Hermit Crab Essay Ideas For Middle School

Amy Andrews

Amy Andrews has worked as high school English teacher for the past ten years. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier... read more

Stan Badgett

Stan Badgett and his wife live in the mountains of western Colorado, where they raised four children. Badgett currently teaches English at... read more

Julianna Baggott

Julianna Baggott is the author of fifteen books: six novels, including The Madam; three collections of poetry, most recently Lizzie Borden... read more

Tim Bascom

Tim Bascom’s memoir Running to the Fire (University of Iowa Press, 2015) is about his missionary family leaving the town of Troy,... read more

Scott Black

Scott Black has had the good fortune to attend Northland College, University of Baltimore, Auburn University, and Ohio State’s Creative... read more

Laura Bramon Good

Laura Bramon Good lives with her husband, Ben, in Washington, DC, where she works on human trafficking issues. She holds an MA from the... read more

Chris Cobb

Chris Cobb is an artist based in San Francisco who sometimes writes. His work has been in Flash Art, ArtWeek, TENbyTEN, and McSweeney’s... read more

Margaret Conway

Margaret Conway has an MFA from San Francisco State, where she has taught creative writing. She lives in San Francisco. “Grasshopper” is a... read more

Michael Copperman

Michael Copperman teaches low-income, first-generation college students of diverse backgrounds at the University of Oregon. His prose has... read more

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti and moved to the United States when she was twelve. She is the author of several books, including Breath... read more

Aislinn Doyle

Aislinn Doyle lives in the Dominican Republic, where she is completing a postgraduate fellowship with an educational nonprofit organization... read more

Alice Dreger

Alice Dreger is a Clinical Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethic in the Medical Humanities and Bioethics program of the Feinberg... read more

John Griswold

John Griswold is the author of a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts. He’s also published stories, essays, and poems in Ninth Letter, Brevity,... read more

Lee Gutkind

Lee Gutkind, recognized by Vanity Fair as “the Godfather behind creative nonfiction,” is the founder and editor of Creative... read more

Jeffrey Ethan Lee

Jeffrey Ethan Lee’s poetry book identity papers (Ghost Road Press, 2006) was a 2007 Colorado Book Award finalist. He also published the... read more

Jay Lewenstein

Jay Lewenstein lives in Mexicali, Mexico, and teaches community college English on the U.S. side of the border. Currently, he is developing... read more

Brenda Miller

Brenda Miller is the author of five essay collections, most recently An Earlier Life (Ovenbird Books, 2016). She also coauthored Tell... read more

Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born in Carmel, California, to a Japanese mother and an American father. She is a graduate of Columbia University... read more

Christina Olson

Christina Olson’s first book of poems, Before I Came Home Naked, is forthcoming from Spire Press. Her poetry and creative nonfiction can be... read more

Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr is the author of ten collections of poetry, the most recent of which is How Beautiful the Beloved (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)... read more

Emily Rapp

Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir (BloomsburyUSA). Her work has appeared in The Sun, StoryQuarterly, Narrative, Good... read more

Kathy Rhodes

Kathy Rhodes is the author of Pink Butterbeans: Stories from the Heart of a Southern Woman, a collection of fifty personal essays. ... read more

Sean Rowe

Sean Rowe has been a reporter for the Miami Herald and senior writer for the Miami New Times. He is the author of Fever, a maritime... read more

Dawnelle Wilkie

Dawnelle Wilkie is currently finishing an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. She lives in Washington State with her daughter. read more

Matt Wood

Matt Wood is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program at Northwestern University, where his final thesis, "Through an... read more

Wesley Yang

Wesley Yang writes for the n+1, Nextbook, and the Abu Dhabi National. He has reviewed books for the New York Times Book Review and the Los... read more

Preschool students will have lots of fun making this textured hermit crab. This craft is easy for little fingers to make and great for practicing using glue.


A book about hermit crabs (see list below for ideas)

Pictures of hermit crabs

Hermit crab shape cut out of white card stock or construction paper, one per child

One inch squares of tissues paper in a variety of colors

Crayons or markers



Here are a few ideas for books to use with this craft.

  • Is This a House for Hermit Crab? by Megan McDonald - Preschoolers will love this cute story about a hermit crab searching for a new home. It's perfect for a sea animals unit or a study of animal habitats.
  • A House for a Hermit Crab by Eric Carle - A hermit crabs makes lots of new friends as he adjusts to his new bigger shell. Preschoolers will be introduced to some unfamiliar sea creatures like lantern fish and sea anemones with this Eric Carle classic.
  • What Lives in a Shell? by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld - This nonfiction book introduces children to all kinds of animals who make shells their homes.
  • Hermit Crab's Home: Safe in a Shell by Janet Halfmann - This book from the Smithsonian Oceanic Collection follows the life cycle of a young hermit crab as she finds her first shell and continues to need new, larger shells to keep her safe until eventually she becomes a mother herself.


Read a book, fiction or nonfiction, about hermit crabs to the class. If you are making the craft as part of a unit about sea animals or pets, talk about hermit crabs in relation to your unit. You might talk about what they eat, where they live or what you would need to have one as a pet. Show your students some photographs of hermit crabs and talk about what they look like. Point out the different shapes, colors and patterns on their shells and ask the students if the shells look smooth or bumpy.


Tell the class that they are going to be making their own hermit crabs and show them a finished model that you have made. Then give each child a hermit crab shape and some glue and place a bowl of tissue papers squares at each table. Show the students how to take one square of tissue paper and crumple it up into a little ball. Then glue it onto the shell of the hermit crab.Tell them to keep making the tissue paper balls and gluing them on until the shell is covered. Point out that when finished their crabs will have a bumpy, textured shell, like the ones in the pictures you showed them. They can then use markers or crayons to color the hermit crab.


On another day after the glue has dried, have the students glue their hermit crabs to a larger piece of paper and color a sea or beach scene around them. Or hang the finished crabs on a bulletin board for a cute ocean display. Cover the bottom half in yellow or tan paper for sand and the rest in blue.

Making this hermit crab craft is sure to be lots of fun for your preschool students. For more preschool sea animal crafts try this octopus craft or these preschool dolphin crafts.

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