Arthropoda and the Arctics


Your reading for this unit is chapter 11, and it is a relatively long one.  The diversity of the sub-phyla makes for natural breaks. There are four non-extinct sub-phyla. Two of which have representatives in the oceans. The fifth sub-phyla is the extinct Trilobitomorpha (trilobites) I suggest you break it down in the following manner:

  • Introductory materials pp 127-128: focus on taxonomy, shell formation, and molting.  There is no real discussion of “parts of”.  But their body cavity is the “lowest” life form with an abdomen.  It is worth looking into.
  • Chelicerata (horseshoe crabs and sea spiders) pp 129-130: be attentive to their food choices
  • Crustacea Part I (Maxillopoda, Branchipoda, Remipedia, Ostracoda) pp 131: This is a mini-read and covers barnicles. Brine shrimp (branchiopoda), seed shrimp (ostracoda), and remipedia are not mentioned in our book.
  • Crustacea Part II (Malacostraca – lobsters, crabs, and shrimp) pp 134-135 and 137-142: This is a long one. It may help to look at a taxonomy list to see how the various malacostraca fit together.
  • Crustacea Part III (Malacostraca – krill, amphipods, isopods) 132-133 and 136: This section covers such a diverse “insect-like” set of creatures.  Pay close attention to the habitat or lack there of as the case may be. Google for giant isopods.  They look like huge pill bugs scavenging with crabs.


  1. Reef Clip Videos – short diverse crustacean clips.
  2. The Shape of Life – Part 5-2 – looks at the wonder of the arthropod diversity and some discussion of the extinct species (origins of life discussed).
  3. Dirty Jobs trying shrimping – shameless plug for the Charleston area.
  4. Humpback Whales fishing for Krill – beautiful BBC video.
  5. Snapping Shrimp – It gets a bit technical but gives a very clear explanations.
  6. Excellent page on Lobsters.


  1. Check out your local field guides and go see what you can find! “Shiver me timbers!”  Make an earnest attempt to observe something living.
  2. If at all possible, make notes and sketches in your lab notebook.  This is a good one to go to the fish mongers for details of the legs and lobsters.  Salt-water fish stores often carry marine hermit crabs and unusual shrimp.
  3. Look at the parts of a “true” crab: (skip to pages 6-8).  See how many you can identify in a specimen.
  4. Acquire a shrimp with the head on and dissect it.  Instructions and hand-outs here.
  5. Locate the various types of habitats and variety of hermit crabs.  On a map show their ranges.

Writing ideas:

  1. Writing and illustrating a children’s story using arthropods as characters (torn and cut paper seem at least in my mind to be fulfilling).  Perhaps read an Eric Carle book as inspiration.  Go read your book to little people.
  2. writing a series of hikus on the different sub-phyla and/or classes of arthropoda.  Or writing a blank verse poem.

For Example

Beach Crabs by John Tiong Chunghoo
my beach walk
little crabs run
light as breeze

Or how about this Lewis Carrol poem – The Lobster-Quadrille

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle — will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you joint the dance?”

Food Ideas

  1. Maryland crab cakes
  2. Low Country Shrimp and Corn Boil
  3. Shrimp and Grits,
  4. more sushi, let’s hear your ideas.


  1. What part of the head of a shrimp is also the name of part of an ancient Greek ship. We use today as a synonym for a podium.

Arctic and Antarctic Seas:

As this section is not covered in the book, I’m presenting supplementary materials:

    1. Marine Life
    2. Visual Overview
    3. Fish
  • What lives in the Antarctic Sea?
    1. Overview
    2. Census of Antarctic Marine Life – navigate using words at the top of the page


  1. Antarctic Benthic Diver – a marine biologist discussing her job, even her lips freezing.
  2. TED Talk – Ray Zahab walks to the south pole – There is a second video of a solo skier going to the north pole, too.
  3. Humpback Whales fishing for Krill – beautiful BBC video


  1. Study the exploration treks looking for the North West passage and Captain Cook’s trips to Antarctica.
  2. Read Stowaway – ages 9 to 15 and trace the voyage on a map. Recommended by AV.
  3. Discuss the solstices and season and the angles that the sun hits the various places on the earth. I’ve just made a Montessori Lessons of the relevant pages manuals. The Sun and Earth Charts are pre colored (not by me).  I would recommend tracing them. Here is a video showing these lessons quickly and “rapped”.  These are the traditional Montessori Lessons and are meant to augment this group’s experience.  Please don’t reproduce these for other uses. Thanks.



  1. Great plans! I love the writing ideas and going to the fishmongers. The videos look wonderful. Thank you again for doing this.

    Here are a couple websites I had filed away for this chapter that are good for younger children.

    • Such excellent plans!!! Thank you so much!
      And Syndi, I love the pop-up barnacle! So glad you thought to add it!

    • I had found a picture of the barnacle but didn’t realize one could make their own. Great find!

  2. I thought we might use this for shrimp dissection

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