I’ve Got That Buggy Feeling

Print Lesson


Students will compare and contrast human and insect senses.

Big Idea

Insects interact with the environment differently from humans.

RAP - Review and Preview

5 minutes

I call students to the gathering area. We review how the bugs used their eyes to process light information. I tell than that today, we are going to compare and contrast how we, and bugs, use our other senses to make sense of our environments.

I tell students that we will have a mini-lesson in English Language Arts grammar before we begin science today! After the groans subside, I hold up an object. I ask students to tell me what an adjective is. They tell me it is a word that describes the noun. I pass the object around the circle and each students provides an adjective for the object.

Guided Investigation

30 minutes

I send students back to their table groups. I hand out the recording sheet to each student. On it, students will record adjectives for each of their senses as they observe the object in the bag that I will give them. Before I hand out the bags, I ask students to explore the sense of touch as an insect would. I ask them to run a pencil up their arm in the opposite direction from the lay of the hair on their arms. I ask them if they can describe what they feel. There are some details that they can give me, but the information is limited. I tell them that insects use hairs all over their bodies, called sensillae, to observe things. Their hairs are much more sensitive, and developed, but this demonstration is a good way to experience a difference between humans and insects. I ask students to feel their pencils and now describe them. With their fingers, humans can describe the ridges and lettering and shape of the pencil with much more clarity, as our fingers are designed to feel.

At each group, I place a paper bag with an object in it. Students will be able to use all their senses to observe and describe their object. Try to choose bright and smelly objects such as a banana and a red rose. Things that students can observe with all their senses will provide deeper learning. Try to include at least one red item, as insects cannot see red. Make sure that there is nothing potentially toxic so they can use all five senses.

Students complete the observation sheet using all five senses. Students should not talk during this time as they should be recording their own adjectives. When they have completed the first section, hand out the Sense Sheet handout. Have students read the different senses and label the human body part where that sense might be used. When they have done that, have them think through, where on an insect’s body those senses might be used. Have students label the insect body. Have students return to the Object Description sheet and complete the second section and imagine themselves as an insect observing the object on their table.


15 minutes

Have students write a short story about a day as an insect. Have them think about how they would experience the world through their senses and where they would go. Have students describe what they world would look like to them.