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Seafood Science

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Endoskeletons and Exoskeletons

Grade Level:

Lesson Type:
Guided Inquiry


The students will compare the characteristics of exoskeletons to endoskeletons as they observe a live lobster. 

Nutritional Objective:

(Insert Nutritional Obj. Here)


A live lobster (purchased from the local supermarket)

A tank for holding

Grasshopper (keep it in a clear bug box)



Endoskeleton- has an internal skeleton
Ex: Humans, Dogs, Cats, Bears

Exoskeleton- has an external skeleton that protects the animal’s body. Often times called Shells.
Ex: Clams, Crabs, Lobsters, Grasshoppers

Learning Activities:

Have students observe the lobster in the tank. Have them look out for some characteristics of the lobster such as its hard body. How is the outer body of the lobster different from other animals?

Have the students compare and contrast the exoskeleton the lobster to the endoskeleton of humans.

Have students compare the similarities of the exoskeleton of the lobster to the exoskeleton of a grasshopper.

Ask students why it is important for the lobster to have a hard shell.

Compare the exoskeleton of the lobster to eating a lobster or crab, when you crack the shell open to reveal the meat inside.


Discuss with students the two types of skeletons: endoskeleton and exoskeleton.   Explain the characteristics of each.  Talk about Seafood and some of the different creatures we eat from the ocean such as fish, lobster, crab, clams, and squid.  


Discuss the defining characteristics of an exoskeleton.

Discuss the benefits of eating seafood exoskeletons such as lobster and crabs as they are both high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are good for our body.