this!

The Snail Song

Making Observations & Fine Motor Practice

Another great skill to continue practicing - and a unit on snails is perfect for - is fine motor. My French colleagues spent a lot of time developing art projects and fine motor centers based around the spiral. It's a pre-writing skill that lends itself to proper letter formation later on. So, I included a spiral tracing page for a little added practice.

Observations are our next science skill that students practice during this unit. A lot of what students learn is the process of making observations and learning how to use them to make predictions or track progress. In this case, they'll be making daily observations of their classroom snails. So, get your tank, fill it with soil and other garden goodies, and snag a few garden snails from outside and you have something your students will be obsessed with checking out every day.

Choose your observation note style

For my kinders I love providing multiple ways for them to demonstrate their understanding. So, I created two versions of notes. One is a full-page observation sheet whereas I also have the option for a half-page style which is about the size of a printable emergent reader.

A home observation & new class pet

My son investigating the snails in our neighborhood during quarantine last year.

Having a snail habitat in the classroom is a great (and almost free) way for students to observe their snails as well as put to task what they've learned. Snails need specific things in order to be happy and survive, so get your kids involved in creating their new classroom tank habitat.

Last, but not least, is a simple classroom snail tank observation. This is a great way for students to make note of what snails need in order to survive. Like all animals they need: water, shelter, and food (to name a few). This would be a great page for students to use as a way to demonstrate how to create a habitat and review what snails need in order to survive.

Note: snails do reproduce quickly so be on the lookout for eggs buried in the soil!

To make your own snail habitat is easy! You'll just need a few items:
  • large aquarium tank with a ventilated covering
  • dirt from outside
  • collection of sticks, plants, and rocks (places for snails to hide are great!)
  • a spray bottle of water to keep things moist inside
Feeding snails:
  • snails love fruits and veggies (avoid citrus) and leafy green leaves
  • they also love calcium (to keep their shells strong) so items like cuttlefish bones and egg shells are great to include in the tank
That's it! I hope you have fun with this unit and that this workbook proves to be a fun way to engage your students!