Looking for teaching ideas to use during an insect unit? Check out these 25 ideas for reading, writing, math, phys ed, and art! Do you have a free or paid resource that focuses on insects? If so, link up at the bottom of this post!
25 Insect Teaching Ideas
1. Insect Experts – Assign an insect to each student. Students read about their assigned insect and become an expert on that insect. Later, have students share their “expertise” with the rest of the class.
2. Book Talks – Each day have two or three students give a talk about an insect book they have read. Students talk about what they liked about the book, what they didn’t like about the book, and if they would recommend it to someone else.
3. Insect Fact Scavenger Hunt – Create a scavenger hunt about insects that students complete by looking through books to find the answers.
4. Word Sorts – Give students a set of words related to insects. Ask the students to sort the words into categories. After all the students have had the opportunity to put their words into categories, have a few students share their reasons for sorting their words into those categories.
5. Finish the Story – Put a number of different story starters about insects into a bowl. Students take turns pulling out a story starter, reading it, and then verbally adding to the story.
6. Life Cycle Sequencing Activity – Write the stages of the life cycle of different insects on individual pieces of paper. Put all the slips of paper related to one insect in an envelope. Students take an envelope, read the individual slips of paper, and put them in the correct sequence.
7. Insect Discovery – Students have discovered a new insect! Tell them to use what they know about insects to describe and draw their new insect.
8. Insect Acrostic Poem – Give each student a template for an insect acrostic poem. Students print a word or phrase for each letter in the word ‘insect.’
9. Newspaper Article – Brainstorm a list of questions that students would like to find out about the topic of insects. Give each student a question and have them write a newspaper article that focuses on the question. Encourage students to answer who, what, when, where, and why questions in their article.
10. TV Commercial – Students write a TV commercial to advertise a book about insects. They can either videotape the commercial or perform it for the class.
11. Diary of an Ant – Students keep a diary for a week and write from the perspective of an ant. They think about what the ants would see, feel, hear, smell, eat, etc.
12. Insect Words – Bring in copies of magazines and newspapers. Students look through the different materials and find words related to insects. Students cut out the words and make a collage from them. Another option would be for students to write a poem using words from the magazines and newspapers.
13. Cookbook for Insects – Students create a cookbook of recipes for insects. The cookbook can be created by individuals, small groups or the entire class.
14. Learning Journals – Students keep a learning journal during a unit on insects. Each day, give students time to write in their learning journals.
15. Insect Graphing – Take students out on the playground and have them look for insects. Students use a tally chart to keep track of the number of insects they see. When you return to the classroom, create a class graph and record the total number of insects that the students observed.
16. Insect Homes – Bring in a number of different shaped pieces of cardstock. Students use the different shapes to create a home for an insect. When students are finished, have them identify the number of circles, squares, triangles, etc. that they used in creating the insect home.
17. Insect Patterns – Have students create different patterns using insects. For example, they could draw an ant, butterfly, ant, butterfly, etc. for an AB pattern. They could also create an increasing AB, ABB, ABB pattern by drawing a fly, a grasshopper, a fly, two grasshoppers, etc.
18. Movement to Music – Have students imagine that they are different insects (grasshoppers, bees, ants, etc.). Put on music with different tempos and have students move to the music while imagining they are that insect. Stop and have different students demonstrate their creative movements to the rest of the class and explain why those chose that particular way to move.
19. Ant Colony – Put students into groups to use movement to demonstrate how ants move and work in an ant colony.
20. Insect Games – Bring in a variety of phys ed equipment and have students work in partners or triads to create a new game that involves insects and movement. Join two groups together and have them teach each other their games.
21. Insect Olympic Games – Create an insect Olympic games for your students. Students participate in the Grasshopper Long Jump, the Butterfly Ribbon Dance, the Ant Weight-Lifting Competition, etc.
22. Play Dough Insects – Bring in different colours of play dough. Students make models of the insects and then write descriptions about them.
23. Insect Paintings – Students paint nature scenes that include insects. They can make their paintings bright and cheerful. Hang the pictures throughout the classroom to decorate it.
24. Bugs Around the Room – Cut a sheet of butcher paper that is long enough to go around the classroom. Whenever the students have time, let them draw, colour, paint, etc. insects to decorate the paper. When finished, post the mural around the classroom.
25. Insect Rock Pets – Get students to bring in a rock. Have them paint an insect on their rock. Students can use the rock as a paper weight or give as a gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
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Next Article: How to Use Pre-Assessment With Students
- Insects Part 1: How Do You Introduce Students to Insect Unit
- Insects Part 2: How to Assess Primary Students During Insect Unit
- Insects Part 3: 5 Fun Ways to Differentiate Learning During Insect Unit
- Insects Part 4: How to Use Placemat Strategy During Insect Unit
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