What is a Benthic Macroinvertebrate?

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SWBAT define a benthic macroinvertebrate and describe their living conditions.

Big Idea

Students will learn about benthic macroinverterbrates and their role in an ecosystem.

Warm Up

10 minutes

Class Discussion

10 minutes

After students have recorded their knowledge about insects on the graphic organizer, I have students come together for a brief class discussion. I create a chart which matches the top portion of the graphic organizer or display the organizer on the document camera. I then ask students to share their ideas and record them on a classroom chart. This chart serves as our shared base of knowledge and also allows me to quickly assess students' prior knowledge about the topic.

Guided Practice

25 minutes

In this portion of the lesson, I have students revisit the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Graphic Organizer.  To come up with a shared definition of the term benthic macroinvertebrate, I have students look at each word part separately and record the definition of each word part in their graphic organizer. (The word benthic means bottom-dwelling.  The word part macro means big enough to see with the naked eye. The word part in means without. The word part vertebrate means having a backbone.) After students have recorded the definition for each word part, I give each group of students a brief window of time to discuss the definition. 

Next, I return the students attention to the chart we created which lists what we know about insects. I encourage students to reexamine these statements and make corrections to the chart. For example, it is a common misconception that all insects live on land. If this misconception was recorded on the chart, I would ask students how we could modify this statement to make it true in light of our new learning. An example correction could be that some insects live on land and some are aquatic.

Closing / Exit Ticket

10 minutes

Since many students will not have prior experiences with macroinvertebrates, I conclude this lesson with a brief formative assessment. I want to ensure that students have a basic understanding of what a benthic macroinvertebrate is before we move on to studying the characteristics of different species of macroinvertebrates. It is common for students to have many lingering questions about macorinvertebrates after this initial lesson and I encourage students to record these questions on their Benthic Macroinvertebrate Exit Ticket. Most student questions are addressed in the upcoming lessons and those that are not can be powerful avenues for future exploration and study.