Arthropods Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about the main traits of arthropods. They will conduct their own brief research projects, and work as a class to categorize various types of arthropods.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define arthropods and distinguish them from other kinds of animals
  • Discuss the important characteristics of arthropods and identify categories within this grouping
  • Report on the physical appearance and habitat of a specific arthropod


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.



  • Ask students what spiders and crabs have in common. Write out the similarities and ask students if they think that these animals are related. Ask students if they can think of any other animals that share these traits with spiders and crabs.
  • Hand out printed copies of lesson Characteristics of Arthropods Lesson for Kids.
  • Select two students. Have each read aloud one of the paragraphs in the section 'What is an Arthropod?'. Explain to students that although they look different in many ways, both crabs and spiders belong to a large group of animals known as arthropods.
  • Ask students to read the section 'Characteristics of Arthropods' aloud, with one student reading at a time. Switch the reader with every new paragraph or bullet point. Pause to discuss this information as a class.
    • What are the characteristics of arthropods?
    • What characteristics do arthropods share with humans? Which characteristics are unique only to them?
    • Select three students, and ask each to read aloud one paragraph of the section 'Lesson Summary'. Discuss this lesson as a class.
    • What other animals do you think could be arthropods? What images do you see in this lesson to help answer this question?
  • You may test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

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