Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- define 'adaptation'
- list and explain adaptations of insects
- identify insect adaptations
1 - 1.5 hours
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
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.
- Copies of the lesson Insect Adaptation, one for each student
- Images of insects
- Chart paper
- Colored pencils
Warm-Up and Preparation
- Connect students to the topic by asking them to think about where they are. What is the environment like? Is it cold? Hot? Have them briefly write about the physical environment.
- Now ask them to consider how they've adapted to the environment. Are they wearing sweaters? Hats? Do some students wear glasses? Instruct students to write their adaptations as well.
- Break students into small groups to share and discuss their answers. Ask:
- Why do we wear sweaters when it's cold and shorts when it's hot?
- How do glasses, gloves, etc. help us survive in our environment?
- Discuss the idea of species adapting over time to an environment and ask students to think about how humans have adapted over time.
- Now tell students they will be focusing on insect adaptations.
- Start the lesson video Insect Adaptation and pause at 0:55.
- Work with students to formally define 'adaptation' and discuss:
- Why are insects considered 'top dog?'
- Have students title notebooks 'Insect Adaptations' and make a chart with categories for exoskeleton, size, reproduction, flight, and metamorphosis.
- Tell students to take notes in these sections as the lesson plays, then resume the video.
- Pause at 5:22 and give each small group a three images of insects.
- Instruct groups to identify adaptations of each of the insects. For example, if a group has the monarch butterfly, what adaptations can they identify?
- Give students chart paper and glue and tell them to make a poster showing the three insects and listing the adaptations.
- Hang posters around the room and lead a gallery walk of student work, instructing classmates to read each insect adaptation poster and write comments and responses in their notebooks.
- Come back together as a whole class and focus on each poster for a few minutes, allowing classmates to share feedback. Discuss:
- Are there some insects that have more adaptations than others? Why or why not?
- Which adaptations are easiest to recognize and identify? Which were the most difficult?
- Do all insects have all five adaptations? Why or why not?
- Play the remainder of the lesson and allow students to ask any remaining questions.
- Give students the quiz and review together, or take it as a whole class online.
- Tell students to imagine they're scientists being sent to live on a new planet and they're in charge of creating an insect that can survive the conditions.
- Ask students to first brainstorm the climate, geographical features, weather, food sources, and other species for their new planet. Will it be cold and rainy? Will there be mountains or ice peaks?
- Once students have their ideas for their planet recorded, instruct them to create an insect that can survive and thrive in these conditions, sketching in their notebooks and writing about the adaptations.
- When brainstorming is complete, give students paper and colored pencils and allow them to draw their planet and insect, then write a short paragraph to describe.
- Break students into small groups to share their creatures, then display.
- Invite a local insect specialist to your classroom to share their knowledge on insect adaptations.
- Take a look in your school's playground and around campus to spot insects. What are their adaptations? How are they surviving?
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