Insects That Work Together

Contributor
Crabtree Publishing Company
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Informative Text
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This nonfiction book summarizes how some insects work together to increase their chances of survival. Details are provided on four types of insects: honeybees, hive wasps (hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps), termites, and ants. A short section on insect migration and building a hive model are also included.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available for purchase - The right to view, keep, and/or download material upon payment of a one-time fee.

Performance Expectations

3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This book provides multiple pieces of evidence to support the claim that some animals form groups to help members survive. There are several ways that this book can be used to support the PE: 1) interactive read aloud, 2) resource for students to research their questions after having a chance to observe insects (such as ants) firsthand, and 3) group “jigsaw.” In jigsaw approach, the teacher explains that the class will be exploring the focus question: “How do animals work together in groups to help them survive?” They will be reading the introductory sections of the book (What are Insects? and Working Together) first (either individually or as a group) to provide background, then each student will become an expert on a specific type of insect. The class is divided into small groups (4 students each) and each student in these “home” groups is assigned a different section of the book (honeybees, hive wasps, termites or ants). Each student will become an “expert” on how their type of insect works together in groups to survive. (The shorter section on Migrating in Swarms could also be assigned as a 5th topic—allowing small groups of 5 students each.) Students read and take notes on their assigned insect from the book, then join other students who have the same insect to form “expert” groups. Each group will discuss how their insect works together in groups to help them survive (using evidence they gathered from reading their section of the book). They will create a chart describing: Insect Behaviors and How These Behaviors Help the Insects Survive. (This information can be presented as part of a poster, Prezi, Powerpoint, digital story, etc.) Students then rejoin their home groups and take turns sharing their evidence with the rest of the group. When all groups have had a chance to share, the teacher can facilitate a science talk around the focus question: “How do animals (insects in this case) work together in groups to help them survive?” In this talk, students will make claims based on evidence that they gathered from the book. A class chart can be created to compile the information. Students could then be asked to write an argument (claims based on evidence) to answer the focus question. For more information on the jigsaw cooperative learning strategy go to: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/jigsaw/.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students: 1) read and comprehend grade-appropriate complex texts to summarize and obtain scientific ideas, 2) obtain and combine information from books to explain phenomena, and 3) communicate scientific information orally and in written formats (charts and text).

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Throughout the lesson, students are asked to gather evidence to answer the focus question: “How do animals (insects) work together to help them survive?” They use this evidence to create charts, support their ideas on how insect group behaviors help them survive, participate in a science talk, and write a culminating argument (combined Science and ELA assessment).

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The information in this book provides clear, explicit examples of ways that being part of a group helps animals survive. Use with other books that focus on other organisms, so students can gather evidence on multiple animals that work in groups to increase their survival.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The teacher can introduce the concept of systems, i.e., some groups of insects live and work together as a system in order to increase their chances of survival.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The content of the book aligns very strongly to the performance expectation by providing multiple examples of how animals form groups to help them survive. Connections to the science practices and crosscutting concepts will have to be made by the teacher.

  • Instructional Supports: Multiple examples of how animals form groups to help them survive are provided. Some versions of the book include an audio CD that will be helpful to some learners. However, other instructional supports will need to be created by the teacher.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: No assessment suggestions are provided. It will be up to the teacher to assess prior knowledge to be used to guide instruction (for instance, asking students “What do you think you know about how insects work in groups?”) before reading the book. Giving students the opportunity to share their expert findings with others in small groups, in the science talk, and via the argument writing task will allow the teacher to assess understanding of the performance expectation and use of the science practices.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -