The students will collect different insects and camouflage them with materials they find in their different habitats. This lesson is done in an hour and a half and is intended for third grade.
The student will be able to observe and describe insects' camouflage techniques in their different habitats. The students will be able to duplicate their environment in the classroom using collected materials. The TEKS that are used are:
3.1 Field and Laboratory Investigations:
a. demonstrate safe practices during field and laboratory investigations.
3.2 Scientific Inquiry: Field and Laboratory:
b. collect information: observe and measure.
3.9 Adaptations Increase Survival of Species:
a. observe and identify characteristics that allow survival.
b. analyze adaptive characteristics.
5 shoe boxes
5 collecting jars
drawing paper for each student
Explain to the class that camouflage is used by insects so that they can hide from their predators and so they can surprise their prey.
Hide pictures of different insects around the classroom and ask the students to find all of them. Ask them why some of them were so difficult to find. Reinforce the idea of camouflage here.
Take the students outside and show the them how to use the collection pieces properly. Then, put the students into groups and put them into groups of four. Give each group a net, aspirator, jar, and shoe box. Have each group collect one insect and put some of its habitat into the shoe box. Make sure each student has a job in the group(insect collector, habitat collector, secretary and time keeper). After each group is finished take them back to the classroom and have each group show their shoe box to the class and explain what they discovered. The instructor and classmates will ask questions about each groups' collection.
Make sure the students use the equipment properly and do not pick up the insects with their hand as the students may be bitten or stung.
Explain the concept of camouflage again and recap how each of the groups' insects use camouflage in order to survive.
Talk about how people use camouflage in war and to conceal things such as putting a house key in a rock to hide it from others.
Close the lesson by asking the students questions about camouflage. Also, ask them to ask you questions that they may have.
In order to assess the students they will individually draw a picture of an example of camouflage, write the insects name, its habitat, and why it is where it is under the picture. The project will be graded on a four point scale(A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=O). Each missing part is a point off.
This activity could be connected to mathematics by counting the number of spots on ladybird beetles or how many insects are in a habitat. For language arts you could have the students write an essay pretending they are their insect and explain about its choice of habitat. For social studies you could talk about how using camouflage came about in past wars. To adapt this activity to lower ages just have them draw pictures of habitats that they observed outside instead of actually collecting them. For older age groups have them keep the insects as pets and keep logs on them daily for a few weeks.