Snail Diet Experiment + Snails & Slugs Science Homeschool Unit Study

This Snail Diet Experiment gives you a peek into my homeschool Snails & Slugs Science Unit Study! Scroll to the very end to learn more about this unit!

What do snails eat? Do they have a favorite food? You can find out with this science experiment!

Lesson 4: What Plants Will Snails Eat?

Science Topics: Scientific Method (observation, predictions, testing, analysis, critical thinking), food chains, flow of energy


  • Paper plates
  • Snails or slugs
  • Plants to test (for example, grasses, lettuce, dandelion greens, other fruits or vegetables)
  • Optional: Snail Food Lab
  • Paper and pens for discussion challenge (or use food web printables!)

Part 1: Set Up.  Choose 4 food items to test with you snails. Put them on the paper plate, with one food item at the top of the plate, another at the bottom, one on the right side, and one on the left side. Place the snails in the middle.

Part 2: Predict. What food do you think the snails will like the best? How will you know?

Part 3. Test and Record. Watch where the snails go. Do they stay on the first food they land on? Are there more snails on one than on the others?

Part 4. Analyze and Conclude. Is there a food the snails seem to like better than the others? Why do you think that?

Discussion Items:

  • Can you draw a food chain? Draw the snail and one thing it eats (like grass or leaves; or, for a sea snail, kelp). Then draw an arrow from the snail’s food pointing at the snail. Finally, draw something that eats a snail (like a mouse, bird, turtle, or toad; or, for sea snails, a sea star, sea otter, whelk, seagull, or octopus), and draw an arrow from the snail pointing to what eats it! Can you think of anything else to add to your food chain?
  • You get energy from the food you eat! Producers (like grasses and other plants) create their energy using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Herbivores eat the plants to get energy. Carnivores eat other animals to get energy. Omnivores eat both plants and animals. Only 10% of the energy in a plant or animal can move from that plant or animal to whatever is eating it. This is why most food chains usually only have 3-4 "levels:" there just isn't usually enough energy available to have more!

I hope you had a great time investigating snail diets!! This is the last lesson in the Snails & Slugs Science Unit Study. The unit includes 4 hands-on lessons and a set of printable bonus activities!  It's perfect for homeschool families and co-ops.  Click here to learn more!

Are you looking for more unit studies or themed units for elementary and middle school kids? Be sure to click here and check out our growing collection!

Happy Educating!
Carla & the kids who don't sit still