Comparing Lolly and Willie

Print Lesson


SWBAT to explain the differences between land snails and water snails by comparing the two different types of snails.

Big Idea

Kids learn to apply what they've learned in earlier lessons about the physical structures of a snail.


5 minutes

To begin this lesson, I have the kids gather on the carpet and I ask them to think about what they learned in the previous lesson. I have them think silently to themselves for 20 seconds. I then have them talk to their floor partner. Once they have shared with their floor partner, I call on students on randomly by pulling name sticks from a name stick can.

As they share out, I use the diagrams created for the previous two lessons to demonstrate what the kids are saying as they are sharing. The kids are also welcome come up to demonstrate using the diagrams if they'd like.

I place the diagrams side by side on the ActivBoard. If you don't have an ActivBoard or SmartBoard, use the pdf's in the resource section to make posters that can be hung side by side.


10 minutes

The kids are still sitting on the floor.

Now that I have the kids thinking about what they've learned about snails, I provide them an opportunity to compare the two different types of snails live.

While the kids are at lunch, I place one water snail for each table in cups with a little bit of water. I also place one land snail in one cup with a piece of lettuce or kale.

After I tell the kids the expectations for exploration, I place walk from table to table and take the snails out of their cups and place them in on a laminated construction paper mat so they can observe them moving side by side.

I have one helper of the day give each student a magnifying glass while I place the snails on the mats. I choose another student to hand out the comparing snails diagram for the kids to complete by writing the names of the parts on the appropriate lines. They will cut and paste the words onto the lines on top of their writing in the evaluation section.

The kids are then given 5 minutes on the timer to observe and talk about the snails with their table partners.

To start, I call one table at a time to sit at their tables. Here are the rules they must follow:


  • stay in seat
  • keep hands in lap until asked to use them
  • be very quiet at your seats
  • always look at the snails, but never touch them


  • you will sit at your seat and use the magnifying glass to look closely at your snails without touching them
  • you will look at your snails to determine how your water snail is similar and different to the land snails
  • you will talk to your table friends about how the two snails are the same and how they are different


5 minutes

Once the kids have had a chance to observe their snails and discuss the likes and differences, I collect the snails and place them back into their habitats.

I call one table at a time to sit on the floor. I have them share with their floor partner what they learned from observing the two types of snails together.

I then invite volunteers to come up to the ActivBoard and explain what they learned when watching the two different types of snails together.

I have them share with the class what they saw and how they were the same and different.


10 minutes

The evaluation is found within the discussion and sharing. 

I have the kids return to the floor with their completed snail diagrams. They are asked to share what they learned with their floor partner. I then call on kids one at a time to come to the teacher chair and share their learning with the entire class. I choose the students by pulling name sticks from a name stick can.

Each child is asked to share everything they've learned about snails so far. As the kids come up to share their ideas, the students in the audience are encouraged to ask questions of the speaker to gain more information and create an active dialog.

During the discussions and sharing, I listen to see if the kids explain accurately and understand what they are sharing.

I use this strategy to strengthen student to student discourse, use of evidence and student presentation skills. When I first begin using this strategy, some of my students were nervous, but now even my shyest kids are excited to be chosen! Kids love to show off what they know.