Learn more about insects and science projects + lesson (2023)

Learn more about insects and science projects + lesson (1)

bug science projects

insect zoo

Having a “bug zoo” is a fun way to learn more about different types of bugs.

What do you need:

  • Clean, clear containers with lids*
  • A hammer and a nail
  • Some screen or network
  • rubber bands
  • An adult to help
  • Oneinsect netto help catch any bugs you find.
  • Atierrato look closely at the little legs, wings and eyes. (Thatbug bottleIt has built-in magnifying glasses which make it great for checking for bugs you don't want to keep.)

*Tip: Plastic jars with shaker lids, like the ones that come with spices and Parmesan cheese, make great homes for larger bugs because the lids already have holes in them. Plastic jars that hold peanut butter or mayonnaise and small glass or plastic bottles of beverages like juice, iced tea, or soda also work well as bug containers. you can also useplastic tanks.

What are you doing:

1. First, create several different habitats. You will need one for each type of error you collect. To make a habitat, cover the bottom of a container with soil and add a few pebbles or a stick. Insects that live in trees do not need soil or stones, instead you can place a small branch of the tree in which you find the insect in its container.

2. Provide water for the insects to drink. Soak a cotton ball and place it in the bottom of the container. Some insects, such as butterflies and ants, prefer sweeter liquids. For these, soak a few raisins in water for 20 minutes before placing them in the habitat.

3. To ventilate the bugs, have an adult use the hammer and nail to poke small holes in the top of each container. Or you can cover the container with a piece of fine mesh or tarp and wrap a rubber band tightly around the opening. Just make sure the bugs you put inside are too big to fit through the holes.

4. Now that your habitats are ready, it's time to start finding bugs! Some good places to look are in tall grass, near bushes and shrubs, in orchards, and on tree branches and bark. You can also flip rocks to search for creatures like bugs and worms.

5. When you find an insect, gently move it to one of its habitats. Make sure the habitat is similar to where you found the insect. If it was on grass, the habitat should have some dirt, a few blades of grass, and maybe a few leaves from a nearby plant. If you were under a rock, you should have a lot of dirt and several rocks, as well as some leaves or blades of grass. Think carefully about each bug and what you think you might need while in your bug zoo.

6. Observe your zoo pets with a magnifying glass and take notes on each one.diary. Once you're done observing (after a day or two), let each bug go to the same spot you found it. You can always go out and find new ones to watch later!

insect attraction

Find out what types of bugs live in your backyard with this project.

What do you need:

  • small, clean container (a plastic yogurt cup or butter dish works well)
  • small garden shovel
  • “baits” such as jam, honey, or pieces of ripe berries (such as bananas or mangoes)

What are you doing:

1. Choose an area in your garden where you would like to observe insects. Dig a hole in the ground large enough to hold the container so that its edge is flush with the ground.

2. Find some "bait" to attract insects. What kinds of things do you think most insects like to eat? Put a small amount of one or two of these things on the bottom and top edge of the container and place it in the hole. Fill in any extra space around the container with soil, but try to keep dirt out of the container.

3. Leave the area for about 30 minutes, then come back and check if any bugs came to taste the treat you left behind. You can leave your bin on all day if you like, checking it every hour for bugs coming and going.

5. After observing for a while, remove the container from the hole and set it aside so the bugs can get out.

What happened:

You've probably noticed some errors in your container. What did you see? Maybe some ants and little beetles or flying insects inside and some bees buzzing around? The bugs smelled the candy you put in the container and went to it. Once inside the plastic dish, most of them probably couldn't climb up the sides (since they're slippery and there's nothing for the bugs to grab onto to pull themselves up), so they got stuck there.

If you checked your container more than once, did you see any different errors the second or third time? If you haven't seen many bugs or want to experiment more, try placing the container in different places and using different things as bait.

book of errors

Make a special book to store all the information you know about insects! You can add more as you learn more and more about the many insects you will encounter.

What do you need:

  • three ring binder
  • three hole paper punch
  • plain white paper
  • a pen
  • crayons or colored pencils
  • journal template pageor a rule

What are you doing:

Learn more about insects and science projects + lesson (2)

1. Decorate the outside of your book with pictures cut out of magazines, stickers, or your own drawings (draw them on paper, cut them out, and paste them in your folder).

