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Mini Beasts: Identifying Animals on Seaweed

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Learning objectives

  • Students will learn how to use a classification key
  • Students will learn how to classify animals
  • Students will have experience using a microscope

How to run the activity

In preparation for this activity session, the activity leader will need to gather the following things:

  • Dissection microscope
  • Small dissection tray
  • Small tubs, petri dish or watch glass to "hold" animals
  • tweezers to pick up small animals
  • fresh sample of either of the following seaweed - Coral Weed (Corallina officinalis), Cladophora rupestris or Gut Weed (Ulva intestinalis)

Give the students about 20 minutes to sort through their sample, picking out the mini beasts that live in the seaweed .  At the end of the 20 minutes, the class can compile a species list.  If the class is looking at all three species of seaweed, they could compare the diversity of species. 

An identification Key is attached as one of the resources.  Alternatively, if you wish to discuss this class and/or discuss a trip to the Dove Marine Laboratory, please contact


Relevant subjects Type of activity Suitable audiences
  • Biology
  • Marine Science
  • Resources
  • Events on Campus
  • Parents and Carers
  • Teachers
  • Y 10
  • Y 11
  • Y 12
  • Y 13
  • Y 3
  • Y 4
  • Y 5
  • Y 6
  • Y 7
  • Y 8
  • Y 9
  • KS 2
  • KS 3
  • KS 4
  • KS 5
  • All Years