of Kentucky Department of Entomology - KENTUCKY BUG CONNECTION
Youth Entomology Resources | MIDDLE - HIGH SCHOOL
- ELEMENTARY >4H RESOURCES
Recommended books about insects and their relatives for
use in the classroom and by students in intermediate grades (4-5), middle
school, and high school.
are portable and essential for identification. Many of the
guides listed below also contain basic biological information about
many types of insects and their relatives. Be warned that,
because there are thousands of insect species, no single guide will
contain pictures of every insect and there are some insects that
you may not be able to find in any guide. These guides contain
pictures of the most commonly encountered insects, however. They
are all currently in print, and can be found in local bookstores
Field Guide: Insects (by Borror and
White). Every entomologist in North America owns at least one
copy of this essential guide. It does not contain pictures of
many individual insect species, but it has the keys and distinguishing
characters that are needed to identify insects to the correct order
& Schuster's Guide To Insects (by
Arnett and Jacques). This popular guide has pictures of many
common insect species, plus basic biological information. Many
of these insects live in Kentucky, but this guide also contains many
pictures of insects that live only in the western United States.
Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders
(by Milne and Milne). This guide is similar to the Simon &
Schuster guide except that it also covers many common spider species.
This guide contains detailed biological information about
each insect and spider.
and Moths: A Golden Guide (by Mitchell
and Zim). Butterflies and Moths is an inexpensive (less than
$8) guide to most of the butterflies and moths found in Kentucky.
It contains no photographs, but the drawings are detailed and
just as useful for identification as photos, if not more so. The
book also contains drawings of caterpillars and pupae for many species.
and Their Kin : A Golden Guide (by
Levi, Levi, and Zim). There are very few books on spiders, and
this is one of the best despite being an inexpensive (less than $8)
kid's book. In addition to detailed drawings of most common
types of spiders, this guide also covers many of the other non-insect
arthropods found in the United States, including centipedes, millipedes,
daddy-long-legs, mites, sowbugs, and a few other creatures.
Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates
(by Voshell). For aquatic studies, this is one of the best guides
available, with pictures of most of the invertebrates (including insects,
crayfish, mussels, and worms) found in freshwater ponds, lakes, and
Field Guide: Eastern Butterflies (by
White). This is a highly detailed guide to the many butterfly
species that live in the eastern United States.
Field Guide: Beetles (by White). There
are more beetles on earth than any other kind of animal and this guide
helps you sort them out. Although this guide is overkill for
most situations, it may be of interest if you are presenting a unit
on beetles (a worthy subject!).
The books listed below
contain stories, essays, anecdotes, and other information about
insects that may be useful for school projects or book reports.
These books are also well-written and entertaining.
Wonders (by Conniff) - Richard Conniff presents a dozen
true, magazine-style stories about insects and other invertebrates
like spiders, mollusks, and worms. The author takes you around
the world, with a visit to the Pacific ocean on a hunt for the elusive
giant squid, and a memorable trip to New England with its "slime
eels." Lots of fun!
To Know a Fly
(by Dethier) - This classic entomology book was written in 1962
and details the author's experiences with an experiment involving
a fly. This is a great book for anyone with an interest in
science or entomology, and is very entertaining.
(by Wilson) - E.O. Wilson is an entomologist and one of the most
important biologists of the 20th century. His work on ants
was key to the understanding of sociobiology. This book details
Wilson's childhood, showing how the author became interested in
science and biology.
My Family and
Other Animals (by Durrell). Gerald Durrell spent his boyhood
in paradise, and this non-fiction memoir tells his story. In
the early part of the 20th century, Durrell's family moved from
cold, wet England to the warm, peaceful Greek island of Korfu. With
no school on the island to attend (!), Gerald spent his days learning
about the animals that lived on the island, including many fascinating
insects, reptiles, and birds. In addition to his detailed
observations about the biology of Korfu, Durrell also sprinkles
his story with happenings involving his eccentric family and their
(by Berenbaum) - Dr. May Berenbaum from the University of Illinois
regularly contributes a light-hearted column to American Entomologist
magazine, a publication received by all members of the Entomological
Society of America. Buzzwords is a collection of
several of these essays, and gives readers a chance to see the world
from an entomological perspective. These essays are well-written
and easy to read, with humor that should appeal to most middle and
high-schoolers. Buzzwords is just one of many entomology
books by Berenbaum. Others include Ninety-Nine Gnats,
Nits, and Nibblers and the highly recommended Bugs in the
System, Insects and Their Impact on Human Affairs.
Entomology Resources | PRESCHOOL - ELEMENTARY
preschool and elementary educational materials, please visit our adjacent
B. Newton and R. Bessin, University of Kentucky Department of Entomology.
Original document: 19 April 2004
Last updated: 19 April 2004
page is maintained by Blake Newton, Department of Entomology, University
Please send questions or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org