Migratory Insects 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.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about migratory insects. Students will understand what migration is and why insects migrate. Further, they will be able to identify some migrating insects.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define migration.
  • Identify migrating insects.
  • Summarize the reasons why insects migrate.


60 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


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.

  • NGSS.MS-LS2-2

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.


  • climate
  • cryptochromes
  • drought
  • gregarious stage
  • habitat
  • hibernation
  • migration
  • navigation
  • plague
  • populations
  • solitary stage
  • swarms


  • Copies of the quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Access to computer/internet
  • Colored pencils
  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Reading & Discussion

  • Pass out copies of the Migratory Insects: Types & Causes to the students.
  • Read the first section of the lesson entitled 'What is Migration?'
  • Have students develop a class definition for 'migration.' Write their definition on chart paper.
  • Read the 'Causes' section of the lesson to students.
  • Have students list reasons why insects migrate. Write their reasons on the chart paper.
  • Read the 'Desert Locust' section of the lesson with students.
  • Discuss the following:
    • Describe desert locusts.
    • Why do locusts migrate?
    • Compare the solitary stage to the gregarious stage.
  • Read the 'Monarch Butterfly' section to students. Ask students the following:
    • Describe the monarch butterfly.
    • Where do monarchs live?
    • Why do monarchs migrate?
    • How do monarchs navigate?
  • Have students read the lesson summary with a partner.
  • Have students turn and talk about other migrating insects they can think of.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet. Have students complete the questions independently, then check the answers together.

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