Science Sunday: Creepy Crawlies
Although they may look strange to humans, creepy crawlies such as insects, millipedes, spiders, snails and slugs do a great deal to help the environment. They:
Pollinate many fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
Produce honey, beeswax, silk, and other products used by people.
Prey on and reduce pest populations of other insects and weeds.
Act as decomposers, helping to break down and dispose of wastes, dead animals, and plants.
Support the food web by acting as a food source for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. People in many cultures also eat insects (including cicadas, locusts, mantises, grubs, caterpillars, crickets, ants, and wasps) since they are an important source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
See if you can answer these questions using the resources linked below:
(This type of investigation is called a “webquest”, and you often learn loads of other information while searching for the answers to specific questions.)
Name three or more features of an insect. How do insects differ from other animals?
Although “centi” means “100”, how many legs do centipedes actually have?
Entomologists (scientists who study insects) often have many years of education. Look up an insect scientist and see what kinds of college and graduate school degrees they have earned. (Great resource: https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/idip/research/insects/)
Where do snails live and when are they most active?
How do centipedes and millipedes differ from one another?
Choose a “scary” insect and write down three facts about it.
Snails and slugs belong to the same “family” of animals. What is that family called? (Hint: the family name starts with an “M”)
Insects do not give birth to babies the same way people and mammals do. Create a diagram or write a few sentences explaining the lifecycle of an insect.
Read About It
Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes, Snails & Slugs:
National Park Service: Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
What is an Insect? New York State Department of Conservation
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Research: Insects
North Carolina Forest Service: Common Forest Insect Pests:
Mr. Nussbaum’s Insects Profiles:
Mr. Nussbaum’s Scary Insects Profiles:
DK Snail and Slug Facts
Listen & Learn
Songs of Insects
Play & Learn
Building, Crafts & Food
Bug Crafts & Activities: https://buggyandbuddy.com/30-bug-crafts-and-activities-for-kids/
How to Build an Ant Farm: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/how/building-ant-farm
Make a Butterfly Feeder:
Insect-Themed Party Food:
Field Trips and Bug Hunts
Field identification of Common Insects
Online Bug Games
Create Your Own Superbug: https://mrnussbaum.com/insect-generator-online-game
Fun Activities (coloring pages, word searches, etc.)
Coloring pages: https://craftskidslove.com/ladybug-coloring-pages/
Dot to Dot: https://mrnussbaum.com/insects-dot-to-dots
Insects coloring pages: http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/insects
How many words can you make from the word “metamorphosis”?
Lesson Plans, Projects, and Resources: