AskERIC Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #:AELP-BIO0026

Following The Mealworm's Metamorphosis

An AskERIC Lesson Plan

Submitted by: Faith M. Sohns
Endorsed by: Don Descy, Mankato State University
Date: May 20, 1997

GRADE LEVEL: Grades 1-4


The student will be able to recognize and describe the basic characteristics of the mealworm and provide a appropriate habitat for the mealworm.


1.The student will observe instinctive behavior of the mealworm and be able to explain it.

2.The student will list, on a sheet of paper, the stages of metamorphosis.

3.The student will list, on a sheet of paper, the color changes insect makes as it experiences stage changes.

4. The student will list the items used to set up the mealworm project and explain their functions.


Mealworms are easy to maintain in the classroom because they require very little care. I caution you to use plastic, glass or metal as a container because they can chew right through cardboard and styrofoam.

Very little water is required because they are able to extract moisture from their food. Water can be supplied from small pieces of potatoes, apples, broccoli, or other fleshy fruits or vegetables. Be careful not to allow too much moisture in the environment.

Too much water will cause the bran to mold which will cause the mealworms to die. Another cause of death is too much exposure to light, mealworms move away from light and into darkness.


-Plastic yogurt containers, with lids . Enough for each child in the class.

-Wheat bran


-Masking tape




1. The Egg. The mealworm egg is almost impossible to see so start the class with the mealworm larva. The larva can be purchased at any bait or pet store.

2. Habitat, Sweet Habitat. Explain to students that in order to grow happy and healthy mealworm beetles, they need to create a habitat complete with everything the mealworm will need to live.

A. Fill a yogurt cup with 3cm of wheat bran.

B. Using masking tape and a marker, label the container with your name or initials and date.

C. Select three mealworm larva of approximately the same size. Put them into the yogurt container.

D. Add a small piece of potato. You will want to add a new piece once a week.

E. To allow for ventilation, place a lid loosely on the container, and place them in a dark area in the classroom.

3. Watch and Wait. Time varies but you should see mealworm beetles in about a month. Each day take a couple minutes to observe whatUs going on in the mealworm environment and let the students record their observations in their journals, either with descriptions or pictures. Remember to replace the piece of potato when needed.


1. Look over the students journals.

2. Ask the student if they followed directions.

3. Have the student write what changes they saw during the mealworms metamorphosis.

This activity has been copied, with permission, from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the original site.

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