Draft as of July, 2009
FOSS Insects Unit Overview

Unit resources

Insects Unit Overview


What are insects?

How are insects similar and different?

Why is it important to study insects?


Students will begin to understand and appreciate that . . .

• Insects are animals with similar structures and behaviors
• Insects have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing, and eventually dying. The details of this life cycle are different for different organisms.
• Insects have specialized structures that serve specific functions and help them survive.
• Different insects have varying natural habitats. Insects can survive only when in environments in which their needs are met.
• The great diversity of forms in the animal kingdom.
• Respect insects as living things.
• Insects contribute to our lives
• All insects have a unique role within their ecosystem.


Students will show independent ability to . . .

  • Observe, describe, record, and communicate the structures, patterns, and behaviors of insects.
  • Observe, describe, record and communicate the sequence of changes that bugs go through as they mature into adults
  • Compare and contrast different insects (structure, behaviors, life cycles)
  • Compare and contrast female and male insects


Students will know . . .

• Insects are animals and need air, food, water, and space
• The life cycles (stages) of the insects studied and related vocabulary (larva, pupa, metamorphosis, structure, function)
• Insects hatch from eggs
• Insects have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen
• Insects have 6 legs
• Insects can live underground, above ground, and in water
• Male and female insects mate, and the female lays eggs.
• Some larvae produce silk
• Some insects go through complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult) and some go through incomplete metamorphosis (egg, nymph stages, adults).
Developing Vocabulary: Metamorphosis, Structure, Function, Ecosystem, entomologist, Abdomen, Adult, Air, Antennae, Darkling Beetle, Dead, Dropping, Egg, Food, Head, Larvae, Legs, Life Cycle, Living, Mealworm, Molt, Pupae, Segment, Space, Thorax, Water, Wing, Female, male, Mate, Habitat, Proboscis, Nymph, Insect, Bug, Hatch, Eye Spot, Mulberry Leaves, Silkworm, Spinneret, Butterfly, Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Nectar, Waste,
ASSESSMENTAlong with on-going student observations and anecdotal notes, the following assessments can be used to form instruction and provide evidence of student understanding:
FOSS Student Sheets, FOSS Checklists, End of Module FOSS Assessment, Student Inquiry Notebook