Investigating Planarian Behavior and Regeneration
This activity allows students to observe their own planarian and then design an experiment to investigate how planarians regenerate. It supports viewing of the video Identifying Key Genes in Regeneration.
In this hands-on lab activity, students use planarians as a model organism to study the remarkable process of regeneration. Students first observe the planarian’s physical and behavioral attributes. Student teams then formulate a hypothesis regarding the regenerative ability of planarians. Over two to three weeks, students care for their planarians and collect data to test their hypothesis. After completing their experiments, students view a video to learn about the role of stem cells in regeneration.
This activity is based on an article that is provided as a download.
Student Learning Targets
Design and carry out an investigation.
Use a model organism to gather evidence to support or refute claims/hypotheses.
anterior, flatworm, multipotency, neoblast, posterior, regeneration, stem cell, totipotency
Accorsi, Alice, Monique M. Williams, Eric J. Ross, Sofia M. C. Robb, Sarah A. Elliott, Kimberly C. Tu, and Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado. “Hands-On Classroom Activities for Exploring Regeneration and Stem Cell Biology with Planarians.” The American Biology Teacher 79, 3 (2017): 208–223. https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2017.79.3.208.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS1-2, HS-LS1-4; SEP1, SEP3, SEP4
AP Biology (2019)
ENE-3.D, IST-2.A, IST-2.D, IST-3.A; SP3
IB Biology (2016)
Common Core (2010)
Vision and Change (2009)