The Importance of Pill Bugs: A Year-long Study of Pill Bugs in Sharon’s Class

Pill bugs are an important component of the larger decomposer fauna, which return organic matter to the soil and enrich it. The primary goal of this project was to have the 9-11-year-old class, through experiential learning, understand the significance of pill bugs (armadillidium vulgare), and to help others understand this to.

Components of this study included: conducting field studies of pill bug habitats and maintaining a pill bug habitat in the classroom, applying the scientific method in conducting student-designed experiments, documenting pill bug anatomy through observational drawing and research, learning about pill bug classification in the Animal Kingdom, and creating expressive projects, such as the pill bug stuffed animal. In order to fully synthesize all of their knowledge and work, students created a short documentary film that helps to both teach about the pill bugs, and document their work for this study.

This study was funded in part by a grant from the Grafton Land Trust, and integrated into our arts program via collaboration with Emily, Touchstone’s integrated arts teacher.

We love pill bugs!