Sunday, February 7, 2010

Talking About Insects

For my final teaching demonstration for this school year (which was graded by the way :) ), I chose Introduction to Insects as my topic because this will definitely stir the kids' curiosity and will definitely arouse their interest, especially if you get to bring real bugs in class. So here's the lesson plan that will show you how you can make it more interesting and meaningful for the students:

Lesson: Insects and their Characteristics

The students are expected to:
-enumerate parts of the insect based on observation
-state the function of the basic parts of the insect
-tell the characteristics of insects based on the given facts about some insects
-compare insects with other animals
-give own examples

The students will be asked to observe an army ant and list down all the parts that they will see in the specimen. They are not expected to use the correct terms but they can draw the part in case they cannot identify them. They are to write down the parts on a card provided by the teacher.

The card should have the following information:

Name of the animal:

It has:

Then post the cards on the board and get their common answers. Then show a picture of an ant and point to them the parts they have discovered during the previous activity. From there, introduce the parts of the ant. What I did here was this: "You said you've found two long hairs on the ant. Actually, we call that the antennae. Can everybody say that word again?" Then put on the label to illustrate the antennae, and so on, until you get to fill out all of the parts.

After that, you may ask the children how important they think each part is for the ant. You may give them clues to figure out the function of the parts.

Then show a picture of a bird. Ask the children, "do you think my friend Mr. Pelican (for example)  here is this ant's mother? Why or why not?" Then you'll get to elicit responses that describe basic characteristics of a bird. You may do the same thing with the other groups of animals like mammals, reptiles, and fishes in order for the students to compare and contrast the ant with the other animals.

Then ask them, "if the ant is not a mammal, nor fish, nor, reptile, not even a bird, then what is it?" Then elicit, insect as a response.

Ask the children on how they will be able to distinguish an insect from other animals. Then review the parts again. Let them give examples of insects that they know. You may also want to present flashcards of insects and have them read them altogether. Afterwards, let them match the names of insects with their pictures.

Ask them where insects come from. Let them figure out where can they possibly lay eggs and how different are their eggs with that of chickens. You'll be thrilled with the way they answer. :)

Have them squish the ant. Ask them what they have noticed. This will allow you to explain a bit about insects being invertebrates and how weak their body coverings are. You may also want to have them recall the way they eat fish and ask them what they don't eat from them so you may explain very well what having a backbone means.

After this, you may want to have them defend if the spider is indeed an insect or not based on the characteristics you have discussed to evaluate if they can now distinguish an insect from other animals.

This lesson plan actually allows kids to explore and act like scientists. They can get to discover for themselves the characteristics of insects through this hands-on activity. 

Hope this works! When I did the demo, it was fun and the kids really enjoyed it. Now go and WOW the students with bugs!!! :D


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gibran said...

I can imagine the kids' excitement over the six-legged "stars" of the day :-)
and for sure everyone's in a hurry to share stories related to the topic - whether about their encounter with a creepy species or something they watched on Discovery Channel...or Nickelodeon? :p


hihihi! you bet they did... :D thanks gibran!