Education Technology

JASON: Leaf Litter...It's a Critter's World

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Rainforests at the Crossroads: Use a Berlese Funnel to extract arthropods from leaf litter; count and sort the species of arthropods; and use a TI-73 Explorer to make a circle graph showing the different groups represented in their collection.

Before the Activity

See the attached teacher document (PDF file) for notes and guidelines for this activity. Print and copy these PDF files for your class: activity document, research article, arthropod identification chart, and berlese funnel instructions. These PDF files are attached below.

During the Activity

Students will:

  • Observe the various species of arthropods in their leaf litter
  • Collect leaf litter, and then use a Berlese Funnel and a lamp to separate the arthropods
  • Use a TI-73 Explorer™ to make a "circle graph" showing the different groups represented in their collection


  • Directions
  • Distribute the activity document, research article, arthropod identification chart, and berlese funnel instructions to your class.
  • Read and discuss the research article.
  • Follow the activity procedures outlined in the student document.
  • After the Activity

  • Students complete the data analysis section of the activity.
  • Discuss the results of the data analysis with your students.