Land Hermit Crab Lesson Plans

 Lesson One

Year Target : 2-4   Duration: 30 Minutes   Key Learning Areas: Language, Science


Butcher's paper/whiteboard, colour pencils, photos of hermit crabs and/or a book on land hermit crabs and marine hermit crabs (Sue Fox's Hermit Crabs: A Complete Owner's Guide if possible)


To give an introductory lesson on hermit crabs which is based on student's prior knowledge and encourage students to be active in the learning process.


  • Discussion - establish what children know about hermit crabs.
    - write it on a butcher's paper or on the whiteboard to add to later.

  • Exposition - what is a hermit crab?

  • Question & Answer Time

  • Explaination - Establish the difference between Land and Marine Hermit Crabs.
    "What is different and what is the same about them."

  • Brainstorm - "What are other animals that live in shells? " ie snails, mollusks etc

  • Discussion - "What do we now know about hermit crabs?"
    - add the information to the butcher's paper or whiteboard and keep for the next lesson

Sequence of Activities:

  • Introduction:

    "Today we will be learning about hermit crabs. What do you know about hermit crabs?
    Have you ever seen a hermit crab? Do you know of anyone who keeps hermit crabs as pets?"

    [List information on paper/whiteboard]

  • Exposition - What is a hermit crab?
    "A hermit crab is an animal that lives inside a borrowed shell of another animal.
    Hermit crabs have 10 legs, 2 eyes and two sets of antennae. This is a photo of a hermit crab.
    This first set of legs are called a grasping claw. It is what the hermit crab uses to grasp its food
    and also to grasp onto objects...."

  • Question and Answer time - give students some time to ask questions or talk about their
    experiences or observations of hermit crabs.

  • Explanation - Difference between land and marine based hermit crabs.
    "There are two types of hermit crabs. Land hermit crabs, which live on land, and marine hermit crabs, which live in the sea and rock pools."

    Example : Sebastion, from the Little Mermaid, lived in the water.

    [show photo of Sebastion in the water with fish, etc or a photo of a marine hermit crab].

    Example : This Hermit Crab is a land hermit crab. He lives in a glass tank with food and water in dishes, and some sand as bedding and toys to crawl on.

    [show photo/image of a land hermit crab in a tank]

  • Brainstorm - 'We know that hermit crabs borrow a shell to live in. What other animal do you know that lives in a shell, or has a shell to protect it?"

Conclusion :

  • Discussion - 'Today we have been learning about hermit crabs. Who can tell me some things we learned today?"

    [ Add information to paper/whiteboard and have students take turns reading out some things they have learned]

  • Extentions:

    If there is time you could read "A House for a Hermit Crab", "Is this a House for a Hermit Crab", "Does everyone know where a hermit crab goes", "Hermit the Crab" or another hermit crab-related children's book.

  • Notes:
    Year level was targeted at Years 2-4 (ages 7-10) but you can adapt the lesson to fit the class.

[Lesson 1] [Lesson 2] [Lesson 3] [Lesson 4] [Hermit Crab Books]


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