The Internal Anatomy of the Grasshopper

Overview: By identifying the internal anatomy of the grasshopper, the students will begin to discover that organisms have organs that function similar to those of humans. The students will gain this knowledge by opening up the grasshopper and getting to know the internal anatomy. This activity is focused at a sixth grade level, and should last about an hour.

Purpose: The students will be able to understand that the grasshopper has many important internal organs, and begin to explore their functions, through observation.

TEKS: Systems (10) Living Systems: Structures and Functions (b) identify how structure complements function - organs, organ systems, organisms, populations.

Grasshoppers - 1 per group
Dissecting Microscopes (if available, if not will find enough for activity)
Picture of internal anatomy - 1 per group
Dissecting Tray

Motivate: At the beginning of the lesson the teacher will bring out a giant (24" to 30") inflatable grasshopper. The teacher will then begin asking the students questions about the grasshopper, getting them involved. Once the students are intense about the grasshopper the teacher will bring out the REAL grasshoppers.

Activity: The students should be seated in lab groups of about three people at a microscope. Each group should be given a grasshopper and the appropriate materials to work with. Explain to the students that they will be opening up the gra sshopper, but in such a way that they can explore as much area as possible. This is to be an exploratory lesson, therefore, they do not have to identify every part. It is more important for them to understand that the grasshopper has important organs, and they have important functions.

Safety Tips: Be cautious when using dissecting materials. They can be dangerous. Wash hands after working with the grasshopper.

Going Further: The students can bring in other insects to explore and compare their internal anatomies. The students can also research all of the major functions of the internal anatomy and write a report for the classroom library. A char t can also be made that compares insect organs to human organs, based on the physiological processes, such as digestion, excretion, and breathing.

Closure: After all of the students have been given adequate time to explore, labeling their sheet, the class will be pulled back together as one. The teacher will restate the importance of organs to all organisms. He/she will them point o ut the things the class found interesting throughout the observation, by asking for student input. The class will then state the importance in their own words to close the lesson.

Assessment: Assessment for this activity will be informal. The teacher will walk around the room while the students are working, listening for understanding. The goal is for all of the students to participate and explore during this activ ity.

Connections: English Language Arts: The students can write a higher level research report on their findings and publish it for the classroom library.

TEKS: 6.20 Writing/inquiry/research (F) Evaluate his/her research and raise new questions for further investigation.

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