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Wings and Exoskeletons

Bugs are flyers and crawlers, diggers and wigglers! Discover the biology of arthropods and then show insects at their beautiful best in their natural habitats.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. There are more species of insects than any other animal class in the world. There is so much to learn about these fascinating arthropods, both inside and outside of their bodies. You’ll find that arthropods have hard exteriors called exoskeletons that cover them and that they are the largest group of invertebrates.
    2. Bring out the magnifying glasses and specimens for this science adventure! Students investigate insect and arachnid habitats, anatomy, and nature’s intense coloring.
    3. For the background, use Crayola® Washable Markers to draw realistic insect habitats such as tree branches and leaves, flowers, logs, or rocks.
    4. Enlarge the arthropods as if you were seeing them through a magnifying glass. Remember to keep them anatomically accurate. Draw arthropods on top of background with Washable Markers.
  • Standards

    LA: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    LA: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

    LA: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

    LA: "Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

    MATH: Represent and interpret data.

    SCI: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Meet the Arthropods (Real Kids Real Science Books) by Ellen Doris; The Awesome Book of Bugs by Clizia Gussoni; Dirty Rotten Bugs: Arthropods Unite to Tell Their Side of the Story by Gilles Bonotaux; Bugs Before Time: Prehistoric Insects and Their Relatives by Cathy Camper.

    Arthropods are invertebrates. Challenge students to investigate other invertebrates such as worms, mollusks, and sponges. Compare and contrast the organisms as well as their habitats of choice.

    Students self-select one species to arthropod to create in a diorama habitat. Use Crayola Model Magic to form the body and insert it into the habitat. Write a one-paragraph summary focused on the species. Have a special celebration, "The Arthropod Invasion," when students are introducing their species to classmates.

    Invite students to use their new knowledge of arthropods to create an original, undiscovered insect. It should have the correct anatomy of an insect but can have a unique look. Create a habitat that will support the new insect species.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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