Dragon detectives

Dragon detectives © Malena und Philipp K - fotolia.com

Knowledge and skills

  • Animals
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Working scientifically
  • Critical thinking

If the Lambton Worm were real, where would it fit into the animal kingdom? Teach children all about classification – and develop the skills of supposition and hypothesis – with this insightful investigation.

It’s called a worm and in our story it looks a bit like a worm but worms, as most children think of them, don’t have legs, or pointy teeth, or eyes like ping-pong balls. So what type of creature is the Lambton Worm? If you pose this question in class you will probably get an array of answers, from ‘not real’ and ‘made up’ through to a ‘worm’, ‘dinosaur’, ‘snake’ or ‘lizard’.

There is, of course, no evidence that the Lambton Worm existed but this doesn’t mean that it can’t be used as the focus for a genuinely scientific investigation. Explain to the children that scientists use classifications or sets to help them group things together and understand the world around us. For younger children, it might be helpful to use school as an example. All of the pupils have been ‘classified’. Can the children guess how? (Hint that the clue is in the name.)

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