Activity 1: Crab Chronicles



1. Life History of Humans
Ask students to describe the history of human beings - from egg to death. For each "stage" of development, have students answer the following questions:

  • What do the different "stages" look like?
  • Are the stages similar or drastically different?
  • How does growth occur from stage to stage?
  • What do humans need at each stage, including food, habitat, security, relationships to others?
  • What dangers do they face at the different stages? How are the dangers minimized or avoided?
  • What activities characterize each stage?
  • Do the different stages of humans mingle or do they hang out only with their own stage-mates?

    Answers will vary. Students should answer the questions from their own knowledge and experience. No research is required.

2. Illustrate Life History of Human Beings
Divide the questions above among students and have them illustrate the Life History of Human Beings in a timeline across the top half of a wall or poster display.

Answers will vary. However, make sure students include, at least, the egg, fetal development, if age appropriate, birth and babyhood, young child to teen, adult.

Dungeness Crab activity 1
Dungeness Crabs: Facts and Figures

3. Illustrate Life History of Dungeness Crabs

Now, distribute the Student Resource: Dungeness Crabs: Facts and Figures and, if appropriate, share the resources among these same groups. Give them time to read the resources and, then, illustrate the Life History of Dungeness Crabs in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Have students coordinate their display with the display of human life history created in Step 2 to allow for easy comparison.

Note: They can use pictures from the Crab Gallery found online to complete their displays. (See Resources below.)

4. Discussion to Compare Illustrations

When the display is complete, hold a brief discussion comparing the two species. Assuming crabs could speak "human," or vice versa, how would each species describe its life to the other to foster understanding and mutuality? If appropriate, have student teams stage skits to illustrate the lives and times of a Dungeness crab in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Answer: Answers will vary. However, instruct students to include as much biological detail as possible in their discussions and skits.


  1. Underwater World: Fish and Aquatic Life
  2. Underwater World: Dungeness Crab
  3. Alaska Department of Fish and Game ADF&G Wildlife Notebook Series
  4. Oregon Dungeness Crab Information
  5. The South Coast Oregon Directory Recreation Guide: Dungeness Crab Facts

The following resources are recommended for advanced students:

Species Profiles:
Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Pacific Southwest) pages 4-8 on Life History

Food Webs:

Food Chains and Webs

Fun with Food Webs (A simple and instructive interactive on food webs)

Extension 1:
Divide the different stages of metamorphosis of the Dungeness Crab among groups of students and have them research to compare their assigned stage to the environment in which it lives, its food and the predators it must avoid. Have each group make a poster to illustrate the physical form of the crab and its place in the food web of that environment.

Go to Activity #2 >>>
Dungeness Crabs at Home in Glacier Bay

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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