Have you heard of a tardigrade before? If not, it’s time to read up. These little guys are pretty awesome. If you have kiddos, especially preschoolers who love all things creepy and crawly like my preschooler, then tardigrades are definitely something you should include in your science curriculum.
Tardigrades, or water bears as they’re sometimes called, are micro-animals that can survive a multitude of conditions, including surviving temperatures higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit and temperatures close to absolute zero. They are found almost anywhere and everywhere, even from the depths of the sea to the top of the Himalayas.They’re one of the toughest critters around, having even survived the vacuum of space.
Some of the earliest tardigrade fossils we have found have been dated to over 500 million years old. That makes these tough little dudes older than dinosaurs (My 4 year old thought this was the coolest thing ever.).
Since tardigrades are so stinkin’ cool, I decided to find all the resources I could on them that would be applicable for a homeschool lesson. I will eventually try to formulate all of this into lesson plans, but since my family follows more of an unschooling approach, this list works well for us, for now.
If you have any resources that could be added to this list, please drop a message on this post and I’ll add it in!
Tardigrade Resources – Younger Grades
- Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson clip on Tardigrades (good for older kids, too)
- There is a Cat in the Hat episode on tardigrades that is excellent for younger children. I haven’t been able to find it online. My kids have watched it a few times on PBS. Amazon Prime might have the episode.
- Tardigrade Coloring Pages
Tardigrade Resources – Older Grades
- Tardigrades Survive in Space (my 4 year old actually really liked this video, so it could be good for the whole family)
- Tiny Animals Survive Exposure in Space by the European Space Agency
- Tardigrades in Space TARDIS
- The tardigrade genome has been sequenced, and it has the most foreign DNA of any animal – ScienceAlert
- Tardigrades return from the dead – BBC
Tardigrade Pinterest Boards
(These boards all have neat pictures that my kids loved looking at.)