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This lesson on insects involves observing a cricket
Language Arts, Science
K, 1, 2, 3
Title – Insects: Observing a Cricket
By – Dawn Zimmermann
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – K-3
1. TLWBAT observe and discover that a cricket is made up of different body parts.
2. TLWBAT name and point to the parts of a cricket such as the head, body, antennae and legs.
TEKS K.4 A: The student is expected to make observations using tools including hand lenses, balances, cups, and bowls.
TEKS K.6 C: The student is expected to observe and record parts of animals including wings, feet, heads, and tails.
– Magnifying glasses
– Crickets (cooled down-when cooled down they do not move, but be careful they warm up within 5 minutes)
– Clear containers for crickets
– Books about insects
– Pictures and/or posters about insects
– Dry erase board or tablet
Because the cricket is a living thing, we need to treat it with our gentle hands.
To be discussed before the observation:
– Senses are used to observe (sight, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching) Senses are tools that help you observe and describe. You should use more than one tool to observe, but you might not use all senses.
– Living things have life in them. Crickets are live. They need to be treated with gentle hands. If you drop a rock, do you think it will get hurt? (no, it is not living.) If you drop a baby, do you think it could get hurt? (yes, it is living.) We need to use our gentle hands with living things, so we will not hurt them.
To be discussed after the observation:
– What are the characteristics of insects:
1. They have three main parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.
2. They have a pairs of feelers on the top of their head called antennae.
3. They have six jointed legs. Some use their legs for jumping, swimming, or grasping.
4. Instead of skin they have an outer covering called an exoskeleton.
5. Insects can have two sets of wings, one set of wings, or no wings at all.
– Examples of insects: flies, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, ants, ladybugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, crickets, and dragonflies. Spiders are not insects because they have 8 legs. Worms and hummingbirds are not insects either.
Attention Getter (Focus):
– Show pictures of insects.
– Ask children to name some things they think are insects.
– Can anyone tell me what a cricket looks like? Today you are going to be scientists and observe a cricket. You may use your eyes, ears, noses, (and possibly hands to observe). You will also use magnifying glasses so you can see better.
– Put the children in small groups no more than 4 children per group.
– Show the children the cricket and how gently you are handling it. Remind them their job is to observe the cricket so well they could describe it to a friend.
– Pass out the magnifying glasses and crickets. Allow 4-5 minutes of time for observation. Teachers will walk around and monitor handling and ask different questions like: “What color is it? Does it make noise? Can you see different body parts? What does it feel like? Does it smell like anything?”
– Make sure children are observing different parts: head, wings, number of legs, antennae.
– Bring class back together and ask, “What were your observations?” Teacher can scaffold questions to different students. “Do they have parts like ours? (head, legs, eyes) What were some body parts different from ours? (antennae, wings)
Teacher writes observations down on the board or on a tablet.
– After discussing observations, read On Beyond Bugs! All About Insects by Tish Rabe Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
– After the reading, ask students who can name a part of a cricket and point to it on this picture? (head, legs, body, antennae, eyes)
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