Monday, April 15, 2013
Invasion of the Giant Snails...Using the News in Language Arts.
The invasion of the Giant Snails sounds like a science fiction movie title but in Florida, it's very real. The giant African land snail has invaded the state and since they have no natural enemies, the snails are causing quite a problem. As their name suggests, the snail is very large...think the size of a rat. And, the giant African land snail multiplies quickly. Just one female can produce 12,000 eggs in one year! The giant African land snail like to nibble on plaster and stucco to get calcium for their shells. The snails are also eating many species of plants in the state and they leave behind a lot of yucky slimy trail! The snails also carry a disease that can make humans ill. The Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry have started an advertising campaign to alert Floridians to the problem. At least 1000 of the giant snails are being caught each week in one Florida county with 117,000 caught in the state since the fall of 2011!The snails have also been spotted in the state of Michigan.
1. Ask the students look at a photograph of the snail and describe the snail using as many adjectives as possible.
2. Have the students write a Haiku poem on the snail
3. Write a day in the life of the giant African Land snail. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Etc. Encourage students to share their writings with the rest of the class.
4. Make a poster educating the community about the snail and why people should be on the lookout for these invasive species.
Photograph from Chicagoist.com