This lesson is designed for fourth grade students and should last approximately one and a half hours. The activities throughout this lesson use insects to teach students about ecosystems.
Students will be able to identify the habitat, survival characteristics, and whether an insect is a predator or herbivore in this lesson. This lesson uses TEKS in grade four 8a which states: identify characteristics that allow members of a species to survive and reproduce.
Poster board, markers, wanted poster (this poster will have a wanted insect on it), paper, pencils, books and articles about insects.
Getting Ready: (Background Information)
It is important to understand how insects adapt to the environment around them. It also important to identify the insects that will be used in the books the teacher provides for the students' use. Materials should be set up ahead of time.
The teacher starts by explaining that there is a problem. The students will then see the wanted poster. On the poster there will be a reward. The students are encouraged help the teacher locate the wanted insect so that they can receive the reward. The teacher can start by having the students divide into groups and brainstorm about what they need to know if they want to earn the reward. Each group will be encouraged to develop a plan.
Students are then given time to write down questions and information they need to locate the insect. Paper will be provided for each group. What clues are helpful in finding this insect? The teacher may also pose the question of whether the insect is wanted because it is helpful or harmful. The teacher will move around the room to monitor the groups' discussion.
Concept Discovery: (Explanation)
Ask the students to share their different plans. Talk to them about the different characteristics the insect may have. For example, some insects may live in the water and have aquatic characteristics. Other insects may have wings. Talk with the students about habitat and discuss how the insect survives in the habitat. Also discuss with the students that there are predators and herbivores. Talk about how some predators are necessary to keep the ecosystems going. Discuss how not all insects that are herbivores are helpful.
Going Further: (Elaboration)
Further this lesson by having students make their own wanted posters. Students will then present their posters to the class. They will discuss with their classmates the characteristics of the insect that is wanted, what the insect needs to survive, the habitat, and whether it is a predator or herbivore.
Ask the students what they learned today. Review the ideas of habitat, survival characteristics, and predator versus herbivore.
Students will be evaluated based on their class presentation and poster. They will be assessed according to the following rubric:
|Poster||sloppy, no effort||good effort, nice||exceptional effort,|
|Presentation||None||mostly clear voice,
|Information||includes none of the|
|includes most of the
|includes all of the|
Connections: (Integration with other content areas)
This lesson uses Language Arts when delivering the presentation. Students are expected to speak in front of the class. Students are also encouraged to write in preparation for the presentation. (Language Arts TEKS 4.5) This lesson touches on art because it has the students design their own posters. (Art TEKS 4.2) Social studies can be included by having students draw maps of the areas where insects live. Also the students use problem-solving skills to help them at the beginning of the lesson. (Social Studies TEKS 4.24) Mathematics could be integrated by having students make graphs and charts comparing the different insects. (Mathematics TEKS 4.10)
This lesson can be adapted for younger students by including only one of the areas covered in this lesson. For example, the teacher may choose to talk about an herbivore and predator. The lesson can also be adapted for older students by including more information and also expecting more written work in the presentation.