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Teaching Resources

Freshwater Snails and Ecosystems

STEM Discipline

Invertebrate Zoology

National Middle School Science Standards

Life Science, Earth Science

Key Terms:

snail, ecosystem service, habitat alteration, pollution, biodiversity

Key Concepts:

  • Characteristics of snails
  • Snails as members of food webs
  • Global biodiversity of snails
  • Human impacts on snails
  • Technology used by zoologists


Resource Types:

Associated Experts

Four freshwater snails (Semisulcospira libertina) with opercula (hard covers over openings) showing. Photo by Hyun-tae Kim via EOL, CC-BY.Four freshwater snails (Semisulcospira libertina) with opercula (hard covers over openings) showing. Photo by Hyun-tae Kim via EOL, CC-BY.


The Snails and Ecosystems teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

Life Science


Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-2Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-3Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • MS-LS2-5Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Earth Science


Earth and Human Activity
  • MS-ESS3-4Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards


Dr. Ellen Strong studying snails in a contaminated stream. Photo by Philippe Bouchet, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
Ellen Strong
Research Zoologist and Curator of Molluscs
Dr. Robert Hershler kneeling in the grass to collect tiny amphibious snails
Robert Hershler
Research Zoologist and Curator of Mollusks
Tags: snail

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