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MatchCard Science Insect Worksheet
Objective: Describe the major body parts of insects.
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MatchCard Information Pieces define and describe the major parts of insects. Ideas for projects are listed on the instructor's page and below.
Print Your Copy of the Insect Worksheet for Kids
This is MatchCard #1 of the Zoology Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.
A Multi-sided Visual Introduction
Introduce your studies of insects by thinking what an insect sees with a compound eye.
Have some marbles, beads, or other round objects available. Show them to your student and ask them to imagine one of them was their eyeball. Hold the eyeball to the back of your head. What would you see? What advantages would you have if you had an eye on the back of your head?
Now take multiple marbles, and place them in a circle to the side of your head. If each eye could see, what would you see?
Why do you think it is so hard to catch flies and butterflies?
Major Body Parts
All insects have three main body parts:
Compare an insects thorax (chest) and abdomen with a human's. Then compare the insects main body parts with each others. Ants are especially easy to see the difference between the thorax and abdomen.
And speaking of abdomen, this is an unrelated but possibly useful time to make sure your students know the difference between their "stomach" and their "abdomen."
All insects have an exosekelton.
Your skeleton is an endoskeleton; it is inside you. In contrast, insects have exoskeletons. The frame of their body is on the outside. Have you ever seen a dried up shell of a fly on your windowsill?
Other Body Parts
Legs: Six & Only Six
All insects have six legs - or three pairs.
That means spiders (which have four pairs) are not insects. What other creepy crawly things that we think of as "bugs" are not insects?
Compare a variety of insects. Count their legs.
What does your mouth do to your food? Different insects have different mouth motions. They can:
When do you do these motions? Insects generally do only one. Which insects use which?
Spiracles are air holes that pierce the exoskeleton and allow oxygen to enter.
The number and location of the spiracles is different for different species of insects.
Make a quick brainstorm list of all the insects you can think of. (bees, ants, katydids, etc.) You will use this later in your study.
Make a poster showing the locations of the six body parts of at least 10 different species of insects.
Insect Collection with Field Guides
Nothing introduces kids to insects like starting an insect collection. If you do not want to kill (or touch) live insects, try a photographic collection.
Get at least 20 species you can find in your area.
Use an insect field guide to identify the type of insect. Students over 5th grade should use the scientific and common name.
This information on the classification of insects will introduce animal classification which is studied later in the zoology unit study. This is introducing the concept which will be built on later.
Observe Insect Lifecycles
Get a butterfly, ant, or lady bug kit and watch the life cycle of the insects. It is fascinating to watch, and just may start a new hobby.
Visit a local bee hive. What would it take to become a bee keeper?