Choice Chambers – animal behaviour investigation!

Choice chambers are an investigative method used to study animal behaviour and to determine the favoured conditions for a habitat.

It is a very simple investigation to set up and one that kids loves at it involves searching for insects, and then predicting and watching.

The living organism that we chose to study were woodlice as they are easy to find.

We decided to investigate whether woodlice

  • prefer damp or dry conditions
  • dark or light conditions

You will need:

A minimum of 5 woodlice

A collection pot

Two dishes with  lids

Filter paper (I just used coffee filter paper)

Dark or black paper

A pen/scissors


1. In your collection pot, put in some soil and dried leaves. Start looking under stones and bricks for some woodlice and put them in the pot. Make sure it is deep as woodlice ae very good climbers and we had a few escapees! This is just to keep them happy when not under investigation as we do not want to put them under undue stress.

Choice Chambers, Science Sparks

Collection pot!

2. Draw around the lid of your pot onto the filter paper

Choice Chambers, Science Sparks

Draw around the lid

3. Cut it out and fold in half.

4. Wet it and place it one side of the pot.

Choice Chambers, Science Sparks

Add you woodlice

5. Add your woodlice and over time see which side they prefer over time (about 5 minutes to let them acclimatise to their surroundings). The side that has the most of all of the woodlice is the side they prefer.

Choice Chambers, Science Sparks

After 5 minutes!

6. You can then repeat this experiment using the dark paper to block out one side of the lid to see whether they prefer dark or light conditions.

Choice Chambers, Science Sparks

Light or Dark?

7. You could also see if you can carry this out with other insects.

Please be sure to return the insects to the place you found them.

Have Fun




Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

Share This Post On


  1. That’s so cool! What a fun experiment. Lol, down here, we would probably use palmetto bugs.

    Post a Reply
  2. After finding some woodlice in the garden the other day I was thinking of doing this it’s such a fun experiment to do.

    Post a Reply
  3. I have a little area in my garden where my compost bins are too encourage things such as woodlice so I can easily find some so will definitely do this when we get to the letter W. thanks for sharing.

    Post a Reply
  4. I’ve seen these creatures scurrying about the flat we began renting recently, now I know what they are! This is one way to treat them.

    Post a Reply
  5. woodlice are NOT insects!!

    Post a Reply
    • You are right :-) Little typo there.

      Post a Reply


  1. Love L – lice, lego and ladybirds « Pinkoddy's Blog - [...] and ladybirds July 4, 2012 by pinkoddy So after seeing Choice chambers on Science Sparks (here) …
  2. Letter Learning Letter L | The Home of Pinkoddy - [...] after seeing Choice chambers on Science Sparks (here) I was really keen to do them with my son – …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge