These Termites Turn Your House into a Palace of Poop

Everyone knows that termites are bad news for the wooden parts of a home. How do they do it, and how can we stop them? Go inside a termite (literally) to discover the scores of bacteria and protists that help make wood taste good. The narrator also describes the research scientists are conducting to introduce some less-helpful bacteria into the termite's gut to make it unable to digest wood.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Follow the video with additional information about termite damage in homes to show an example of scientific research solving real-world problems
  • Teachers can use the video as a part of lessons involving insects, bacteria, and protists
Classroom Considerations

  • Be sure pupils are familiar with protists and their physical structures; this will help them get the most out of the video

  • The grossness of the subject matter is sure to keep the class' attention!
  • Live shots inside a termite colony help show how they live, reproduce, and—especially—eat

  • None
Common Core