“Insect Introduction”



            Science: 2.8 identify characteristics of living organisms

3.2 analyze and interpret information to construct explanations from direct and indirect evidence




·        nametags

·        chart paper

·        pipe cleaners (8/student)

·        wooden skewers

·        construction paper

·        scissors

·        wooden beads

·        colored clay

·        markers

·        stuff to make sweep nets

·        jars ( appropriate for kill jars)

·        cotton balls

·        fingernail polish remover (non-acetone)

·        3x5 note cards

·        insect stickers

·        zip lock bags







·        Student introductions (name game, nametags, guessing game)

·        Exploring insects and non-insects (kids creating their own definitions of insects)

·        Bug pull

·        Make an insect

·        Collection discussion

·        Making sweep nets and kill jars





Activity 1:  Student introductions (icebreakers)

·        Name game—we will let each student make their own nametags using markers, crayons, stickers, etc.

·        Insect song

·        Guessing game—each student will have a insect description and name on a 3x5 card taped to their back only asking yes or no questions the students will have to figure out the name of their insects.


Activity 2: Exploring insects and non-insects

·        Split into groups of 3 or 4

·        When examining your insects remember to look at things like legs, body parts, etc.

·        Exploring insects and non-insect groups by physical characteristics while handling plastic and real insects

·        List insect characteristics identified by students

·        Discuss actual definition of an insect (formalizing the definition)


Activity 3:  Insect dissection

·        Pair up into buddies with each student having a grasshopper

·        Student will pull apart grasshoppers legs, antennae, wings, and other body parts

·        Discuss and identify body parts (thorax, abdomen, head)


Activity 4:  Make an insect (activity found in Make It Work INSECTS by Wendy Baker page 6 and 7)

·        Prepare materials to pass out to students

·        Each kit will include 8 pipe cleaners, a wooden skewer, 11 wooden beads, colored modeling clay, construction paper

·        Have each student mold clay into the head, thorax, and abdomen

·        Join the 3 body parts with the wooden skewer

·        Bend the pipe cleaners into the shape of legs

·        Thread the tip of each pipe cleaner through a wooden bead and push into place in the insects thorax

·        Cut the construction paper into wing shapes and stick wings into thorax

·        Add pipe cleaners to the head to make antennae and mouth parts

·        Add two wooden beads to head for compound eyes

·        TA-DA  It’s an insect


Activity 5:  Discussion of collecting insects and making a collection

·        Ask, “How would you go about collecting insects and what would you do once you caught them?”

·        Discussion about students ideas

·        List ideas that students developed about collecting on chart

·        Read a story


Activity 6:  Kill jars and sweep nets

·        Show the students how to make a kill jar

·        Use a clear jar (baby food, mayonnaise) with lid

·        In the bottom of the jar place a cotton ball that has been soaked with ethyl acetate (finger nail polish remover).

·        Place a card board disc with small holes in it on top of the cotton balls

·        The holes in cardboard need to be smaller than specimens that will be collected

·        Replace the lid to jar to keep fumes inside

·        Soaked cotton balls can be replaced when  ethyl acetate has evaporated

·        Demonstrate proper use of kill jar

·        Instruct students on how to put together the sweep nets (link to instructions)

·        Each student will be given one half of a broomstick, net, wire, and hose clip

·        Feed wire through the net

·        Place ends of wire in grooves

·        Clamp wire onto broomstick with hose clip


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