Lesson Overview: The following resources provide a comprehensive approach to teaching what an insect is. Students will learn what sets an insect apart from other crawling creatures such as spiders and centipedes.
Recommended Grade Level(s): First, Second, Third
What Is an Insect? Student Reader--Provide a copy to each student. Allow time for them to cut along the dotted lines to separate the pages. Then, using the numbers at the bottom of each page, students will place their pages in order and staple along the left side to form a book.
How to Implement: As a small or whole group activity, distribute Student Readers to each child. Read through the book, discussing vocabulary and information provided on each page, and asking questions to help students make connections. After reading as a group, assign students independent work. Have them reread the book and answer the questions throughout. Once children are done, review the answers as a class, or have students turn in their work for your review. Additional pages from the reader can be copied and distributed at the end of your study to be used as a final assessment.
Extensions: As a pre-reading activity to build background, or as part of the lesson closure/assessment, use the Insect Diagram along with the Insect Body Labels to label the parts of an insect. For this activity, you will also need pieces of black yarn (or another dark color) and tape. 1. Tape the Insect Diagram to your whiteboard. Using your yarn pieces, mimic the lines used on the last page of the student reader. 2. Print and cut out the body label words. To implement, call on students to stick the labels where they belong on the insect's body.
Another great extension to this lesson is to partner students and have them sort a group of crawling creatures. Use the Insect Sorting Page--laminate or put in a page protector for durability. We recommend a set of small, plastic creatures such as these.
Alternatively, here is a sorting activity but without the physical creatures. The " Is it an Insect? Worksheet " provides students with pictures of animals to cut out and paste in a "t" chart.
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.R1.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.R1.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.R1.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.