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University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

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Insects in the Classroom Lesson Plan No. 102

Choose an Insect

Prepared by Caroline Stetter Neel, Extension Specialist

Activity Description

Library or Internet Research
Age Group: Can be adapted for elementary through high school.
Class Time: Initial discussion and preparation one class period (55 minutes).


  1. Students will use books, encyclopedias, magazines, and the Internet to discover certain facts about an insect of their choice.
  2. Students will write a short report addressing important facts about particular insects' lifestyle.
  3. Students will present their findings to the class.

Academic Expectations

The above objectives fall under KERA's Science Academic Expectations or at least in part.
  • 2.2 Identify, analyze, and use patterns such as cycles and trend to understand past and present events and predicg possible future events.
  • 2.3 Identify and analyze systems and the ways their components work together or affect each other.
  • 2.4 Use the concept of scale and scientific models to explain the organization and functioning of living and nonliving things and predict other characteristics that might be observed.
  • 2.5 Understand that under certain conditions nature tend to remain the same or move toward a balance.
  • 2.6 Understand how living and nonliving things change over time and the factors that influence the changes.

Choose an Insect

By doing research on a certain insect, students can understand a little more about classification, food chains, interactions between organisms in their environment, characteristics of organisms, lifecycles of organisms, structure and function in living systems, to name a few. The use of the Internet and CD-Rom software reinforces their use of technology. Writing and presenting their findings gives students practice in these other important skills.

(Student Handout)

Name _____________________________


Introduction: 10 points

  • Define and describe the characteristics of an insect.
  • What is the name of the insect you have chosen?
  • Why did you choose this critter?

    Body 30 points

    • What does your critter look like?
    • Where is it found (habitat)?
    • What does it eat or who eats it? (Niche)
    • What kind of lifestyle or lifecycle does it have?
    • What are the mating habits? How many generations are there a year?
    • How long do they survive?
    • Why is it important to life on earth?
    • Is it a pest or beneficial?

    Conclusion10 points

    • What are this critters' prospects, is it endangered?
    • How do humans effect this organism?
    • What was the most interesting fact or facts you learned about your insect?

    Visual Aid 25 points

    • A poster with pictures, descriptions of where and how it lives are some ideas for a visual aid.

    Some Internet addresses http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/enthp.htm

    Choose an Insect (Some Suggestions)

    Honey bee Monarch Painted lady Grasshopper
    Cricket Flea Ladybug Praying mantid
    Walking stick Bean beetle House fly Hummingbird moth
    Dragonfly Cockroach Termite Rhinocerus beetle
    Wasp Silkworm Gypsy moth Ants
    Katydid Dung beetle Hornworms Stink bug

    "Teacher Bug" cartoon courtesy of C. Ware, copyright 1999

    Original document: August 1999
    Last updated: 8 September 1999

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