2. Each page of the book will be for an insect and should include space to draw a picture, several lines to write things you know about the creature, and a few lines to add things you will also discover later. You can print multiple copies of ourjournal template pageor make your own.

3. Ask an adult to help you poke holes on the left side of each page and place the pages in the folder to make a book. You can always add more pages later if you want.

4. Start the main page with your favorite bug. Draw a picture of him, write his name under it, and then write everything you know about him, like where he lives (in a tree? In the grass?) and what he eats. You can also search aidentification guideif you want to know more about a particular bug.

5. Every time you learn something new about a bug in your book, add it to the bug page. If you need more space, you can add another sheet of plain paper behind the first one. If you have more than one page for the same creature, it's helpful to write the name of the bug in the top right corner of the page so you know which pages match. When you find out about a new bug that isn't in your book yet, create a new page for it.

Science Lesson: Insects

Summer is a good time to study insects. The term "insects" can include various creatures that crawl, fly, jump, and swim. Read on to learn more about "true mistakes" and some "mistake" basics to guide your kids this summer. If you are looking for more detailed information, consult ourinsect investigationsScience lesson for insect anatomy, habitat information, classification, and more activity ideas.

What is an insect?

Learn more about insects and science projects + lesson (3)

An insect is an animal that has three main body parts, two compound eyes, two antennae, and six jointed legs. Instead of bones, insects have rigid exoskeletons that protect their soft bodies like armor! The three body parts of insects are the head, thorax, and abdomen. Most insects have one pair of wings, but some have two pairs (four wings total). Its legs and wings are attached to the middle segment of its body - the thorax. Insects breathe through small holes along the sides of their bodies called spiracles.

Insects are a very diverse group of animals. There are over 1 million species of insects that have already been discovered, and probably at least many more that have yet to be discovered and identified! Most insects hatch from eggs and go through several life stages called metamorphoses.ladybugsmibutterfliesundergo a complete metamorphosis. Some insects, like praying mantises, are born as tiny versions of their parents. They will grow by changing or shedding their exoskeleton several times, becoming a new one, a little bigger each time. Once the insect is an adult, it will no longer grow or change.

Caterpillars are insects, but they look a bit different than most insects. As you may already know, a caterpillar will soon spin a chrysalis or cocoon around itself and transform into a butterfly or moth. Caterpillars only have six actual legs, but they also have a few other pairs of legs called "prolegs." It also appears that they have more than three body parts. It turns out that they have 14 body segments, but the head is one, so there are three thoracic segments and ten abdominal segments. Therefore, they also have three main body parts, but the thorax and abdomen are separated into smaller segments.

What is an error?

Learn more about insects and science projects + lesson (4)

Certain types of bugs are called "true bugs." True bugs include aphids, water bugs, bed bugs, and plant bugs (such as box bugs and cabbage bugs). True insects have mouthparts used for sucking (like a straw) and have outer wings that are usually slightly stiffer than the underwings. The outer wings usually have some type of pattern. They even have three main body parts, six legs, and two antennae, just like other insects.

Any creature that does not have all of the traits listed above is not an insect! And the spiders? They look a lot like insects, but spiders have two body parts and eight legs, so they're not insects. Spiders belong to a group of animals called arachnids. Scorpions and ticks are also arachnids.

Bedbugs and mealybugs, also called rollie-pollies, centipedes, and millipedes, have many more than 6 legs (they usually have 15 pairs of legs!) and many body segments. Some other animals related to bugs and insects are called crustaceans, which include creatures like crabs and lobsters. However, none of these are insects!

We often call all sorts of crawling, crawling, and flying creatures "insects." Even though you now know that they're not all bugs and not even bugs, it's okay to refer to them as bugs sometimes. The important thing is to know how to differentiate an insect from other types of creatures.

Printable spreadsheet and PDF

Help kids review what makes a mistake a mistake with this two-part guide.insects vs. insects worksheet insects. At the top they will label the parts of an ant; In the second part, they will look at images of insects and decide which body parts prove they are not insects. This can be used as a test after an insect study or during the study to keep children interested.

take a look at ourlives on insectsto observe insects near your house.

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