Hermit Crab Lessons

By Vanessa Pike-Russell

(expanded and adapted by Stacy Griffith)


Target ages 7-10-year-olds but you
can adapt the lesson to fit the class.


Key Learning Areas: Language, Science

Lesson One – Introduction to hermit crabs

Lesson Two Lifecycle of hermit crabs

Lesson Three Anatomy and Stages
of Development of a Land Hermit Crab

Lesson Four Diet and Needs of a land hermit crab
(Caring for a land hermit crab)


Lesson Five: Design a home for a hermit crab

Lesson Six The Pet Trade


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Who Am I

Students write down some clues as to who the animal is.

I have two grasping claws/chelipeds

I live in a borrowed shell

I have 10 legs etc


Mystery Item

Place some hermit crab-related items under a sheet or towel.

Ask students to put their hands under the towel and identify the object, whether it is a seashell, bowl, dish, guage or a pretend hermit crab.


Hot Seat

Armed with some knowledge of different types of land and marine hermit crabs and other marine animals, children sit in the ‘hot seat’ and pretend they are the animal. They become an expert on their subject while other classmates ask them questions.


Hermit Crab Poetry

With the help of some poetry models, children love to write hermit-crab related poetry, whether it is a Diamante’, Cinquain, Haiku, Limerick or free-form. If your class writes some hermit crab-related poetry, why not email me and I will add it to the site to help other classes start off their writing.


Hermit Crab Stories

The premise is simple: imagine you are a hermit crab and write about a day in your life. This is a wonderful challenge for students to put themselves in the perspective of a hermit crab and may have them examining the needs of hermit crabs and their responsibility in meeting those needs.


Download the quiz.