Invent an Insect

Contributor
California Academy of Sciences
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Project , Lesson/Lesson Plan
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

Students explore physical structures and adaptations of insects to discover a wide range of insect diversity within habitats. Then students use what they have learned to create an insect with physical structures and capabilities to survive in a specified habitat. The lesson suggests a 120 minute session but can be broken down to accommodate younger learners and attention spans.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the diversity of living things in each of a variety of different habitats.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include specific animal and plant names in specific habitats.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Have students follow through with the extension activity to research the actual insects and plants that live in the environment for which they have invented an insect. Use the habitat cards and emphasize the plants and plant materials in the individual environments mentioned on each card to compare types of plants in each environment.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Use the Research Project and Go Outside portions included in the lesson plan to engage students in this practice.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Be sure students compare their invented insects with the provided diagrams of real insects and the insects they discover through their research in order to identify common features and differences.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Follow all parts of the lesson and the extension activities in order for students to help students to understand this core idea. Stress what an adaptation is and how it is used and how adaptations differ in response to different living conditions and environments.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Use all parts of the lesson plan and follow through with the extension activities to help students to fully understand this core idea. Encourage students to observe and describe the types of plants that live in the same habitats as the insects they are researching. Have students discuss the structures of these plants that help them to survive in these habitats.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This lesson allows students to design their own insects with structures suited for a specific habitat. Students learn about natural structures of insects that enable them to survive. This helps students to see how both natural and designed structures are related to their functions. Require students to justify their designs and allow for modifications when needed, so students can make strong connections between the structure and function of their designs.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The lesson builds understanding toward the performance expectation through the engaging observation of real insects in a variety of habitats. It develops the core idea of structure and function of both natural and designed objects by allowing students to design their own insect. Students engage in the practice of modeling by inventing their own insects based on observation and research.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson provides extensive background knowledge for the teacher along with guiding questions and discussion starters to help students connect their learning to real world experiences. Student sheets and diagrams are appropriate for instructional support for the students. It also provides an extensive list of additional resources to support learning and research for students of all abilities.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The lesson suggests presentation and discussion guidelines that the teacher and the students can use to assess what is learned through the lesson and its extension activities. Students engage with phenomena by observing live insects. They begin to understand structure and function of insect parts through this observation and they apply what they learn by developing their own model insects. All information is presented in an unbiased way and age appropriate.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: While websites are suggested as resources for research, there is no use of technology in this lesson.