As a follow-up to yesterday’s Boom-dee-ah-da Bugs song adaptation, we are going to take a closer look at insects. This post includes learning the attributes of insects and incorporating sorting as a learning tool. We’ve also included a FREE printable book as a follow-up to the learning activity. Look below for the FREE printable book link: Is this an Insect? Finally, we’re highlighting a few of the live insect resources we’ve used.
Learning Activity: What are the attributes of an insect?
After sharing your favorite insect books and experiences with your students, invite them to brainstorm the main attributes of an insect.
Insects are a special group of arthropods. All insects share several, easily-recognizable external characteristics including:
- Three body segments
(head, thorax, and abdomen)
- Three pairs of jointed legs,
all of which are attached to the thorax
- Antennae (although there are a few species of insects with no antennae)
- Wings (though there are some flightless insects)
(Above is a picture MacGyver drew in his kindergarten journal while we were studying insects. His directions were to draw an insect and label the three body segments.)
Once the children are familiar with the attributes of an insect, create a large “T” chart. Label one side: This is an insect. Label the second side: This is not an insect. The children can add examples to each side of the diagram. For young children, magazine pictures or clip art of insects and other animals work great. They can sort and glue the animals on the appropriate side of the “T” chart. Below are a few sample pages of a simple printable book highlighting the concept “Is this an Insect?”
Guided Reading: Printable Book – Is This an Insect?
Print this book: Is This an Insect?
Live Insect Resources:
We ordered these caterpillars from Insect Lore. Insect Lore is an excellent resource for hands-on learning activities for children. We daily watched in awe as these little caterpillars changed into butterflies! You can check at your local gardening store for ladybugs, worms and praying mantis egg cases. We’ve done all of the above and each are very exciting for the children (and adults). We’ve also ordered online. One online resource is Arbico Organics.
Parents and teachers please share your favorite insect resource or book?