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Backyard Bugs Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Jennifer Smith

Jenn has been an educator for 10 years. She has a master's degree in Teacher Leadership and a bachelors degree in Elementary Education and English Language Acquisition.

Bugs are everywhere and have very important jobs to do! This lesson plan provides students with a new way to look at backyard bugs and gives students a chance to get up close to these bugs to see why they are so important to humans and the environment.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand why bugs are so important to the environment
  • determine specific bugs' purposes within the environment


30-60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.


Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).


  • insect
  • environment
  • grubs
  • aphids
  • iridescent


  • Backyard Insects by Millicent E. Selsam
  • Chart paper
  • Markers


  • Start with a whole-group discussion about everything the students think about bugs (gross, cute, etc.), then transition the discussion into what the students know about bugs.
  • Read the book 'Backyard Insects' by Millicent E. Selsam to the class, stopping periodically for questions or comments and to write down some notes about certain insects in order to model note-taking skills.
  • As a whole class, clear up any misconceptions about insects.
  • If the season is right, go on an insect-investigation walk. On the walk, discuss what insects might be living as well as where and how they might be impacting the environment.
  • As a whole class, read the Backyard Bugs: Lesson for Kids.
  • While reviewing the lesson, take notes on chart paper for the students to refer back to later.
  • Have students take the lesson quiz, then go over the answers as a class to ensure comprehension.

Activity: Backyard Bugs Project

  • Independently, students will need to pick one type of bug that they can find in their backyard.
  • They will need to research this bug and answer questions like:
    1. What is the most important job of your insect?
    2. What is the habitat of your insect?
    3. How does your insect survive? What is the life span of your insect?
    4. Why and how would your backyard be different without your insect?
  • Students will then create a presentation of their information, whether it's a poster, song, or PowerPoint about their insect.

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