Learning Experience 14: What Is an Insect?



For the class:

Pictures of various animals

Chart paper*

Felt-tip markers*

*provided by teacher


Prepare chart prior to this learning experience.

Evaluation Strategy:

Students will decide if an animal is an insect or not and give reason for their answer.

Basic Skills Development:










Objective: Students will examine various animals and give reasons why the animal is or is not an insect.

What makes an animal an insect?

Collect pictures of various animals. Some of the animals should be insects and others should not. For example, print a picture of a spider. Discuss the pictures of the different animals and give reason why each animal is an insect. Students should notice that each insect has six legs, three body parts, and two antennae. They should also notice that some insects have wings and others do not. The spider, on the other hand, has only two body parts and has eight legs. Therefore, the spider is not an insect.

Create a chart with the questions listed below. If students answer yes to each question the animal is an insect.

Does the animal have six legs?

Does the animal have three body parts?

Does the animal have two antennae?

Students could also bring animals that they think may be insects into the classroom and create additional habitats (ex. flies, grasshoppers, fireflies, ladybugs, etc.). Students can spend some time observing these animals and using the chart to decide if the animal is an insect or not. The previous investigations done on ants and crickets can be done with additional insects students brought into the classroom. The results of these investigations can then be compared to those of the ant and cricket.

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