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 love as it involves searching for insects and then predicting and watching.
The living organisms 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
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 are 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.
2. Draw around the lid of your pot onto the filter paper
3. Cut it out and fold it in half.
4. Wet it and place it on one side of the pot.
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 woodlice is the side they prefer.
6. You can then repeat this experiment using dark paper to block out one side of the lid to see whether they prefer dark or light conditions.
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.
Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Emma Vanstone