More Nature Study #3 Garden Snail Study

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More Nature Study Book 3
Snail Study

“Perchance if those who speak so glibly of a ‘snail’s pace’ should study it, they would not sneer at it, for, carefully observed, it seems to be one of the most wonderful methods of locomotion ever devised by animal….The snail carries his dwelling with him, and retires within it in time of danger. He can climb on any smooth surface.”
Handbook of Nature Study

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 416-422 (Lesson 106). There are lots of interesting details about the snail’s life history and its behavior. Highlight a few things you can share with your children.
  • Choose a few of the suggested activities to use as part of your snail study.
  • YouTube videos for preparation and building interest: Garden Snail Video (excellent), Escargot, and Two Garden Snails and this one (preview) Garden Snail.
  • This is an awesome and fun YouTube video: Snail Art

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • Go on a snail trail hunt! Although snails are nocturnal, you can look for snail trails during the day which may lead you to some snails hiding in moist places like pond areas or near the garden. Continuous trails are from slugs while trails with breaks belong to snails. Snail trails will glisten in the sun or shine at night with a flashlight.
  • If you find a snail or a snail shell, make careful observations. If you have a container, gather a snail for more indoor observations. Use a magnifying lens to view the snail’s eyes or other body parts. Handle the snail carefully and wash your hands afterwards. Use the suggestions from Lesson 106 to guide your careful study of the snail.

Follow-Up Activities:

  • If you found a snail, record your observations in your nature journal. Describe the color, size, and behavior of your snail. Put it into a clear container with some leaf litter and source of moisture like a can lid filled with a bit of water. Put in some bits of lettuce and watch the snail eat. Watch the snail as it climbs the clear walls, observing the underside of the snail.
  • If you found an empty snail shell, take careful notes of its appearance. Advanced study: Identify the type of snail you found. Draw your snail shell in your nature journal. (See link below.)
  • Advanced study: Research the Phyllum of Mollusca. Record your findings in your nature journal along with a list of other mollusks.
  • Advanced study: Develop a question about snails that you can answer by observation. Design an activity or experiment to answer your question. Carry out your activity and then record your results in your nature journal. For example: How fast does a snail crawl? How does it eat? How does a snail protect itself? How does a snail react to light? Ebook users: Notebook page included in the ebook.

Additional Links:

More Nature Study Book 3 Button

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy



  1. This looks like a good study for my littles! Looking forward to trying it. :)

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