Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.
Upon completion of this lesson on insect models, students will be able to:
- Build models of various insects.
- Label the parts of insects using content-specific terminology.
Common Core Curriculum Standards
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
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.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Lesson Instructions and Activities
Students will be able to identify and duplicate the following parts of an insect:
- compound eyes
- Copies of Eyewitness Insect by Laurence Mound
- Dry erase markers
- Index cards
- Water bottles (empty)
- Styrofoam circles
- Foam sheets
- Pipe cleaners
- Paint brushes
- 1/2' round labels
- Googly eyes
Reading and Discussion
- Preview vocabulary with students prior to reading the story.
- While reading 'The parts of an insect' from Eyewitness Insect by Laurence Mound to students, pause at the appropriate times to ask the following discussion questions:
- What happens to a young insect's skin as it grows?
- What are the three main sections of an insect's body?
- What parts are attached to the insect's head?
- How is an insect's head like a human head and how is it different?
- Why do insects need compound eyes?
- What body parts are attached to an insect's thorax?
- Describe how insects breathe.
- Describe the parts of an insect that are attached to its abdomen.
- What are the parts of an insect's legs? What function does each part play?
Clay Insect Models
Materials needed: copies of Eyewitness Insect by Laurence Mound, paper, pencils, clay, toothpicks, index cards
- Sketch an insect's body on the whiteboard. With student help, label the drawing with each of the identified parts identified in the vocabulary section. Discuss the purpose of each of the parts. Have students recreate the labeled sketch on their own paper.
- Have students select an insect that they will build with clay.
- Students will build insects one part at a time using clay.
- Students will use toothpicks to attach the insect parts to each other.
- Students will place the insect on an index card.
- Students will write the parts of the insect on the index card to identify each part's location.
- Students will create a key that identifies each part's function.
Water Bottle Insect Models
Materials needed: copies of Eyewitness Insect by Laurence Mound, paper, pencils, Styrofoam circles, foam sheets, pipe cleaners, paint, paint brushes, 1/2' circle labels, googly eyes, tape/glue, markers
- Student will select an insect to build. Students will paint a water bottle and a Styrofoam circle according to the color of the insect they are building. Students will paint vertical stripes on the neck of the water bottle to indicate the location of the thorax.
- Students will bend the pipe cleaners to show the parts of an insect's legs and attach them to the thorax and abdomen using tape or glue.
- Students will create antennae's using pipe cleaners.
- Students will attach three googly eyes on each side of the insect's head to represent compound eyes.
- Students will use foam sheets to cut out shapes of wings to attach to the back of the insect's abdomen. Students may decorate the wings by gluing foam shapes onto them or with markers.
- Students use circle labels to identify each of the parts of the insect listed in the vocabulary section.
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