Crayfish Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Examine the unique features of crayfish with your students through a text lesson and modeling activity. Students will use scientific language to describe the anatomy and behavior of crayfish.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • create a model of a crayfish and label its parts
  • use scientific terminology to describe the parts of a crayfish


This lesson will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


  • antennules
  • arthropods
  • carapace
  • cephalothorax
  • chellipeds
  • exoskeleton
  • invertebrates
  • mandibles
  • maxillae
  • maxillipeds
  • nocturnal
  • omnivores
  • swimmerets
  • tailfan
  • telson
  • thorax
  • uropods


Materials needed: prepared anticipation guide, writing utensils

  • Activate prior knowledge by asking students what they know about crayfish. Write down their thoughts on the board.
  • Provide students with an anticipation guide that provides a place to mark true or false before the reading and after the reading for each of the following statements:
    • People in Northern United States eat crayfish.
    • Crayfish belong to the same phylum as spiders.
    • Crayfish sleep at night.
    • Crayfish are herbivores.
    • Crayfish bury their eggs in the sand.
    • Crayfish are good swimmers.
  • Have students mark true or false for before the reading for each statement.
  • Read the lesson Crayfish: Characteristics, Anatomy & Habitat as a class.
  • Have students follow along and correct their false statements.
  • Give students the opportunity to mark their anticipation guide's after reading answers. Review as a class.
  • Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

Create a Model Activity

Materials Needed: construction paper, scissors, labels, writing utensils

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