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Lesson Plan Script

Lepore 1

Standard Third Grade

3.1.3.A1 Describe characteristics of living things that help to identify and classify them.
Objective: When given an image, students will classify it as an insect if it has 3 body parts, 6
legs, an exoskeleton, and antennae correctly 4 out of 5 times.
T: Good morning class! I want you to clear your desks, and think about your favorite type of bug.
Today we are going to learn what characteristics are necessary for a creature to be classified as
an insect. Why do you think this might be important?
S: Knowing what creatures are of the same group makes it easier to compare and contrast them.
If we grow up to be a scientist that works with living things, it is important to know what makes
an insect an insect.
T: Right! Scientists need to know these things, just like you do. It helps us talk about insects
more easily. Now I want to do some pair sharing regarding the vocabulary terms we learned last
class. Person 1, tell person 2 what thorax means.
S1: The middle body part that contains the legs and wings.
T: Nice definition! Person 2, tell person one about the exoskeleton.
S2: It is the outside protective shell on some invertebrates that provides protection and support. It
does what our skeleton does, but on the outside.
T: Right everyone, the thorax is the middle body part of insects and the exoskeleton is the outside
shell on some invertebrates that provides protection and support. We are going to use some of the
vocabulary terms we talked about yesterday in our lesson today.
T: The rule today is that in order to be classified as an insect, the creature must have 3 body parts
(head, thorax, and abdomen), 6 legs (3 pairs), antennae, and an exoskeleton. I know there are a
lot of parts, so we are going to learn a song that will help us remember them all. Stand up step
back from your desks. If you know the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, put your hands
on your head. Most of you know the tune, so now we just have to learn the insect words. Listen
and copy my motions as I sing. Head, thorax, abdomen, and six legs. Head, thorax, abdomen,
and six legs, exoskeleton, antennae, Head, thorax, abdomen, and six legs. Great, the words are
up on the board, so this time sing along with me while we do the motions. (Repeat song). That
sounded wonderful! We are going to try it one more time so that you can remember all the parts.
Here we go. (repeat song again)
On the index card I am passing out, we are going to create a checklist of all the requirements so
that you can check them off when we are looking at the examples. I want you to put a little box
or line in front of each word so that you can check it off. Your list should contain all 3 body
parts, 6 legs, exoskeleton, and antennae. Write them in the same order as the song we just learned

Lesson Plan Script

Lepore 2

so you can sing the song in your head as you use the checklist. Once youve finished, place the
index card inside the plastic sleeve and look up front. Your finished product should look like this.
(Write checklist on the board)
T: I am going to demonstrate how to use this checklist and determine if the creature is an insect.
Please sit and watch, but you dont need to use your checklist yet. My checklist is here on the
board. Our first example is a grasshopper. Ill start at the top of my list. Head, check. Thorax,
yes, abdomen, good. So I have my three body parts. That means I can move onto the next
requirement, 6 legs. Thumbs up or thumbs down if you see 6 legs.
S: Thumbs up
T: Perfect! I can write a check. Exoskeleton, is sometimes difficult to judge from a picture, but a
good rule of thumb is that if it crunches when you step on it and there is a shiny, hard outer layer
it has an exoskeleton. I would say this grasshopper does have an exoskeleton. For the examples
we are doing here, you can assume that if they have all the other elements checked off, they also
have an exoskeleton. Last, antennae. Thumbs up/thumbs down if you see antennae.
S: Thumbs up
T: There they are! So each of my requirements has been met, so yes, this grasshopper is an
insect. My next example will be a spider. Ill start with the top of my list, head, thorax, abdomen.
Does the spider have all 3 body parts? Thumbs up, thumbs down.
S: Thumbs down
T: Lets count; 1, 2. Oh no, there are only 2 body parts. Can we check the box?
S: No!
T: That means the spider cannot be an insect because if one of the parts are missing, the answer
is no. Lets check the rest of the list just to practice. We need 6 legs, how many legs do you see?
S: 8
T: Well we cannot check that box either. Next is exoskeleton, and yes a spider does have that.
Last we look for the antennae. I see these two things sticking out of its head, but they are not
antennae, they are like pinchers. This is interesting because we think of spiders as bugs, but that
does not mean they are insects because they are missing some of the characteristics.
T: This time, we are going to work together to determine if the dragonfly is an insect. Get out
your dry erase markers to use on your checklist. The first thing we are going to do is look to see
if the dragonfly has all 3 body parts. If you think it have the head, thorax and abdomen, put a
check in that box. Good, I see that we all agree that there are 3 body parts. Here is the head, the
thorax and the abdomen. Next, we will check to see if there are 6 legs. Look at the picture and

