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




There are 15 comments

  1. Pinkoddy

    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.

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