Time: 45 minutes
Next Generation Science Standards
K-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Introduce students to the basic body parts of an insect.
Key words (Make a Vocab Tree):
Head, Thorax, Abdomen, Legs, Wings, antennae, exoskeleton
- Variety of plastic insects (purchased at dollar store)
- Prepare by knowing the names of the body parts of an insect
Sing the song head, shoulders, knees and toes.
Tell students that insects have body parts just like we do. Hold up a plastic insect and point out the body parts. Tell the students that insects have three separate body parts: a head, a middle part called a thorax, and an end part called an abdomen. Say that almost all insects have six legs that are connected to the thorax. They have two antennae on their head and some insects have wings. You can also tell students insects have no bones, they just have a hard covering on the outside of their body called an exoskeleton.
After this, have students come up and use their bodies to build an insect. For example, let one person be the head and one be the thorax and so on. Keep building insects until everyone has had a chance to be a body part.
After this, pass out some plastic insects. Then review all the body parts and their names letting students point to the correct part as you name it. On a dry erase board, draw an insect and point to a part and have the students find the part on their insect. Then label it.
Tell the students each part of an insect’s body plays an important part of their daily life, just like our parts do. Ask the students some questions like what might happen if they lost one leg or an antennae? What would they do and could they survive?
Review all of the body parts. Then let students turn to the person next to them and tell each other the names of the body parts on their plastic insect.
You could extend this activity by comparing insects body parts to our body parts or to other animals body parts. You could talk about the functions of each body part.