Lesson Plan Script

Lepore 3

make a check if you think there are the right number of legs. Great, I counted 6 legs too. Our
third step is to decide if there is an exoskeleton. You can see that the body looks hard and
protective, so check. The last step is to see if there are antennae. Mark down what you think.
Alright, so we do see a set of antennae right here. They are tiny, but definitely there. So we were
able to check off our entire list, which means this dragonfly is an insect.
T: Our next example is an ant. What is the first thing we need to do?
S: Decide if there are 3 body parts. I see a head, thorax and abdomen so we can check the box.
T: Awesome, whats next?
S: Count how many legs.
T: Right, how many should there be?
S: 6
T: Correct, and does our ant have 6 legs?
S: Yes!
T: I see that you already checked the box. Do you think there is an exoskeleton?
S: Yes.
T: Why do you think so?
S: Because it looks hard, shiny, and protective.
T: And there is one more thing we need to do, what is it?
S: Check for antennae. Theyre right there.
T: Perfect! So what does this all mean?
S: The ant has all the characteristics so it is an insect.
T: Right!
T: The next example is a Pokmon. Even though it is a make believe character, we can still try to
classify it. Remember if any of the characteristics are missing, it is not an insect. Try it by
yourself and ask if you have any questions.
S: (Students fill out checklist) Answer is no because only 4 legs, not 6.
T: If you found that the Pokmon is an insect, smile really big. If you found that it was not an
insect, make an angry face. Alright, I am seeing a lot of anger here and thats a good thing! I am
going to read through the checklist, as I do, give me a thumbs up or down to show if the

Lesson Plan Script

Lepore 4

Pokmon met the requirement. (thumbs down for 6 legs). So can someone explain their answer
using the checklist?
S: It is not an insect because it did not have 6 legs, even though it had all the other requirements
including head, thorax, abdomen, an exoskeleton, and antennae.
T: Correct, Im like how you gave such a complete answer.
(Additional examples: beetle or worm)
T: You are receiving a pile of cards that you will be going through with your partner. Person 2
leave your flashcard checklist in the sleeve. Person one, take the index card out, write both of
your names on it and label it 1-8. You will be going through a stack of numbered insect cards. If
it is an insect, write insect. If it is not an insect, write no, as well as the parts of the checklist
that are missing. You do not need to go in order, but make sure you write the correct answer with
the appropriate number. After you finish two of the creatures, raise your hand for me to check,
then you can continue through the rest of the pile. Please let me know if you have any questions,
I will be walking around to check on you. The directions will be on the board as well in case you
forget what you need to do.
T: (If there is extra time) Each group will be sharing how they came to their conclusion about
one of the picture cards. You can choose whichever picture card you would like as long as no one
has explained it yet. This group will go first.
(Additional Examples: Pokmon caterpillar or stick bug)
T: Alright ladies and gentlemen, lets stand up and sing the insect song one more time to help you
remember all the parts of an insect.
All: Sing song together.
T: Tomorrow, we are going to talk about arachnids, which classify creatures like spiders. Tonight,
please share the insect song with your parents to practice. For homework you will be creating
one example and one non example of an insect and justifying your examples by filling out the
checklist on the worksheet I am providing to you.

Lesson Plan Script

Lepore 5


Classifying Insect Homework: Example and Non-example

Create one example and one non example of an insect. Please do not use
any of the creatures we already classified in class. Justify your examples
by filling out the checklists.
6 Legs
6 Legs

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